Meta shuts down Bulletin newsletters, moves resources to its discovery algorithm

Meta is shutting down Bulletin, the off-platform newsletter product it launched last summer. Available to writers on an invite-only basis, Bulletin allowed readers to subscribe to newsletters from contributors like 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.

“Bulletin has allowed us to learn about the relationship between Creators and their audiences and how to better support them in building their community on Facebook,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “While this off-platform product itself is ending, we remain committed to supporting these and other Creators’ success and growth on our platform.”

Bulletin writers will continue to earn subscription revenue until the platform shuts down by early 2023. Writers also have access to the email addresses of all of their subscribers, so they can alert them if they choose to move their newsletter to a different site.

Just last week, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced the company would freeze hiring, cut costs and restructure some groups within the company. Today, Meta says it will refocus resources from Bulletin to work on its discovery algorithm, a key point of interest for the company as it attempts to keep up with TikTok. Earlier this summer, the company already started shifting engineering and product support away from products like Facebook News and Bulletin to work on Meta’s creator economy products.

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