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Facebook takes on Substack, Twitter with 'Bulletin' newsletter product

The social network is releasing a way for writers to create and share newsletters.

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Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg hosted a live audio room on Tuesday about the social network's new newsletter product.

James Martin/CNET

Facebook said Tuesday it's rolling out a new website called Bulletin that will allow writers to create and share paid and free newsletters. The company said it's starting with a small group of writers and plans to add more.

The release of a newsletter product shows that Facebook, like other tech companies, is increasing its efforts to attract more creators to its site, a move that could help the company get users to spend more time on the social network. Twitter acquired a newsletter product called Revue this year and journalists have been flocking to Substack, a platform that supports paid newsletters.

"The goal here across the company is to support eventually millions of people making a living doing creative work," Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in a live audio chat on the social network.

Bulletin writers will be able to keep all of their subscription revenue and hold onto their content and email subscribers if they move to another platform, he said. They'll also be eligible for distribution in Facebook News, and the company plans to include tools that lets writers pair audio with their written work.

Facebook has roped in a number of best-selling and high-profile writers for the launch of Bulletin, including author Malcolm Gladwell, American sportscaster Erin Andrews, author Mitch Albom and "Queer Eye" star Tan France. People will be able to buy a subscription to a newsletter on Bulletin and find content through the site. Facebook said it's looking for writers, academics, industry experts and public figures to create content for Bulletin.