Facebook works it out with Apple to test news paywalls on iOS

Facebook will begin allowing news publishers to run paywalls inside Facebook’s iOS app starting March 1st. Faceobok first started testing paywalls on Android in October, but at the time it couldn’t come to an agreement with Apple about how subscription revenue would be taxed. Today on stage at Code Media, Facebook’s head of news partnerships Campbell Brown said that publishers wanted to give away five free articles, not ten, so Facebook is switching to that lower threshold before asking users to pay, and that includes bringing the test to iOS.

On Android, Facebook directs users to the publishers’ website to complete the subscription transaction, and publishers keep 100% of the revenue. That’s despite the fact that Android’s general rule is that subscriptions should go through Google Payments, with Google getting 30% for the first 12 months and then 15%. It’s unclear exactly how revenue will be split on iOS. Presumably either Apple will get its 30% and the publisher will get the rest, or the publisher will get to keep it all.

We’ll have more details soon

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