Friday, March 18, 2011

The Google Loophole Has Become The Facebook/Twitter Loophole [TechCrunch]

More newspaper article access adventures

Up until now, we’ve seen paywall enthusiasts like The Wall Street Journal offer such loopholes. But they’ve done so via Google. It’s a trick that most web-savvy news consumers know. Is a WSJ article behind a paywall? Just Google the title of it. Click on the resulting link and boom, free access to the entire thing. No questions asked. This new NYT model is taking that idea and flipping it.

The Google loophole will still be in play — but only for five articles a day. It’s not clear how they’re going to monitor this (cookies? logins?), but let’s assume for now that somehow they’ll be able to in an effective way. For most readers, the five article limit will likely be more than enough. But that’s not the important thing. What’s interesting is that the NYT appears to be saying two things. First, this action says that spreading virally on social networks like Twitter and Facebook is more important to them than the resulting traffic from Google. And second, this is a strategic bet that they likely believe will result in the most vocal people on the web being less pissed off.

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The main point? If you’re reading this post, you’re unlikely to be affected by the NYT paywall because you probably came here from Facebook or Twitter — the two key players in the new social loophole.

The Google Loophole Has Become The Facebook/Twitter Loophole

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