The New York Times is to crack down on social media users who bypass its paywall by linking to articles via Facebook and Twitter.
In order to limit such back door entries to its site The Times will trial a limit on the number of articles which can be accessed this way each month without coughing up for a subscription.
Upon launch of its subscription service The Times restricted the number of web articles freely readable to 20 per month, subsequently cut to just 10, but people arriving via a Facebook or Twitter link found that they had an unlimited allowance.
As of two months ago The Times began restricting Facebook users to ten stories and this referral limit will now be expanded to Twitter and other services as the publisher seeks to convert some of its social browsers into paying customers.
This is despite the Times being one of the first publishers to embrace Facebook’s ‘Instant Articles’ platform which sees titles hand over articles to the social media platform for free – although only a limited selection of its stories are available in this way.