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Facebook launches newsletter product Bulletin, its Substack rival By Reuters

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A Facebook logo is displayed on a smartphone in this illustration taken January 6, 2020. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo

(Reuters) – Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:) launched its newsletter product “Bulletin” on Tuesday, a standalone platform for free and paid articles and podcasts that will aim to rival Substack.

CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the platform, which is live at Bulletin.com, and introduced some of the writers that the company has recruited in a live audio room on Facebook.

Facebook is pushing to compete in the fast-growing email newsletter trend, as high-profile journalists and writers have left media companies over the past year to strike out on their own.

Self-publishing platform Substack is a leader in helping writers sell email subscriptions, and has lured journalists with cash advances. Other tech companies are also competing in the field, including Twitter Inc (NYSE:), which acquired newsletter platform Revue.

Facebook said it would not take a cut of Bulletin creators’ revenue at launch and that creators can choose their own subscription prices.

It said the articles and podcasts would also be available through the Facebook News Feed and through Facebook’s News section.

“We built Bulletin on a separate website to enable creators to grow their audience in ways that are not exclusively dependent on the Facebook platform,” the company said on the new site.

Facebook is launching the platform with a number of creators including sportscaster Erin Andrews, author Malcolm Gladwell and “Queer Eye” star Tan France.

The company said it was primarily launching with U.S. creators and it was not accepting new ones. But it said the Bulletin site was available worldwide and it would look to add more international names after the beta test.

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