This is an interesting switch.
I hadn’t ever noticed a Google loophole for WSJ articles, but that’s probably because very little published by the WSJ interests me and any blog linking to WSJ content either went through or didn’t, meaning I didn’t spend any additional effort.
The fact that readers originating from Facebook and Twitter will be able to use a loophole signal an interesting switch. Even more interesting, the Google loophole will be closed after a set number of uses.
One further bit that TechCrunch doesn’t mention is that the person sharing the content, e.g. someone retweeting an NYT link or sharing from the NYT page, will garner social karma from their content.
That boost may convert casual free readers into subscribers, and if nothing else, it helps establish the NYT as an authoritative news source.
Of course, this shift is bad for Google as they’re finding their search dominance increasingly tested by social search.
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