Facebook Is Testing A New Feature That Allows Users To Link Their Facebook Account To News Subscription Sites

News organizations across the globe are increasingly focused on subscriptions-based models to drive their businesses, and adopting the trend, Facebook has created a new account linking feature that offers a better experience for users on its platform when they see content from news organizations they subscribe to. Last week, the social media giant revealed that it is collaborating with publishers across the globe to test a new feature that allows users to link their Facebook account to their news subscriptions so users will not need to repeatedly sign in while reading articles on Facebook’s platform.

This test has been ongoing since last year and included publishers like The Winnipeg Free Press, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and The Athletic. It is noteworthy that the new account linking tool support article links to news organizations’ own sites. The idea is that when the social media site identifies that a Facebook user subscribes to one of Facebook’s publisher partners, Facebook will invite the user to link their news subscription account to their Facebook account. Once the Facebook account and news account of a user are connected, if that user encounters a paywalled article on Facebook’s platform, they will be able to read that article without having to log in again to access the content.

The social media platform also says that when users in the United States link their accounts, Facebook will display them more content from that publisher in Facebook News experience. The company also revealed that Facebook is developing and plans to introduce additional subscriber experiences in the future. In a blog post, Facebook wrote that in June, subscribers who linked their accounts had an average 111% more articles click as compared to those users who were not included in the test group.

Stephen Largen, product marketing manager at Facebook, wrote in the blog post that the goal is to help publishers deepen their relations with subscribers. Largen added that early test results are promising for content distribution as well as subscriber engagement. In a statement, Charlotte Winthrop, vice president of product marketing at The Athletic, said that account linking with Facebook offers an easy for subscribers of The Athletic to access their content, and this improves the experience of subscribers.

Facebook’s current news strategy is focused on the Facebook News tab, Facebook dedicated news tab which is now being rolled out to more countries. Facebook also offers support for subscriptions in Instant Articles, and the social media network launched a Local News Subscription Accelerator to fund journalism. The new feature could also allow publishers to deliver more recommendations and personal experiences on Facebook.

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