The newsletter has found its dimension again with independent creators and journalists. Facebook and Twitter are investing in it “to respond to what’s happening in the media ecosystem. After a declining phase caused by the disproportionate use of email marketing, a new evolution of the newsletter format has found its dimension again with some independent creators and professionals, especially in the world of journalism and digital marketing.
Furthermore, the return of long forms in all their forms, from journalistic insights to podcasts lasting more than an hour to interviews on YouTube lasting even two hours, has led to the rediscovery of the most intense bond that can be created between the author and the audience, whether viewers, readers, or listeners. The intimate relationship between the writer and reader of the newsletter certainly depends on the fact that we are no longer speaking to a general audience but are addressing enthusiasts of the topic, someone who has voluntarily chosen to follow the author.
A bond so close that it also allows you to receive financial support for your work, for example, through crowdfunding campaigns and create a personalized relationship with the public. For these reasons, Facebook has decided to invest in the world of newsletters. Zuckerberg’s move has a dual objective: to counter Twitter, which recently acquired Revue, and to enter into direct competition with Substack, which, unlike Tinyletter and Mailchimp, offers the most efficient and intuitive system for obtaining financial support from readers.
Facebook’s Standalone Platform
During a Facebook Live audio room, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the launch of a new project “to respond to what’s happening in the media ecosystem”: Bulletin, a standalone newsletter platform. Unlike Facebook’s previous journalism initiatives, Bulletin has a life of its own. To sign up for a newsletter, you don’t even need to have a Facebook account. The platform has its website and its brand but will obviously rely on the social network’s infrastructure.
The newsletters will be integrated into the authors’ Facebook pages and inserted in the News section of the social network. There will be free and paid items. Paid subscribers who will use Facebook Pay, will have access to extra features such as dedicated groups or special badges. Another exciting aspect is the fact that creators will be able to add podcasts and audio rooms to their newsletter.
The beta program is US-focused and currently has only two international writers on board. In addition to writers, the newsletters will also be signed by academics, sector experts, and public figures, as well as independent creators, especially journalists.
It remains to be seen how content moderation will be managed and whether Facebook will align itself with an approach of maximum freedom towards its authors, as in the Substack case, which allows anyone to launch their newsletter. Among other things, Zuckerberg said that Facebook will not take a cut of authors’ earnings (for now) and will give them the ability to export content and subscriber lists to other platforms. New investments, products, and services aimed at supporting independent authors and creators will be launched later this year.
Twitter Newsletters Are Still In Beta
The microblogging social network that has made short texts its strong point is now looking at writers, journalists, and commentators who want to reach their followers with longer and more detailed texts than tweet threads, but at the same time at publishers who want to expand their following through the social network. For this reason, Twitter is also preparing to launch its newsletters with the recent purchase of the Revue platform.
After the acquisition of the newsletter platform Revue, Twitter made the activation of the service available on its platform for almost 12 hours and then took a step back, returning it to the beta phase. Users who managed to activate the service will, therefore, be involved as “guinea pigs,” while those who missed the opportunity will have to wait a little longer to use the newsletters. After acquiring Revue officially, Twitter announced that it had made the platform’s features accessible for all users while also lowering the commissions deducted from paid newsletters.
Some journalists who managed to activate their newsletters during the 12 hours of the platform’s activity confirm that Twitter is testing the service on the US and Indian markets. The feature provides the ability to embed tweets, import email lists, and analyze subscriber engagement and revenue. Twitter has never publicly explained the decisions that pushed it to return the service to beta testing just a few hours after its launch. Still, it told TechCrunch that it had blocked new subscriptions to Revue in order to focus on improving the offer.
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