Facebook is planning to offer newsletter tools for independent journalists and writers, The New York Times reports. These are thought to include features for helping writers build a following using the social network, curate their email lists, and manage their paid subscriptions. Although work on the project is in its early stages, executives reportedly hope the features could launch as soon as this summer.
The news comes as interest in newsletters is booming. Newsletter service Substack boasted over 250,000 paying subscribers across its service as of September last year, and just this week Twitter acquired newsletter rival Revue. A number of high-profile journalists have left traditional publications to start up independent newsletters, lured by the promise of complete editorial control over their work and the ability to profit more directly from the subscription revenue it brings in.