3 ways the new WSJ Social Facebook app reinvents news

Today, the Wall Street Journal launches a Facebook app that creates a personalized news product entirely within the walls of the social network.

Three aspects of this project are notable for the news industry to consider.

1. Users never leave the Facebook site. The entire experience of browsing and reading happens within the app. Instead of trying to drive traffic to WSJ.com, the Journal sells ads within the app and keeps all the revenue (while Facebook gets to run its own ads outside the app).

2. Social filters make users the editors. WSJ Social filters Journal stories based on the users' social graphs and the other WSJ readers or editors they choose to follow in the app. It has a leaderboard and prizes for the most-influential readers. “It’s really about the users being elevated to editors,” Maya Baratz, the Journal’s head of new products, told Jeff Bercovici.

3. Paid content extends to Facebook. Any story that is behind the WSJ.com subscriber paywall is still subscriber-only on WSJ Social, Forbes reports. Dell is paying to make access free for the first month so people can try it out. After that, this will be the first major attempt to distribute paywalled content through a social network.

Forbes.com has more background and a screenshot.

Related: WSJ product manager Maya Baratz blogs about WSJ Social

Earlier: Expect more apps like this as Facebook works with publishers to create "Facebook editions" | Using social machinery for personalized news delivery

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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