Ravi Somaiya, Mike Isaac, and Vindu Goel:
Facebook intends to begin testing the new format in the next several months, according to two people with knowledge of the discussions. The initial partners are expected to be The New York Times, BuzzFeed and National Geographic, although others may be added since discussions are continuing. The Times and Facebook are moving closer to a firm deal, one person said.
The long-running joke is that Facebook has been that is the new AOL. That is, a wall-garden where you can check-in anytime you like, but you can never leave. It’s not so funny anymore.
The reality is that this was inevitable. You go where the eyeballs are and Facebook has more eyeballs than anyone else. These properties survived the fall of the AOL Wall and they’ll probably survive here as well, but they’ll limp out weaker as a result.