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Facebook announces publishing platform for independent writers

The new platform will inevitably draw comparisons to Substack.

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Image: Alex Haney/Unsplash

The company announced Tuesday that it will soon launch a self-publishing tool in the U.S., where writers can build their own websites and email newsletters, integrate with Facebook products like Groups and Pages and collect subscription fees.

"A large part of this initiative is aimed at supporting independent local journalists who are often the lone voice covering a given community," read a blog post written by Facebook's vice president of global news partnerships, Campbell Brown, and Anthea Watson Strong, Facebook's news product manager.

The new platform will inevitably draw comparisons to Substack, which has lured prominent reporters away from larger newsrooms to start their own subscription newsletters. The New York Times first reported that Facebook was planning to launch a Substack competitor in January.

The move also comes as Facebook looks to stave off criticism about its impact on the news business, which is driving interest in regulation around the world, most notably in Australia. "The independent creator space is growing," the blog post read. "We fully support the work that others are doing and want to ensure that we can provide additional avenues for growth and monetization as well."

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