Facebook Inc (NASDAQ: FB) is bringing 31 prominent figures, including Nobel laureate Malala Yousafzai and Fox Sports broadcaster Erin Andrews, into the test phase of its Bulletin platform for independent writers and podcasters.

What Happened: Facebook is providing multi-year licensing deals to build Bulletin content, according to an Axios report. The social media giant has culled a list of activists, entrepreneurs, scientists and authors to inaugurate the platform.

Among those being tapped for Bulletin’s rollout are Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer, best-selling Canadian author Malcolm Gladwell, organizational psychologist and author Adam Grant and former CNN White House correspondent Jessica Yellin.

Yousafzai, a Pakistani activist for female education, said in a statement from Facebook, “I am excited to work with Bulletin because I think the platform can help me reach people in countries around the world. Some people may not know this, but I actually began my work as an activist for girls’ education and equality as a student blogger for the BBC. So writing about global issues and sharing my personal reflections is somewhat of a return to my roots.”

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Why It Matters: Bulletin is widely seen as Facebook’s attempt to attempt to gain territory occupied by Substack, a platform that enables writers to self-publish and monetize their work. When Bulletin was introduced, Facebook said Bulletin creators would be given a standalone website that they can design and brand, with the ability to choose the subscription prices they could charge readers, with all payments handled through Facebook Pay.

Bulletin is being positioned for U.S. writers, with an exception being made for Yousafzai, who resides in Birmingham, England. This is also the second U.S. media deal for Yousafzai this year. In March, she signed a multiyear partnership with Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) to create programming for the Apple TV+ streaming service.

Photo: Malala Yousafzai, courtesy of the Malala Fund.

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