Facebook to launch news subscription feature this year

Noah Berger / AP

Facebook is briefing news publishers on plans to support subscriptions through Instant Articles, per a source familiar with the proposal. The model will likely support 10 or more free articles a month before readers are prompted to pay. The payment logistics are still being determined but the update will give publishers full access to subscription data and control over which articles are locked and unlocked.

Timing: Facebook plans to launch a test of the tool towards the end of the year with the aim of opening it open to more publishers next year. In a statement, Facebook Journalism Projects' Head of News Partnerships Campbell Brown says the company is in early talks with several news publishers about supporting their subscription businesses.

Why it matters: This is Facebook's latest step to create better relationships with its publishing partners. Facebook and Google's digital ad dominance has made it increasingly difficult for publishers to make digital ad revenue. As a result, many premium publishers, like The New York Times and Washington Post, are increasingly focusing efforts on subscription revenues.

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University of Minnesota student jailed in China over tweets

Xi Jinping. Photo: Noel Celis - Pool/ Getty Images

A University of Minnesota student has been arrested in China and sentenced to six months in prison for tweets he posted while in the United States, according to a Chinese court document viewed by Axios. Some of the tweets contained images deemed to be unflattering portrayals of a "national leader."

Why it matters: The case represents a dramatic escalation of the Chinese government's attempts to shut down free speech abroad, and a global expansion of a Chinese police campaign a year ago to track down Twitter users in China who posted content critical of the Chinese government.

Go deeperArrow7 mins ago - World

⚖️ Live updates: Opening arguments begin in Trump impeachment trial

The second day of the Senate impeachment trial of President Trump will see a full day of opening arguments from Democratic House impeachment managers.

What to watch for: Democrats now have 24 hours — spread out over three days — to take their time to lay out their case against the president's alleged abuse of power and obstruction of Congress. It'll also allow them to highlight gaps that could be filled out by additional witnesses and documents from the administration.

This post will be updated with new developments as the trial continues.

Go deeperArrowJan 21, 2020 - Politics

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