Facebook is hoping to roll out a subscription model trial for publishers in Australia later this year.
Under the model – which is currently being tested in Europe – subscription pricing is up to the publisher, and Facebook doesn’t take a cut.
Speaking at a media breakfast briefing in Sydney this morning, Facebook’s head of news partnerships for Europe, Guido Buelow, said the subscription roll-out Down Under is still a way off, but is confident it will happen this year.
“Right now, it’s still a lot of effort to connect different APIs, data streams, et cetera. Also, we have to work through some issues to make the sign-up process as easy as possible for people,” he said.
“As soon as we fix that and have more results from publishers and people, that we will roll this out further.”
The news comes after Facebook announced last week it was expanding its local news ranking boost globally to all countries including Australia, in all languages.
The social media giant is also running a pilot program to help more Aussie publishers push more breaking news out to their audiences.
Currently, Fairfax, News Corp, the ABC, Nine and Seven have access to breaking news tags, “which they can put on a story a day at this stage”, according to Facebook’s news partnerships lead for Australia and New Zealand, Andrew Hunter.
Facebook isn’t the only digital behemoth to recently ramp up its solutions for publishers, with Google announcing a $390 million journalism investment scheme last month, which includes a subscription model.