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Facebook takes on Substack with $5m fund for indie writers in US

Last month, Facebook officially announced its previously commented newsletter platform, similar to competing services like Substack and Ghost. Getting writers to switch to a new platform may take some effort, however, and so Facebook is back with another ad: a $ 5 million fund specifically for independent writers located in the United States.

According to Facebook, the funds are earmarked for ‘local journalists’ who want to transfer their work to the company’s new publishing platform. The company is accepting applications from interested writers in the coming weeks, noting that some people who apply can get “greater consideration for an opportunity” involving a multi-year deal and monetization tools, among other things.

In turn, accepted writers will need to regularly publish works that apply to a local community, while engaging with readers using tools such as Groups. The main requirements for potentially writing on the Facebook platform include being a freelance writer who lives in the United States and covers local news of public interest.

Facebook notes that it plans to prioritize writers who will “extensively” cover audiences of color, locations that are not yet covered by an existing media company, and writers who do not yet work for a different news publisher.

Writers who submit an application can expect to receive updates in June; check out the full Facebook Journalism Project page for all the details. The company notes that its new platform related to this project will arrive in the USA “in the coming months”.

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