Facebook shut down Bulletin, retrieved on Substack

Facebook shut down Bulletin, retrieved on Substack
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Facebook’s parent company Meta announced on Tuesday that it will shut down its newsletter platform Bulletin in early January, less than two years after launch.

The service was designed to take advantage of what seemed like a strong market for subscription newsletters at the time. raised $65 million in startup capital, and similar initiatives pico and Ghost. Last year, Twitter bought Revueanother newsletter platform.

But the newsletter boom has cooled in recent months. Substack laid off 14 percent of its staff in June and put its further fundraising plans on pause, and experts began to question Bulletin’s long-term strategy of getting creators to sign major contracts, while also avoiding the kind of political posts that draw readers into controversy. and subscriptions.

“Facebook will either stick to their apolitical agenda and create an insanely boring product that no one cares about, and then silently sunset it,” said Ryan Broderick, creator of the Substack newsletter. wrote last year About the Bulletin, “or they will stop being apolitical, respond to the best among their users, and immediately turn to a right-wing news source. It’s exciting to see which comes first!”

Meta said it regularly evaluates products to ensure they’re focused on providing consumers with a meaningful experience on the platform, and will pay off any remaining contracts. Newsletter creators will retain full control of their subscriber mailing list and can choose to archive all their content or move it to a new platform of their choice. Meta said creators will be able to post until early January, and the site will remain in read-only mode for a short time after that.

“The newsletter has allowed us to learn about the relationship between creators and their viewers, and how we can better support them in community building on Facebook,” the company said in a statement. Said. “As this off-platform product itself comes to an end, we are committed to supporting the success and growth of this and other creators on our platform.”

Meta sought to develop content related to sports, fashion and the environment, which it framed as apolitical. Journalist Malcolm Gladwell has signed six-figure deals with high-profile writers like activist Malala Yousafzai, reality-TV star Tan France and sports journalist Erin Andrews to create content on the platform by 2024, paying a flat fee. and a $5 million commitment to support 25 selected local news writers.

Popular celebrities and sports personalities, as well as oppositional influencers like Bari Weiss and Glenn Greenwald, chose Substack over Newsletter, despite some writers refusing to work with Substack after complaints that the platform didn’t soften misinformation and hate speech. These include actor Nick Offerman, former NBA star Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, singer-songwriter Patti Smith, musical artists Tegan and Sara, and writers George Saunders and Salmon Rushdie.

“The newsletter was worth a try and we’re glad Meta did it,” said Hamish McKenzie, co-founder and editor-in-chief of Substack. “We know there are people on the Bulletin team who care a lot about the project and help the writers. There were a lot of great writers using Bulletin and we hope they continue their newsletters. If they’re looking for a great home where they have all the ownership and full control over their destiny, Substack is here for them and takes it to the next level. We would love to help them get through.”

In addition to providing publishing tools, Meta also provided third-party services to Newsletter creators, including legal resources, design support, and editing assistance. “Our unique ability to help talented people find and connect with the audiences and markets they need to thrive gives independent journalism a greater opportunity to thrive,” said Campbell Brown, Meta’s vice president of news partnerships and Anthea Watson Strong, head of news product. wrote last year.

on Facebook in June podcast shut down It combined the short-form live audio feature with Facebook Live, which was intended to compete with Clubhouse.

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