Meta closes Bulletin newsletters and moves resources to its discovery algorithm • TechCrunch

Meta is closing Bulletin, the off-platform newsletter product it launched last summer. Available to writers by invitation only, Bulletin allowed readers to subscribe to newsletters from contributors such as Malcolm Gladwell, Tan France and Malala Yousafzai. While some content was available for free, Bulletin allowed writers to sell subscriptions to their newsletters, similar to a platform like Substack.

“The newsletter allowed us to learn more about the relationship between creators and their audiences and how to better support them in building their community on Facebook,” a spokesperson for Meta said in a statement to TechCrunch. “As this off-platform product itself comes to an end, we remain committed to supporting the success and growth of these creators and other creators on our platform.”

Newsletter editors will continue to receive subscription revenue until the platform closes in early 2023. Editors also have access to the email addresses of all their subscribers, so they can alert them if they choose to move their newsletter to another site.

Just last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that the company would freeze hiring, cut costs and restructure certain groups within the company. Today, Meta says it will refocus Bulletin’s resources to work on its discovery algorithm, a key focus for the company as it attempts to track TikTok. Earlier this summer, the company already began shifting engineering and product support away from products like Facebook News and Bulletin to work on Meta Creators’ saving products.

Meta’s biggest financial bet right now is its bid to dominate the metaverse, but the company is also focused on competing with TikTok. Although its Instagram platform has attempted to convert to a feed with more algorithmically suggested content, users have pushed back in favor of seeing posts from people they follow. Despite these comments, Meta is continuing with its plans to master algorithmic discovery.

Harry L. Blanchard