Paid Online Events for Small Business Recovery

By Fidji Simo Vice President, Head of Facebook App

Update on June 7, 2021 at 12:00 PM PT:

Facebook will not collect any fees for paid online events purchases until 2023. When we introduce revenue share in 2023, it will be less than the 30% that Apple and others typically take.

Although Facebook is collecting no fees today, creators still can have a hard time calculating their final earnings, so we will introduce a new payout interface to help them understand their payouts. Starting with paid online events, creators will see what their payouts will be after taxes, refunds, and mobile platform fees from purchases made on iOS and Android devices where applicable.

Left: Payout interface for paid online events — current state showing no fees. Right: Payout interface for paid online events — future state when other companies’ fees are introduced.

Update on December 30, 2020 at 2:05 PM PT:

Apple extended the time period during which it will not enforce its in-app purchase rules to June 30, 2021, enabling Facebook to choose which payment platform to use for paid online event purchases made on Apple mobile devices until then. We will continue using Facebook Pay so that businesses and creators can keep all their paid online event earnings (minus applicable taxes) during this challenging time. Unfortunately, Apple continues to exclude gaming creators from this exemption.

We hope Apple will consider permanently changing its requirement for apps to use its payment processing platform as well as reduce the associated 30% tax. Such a high tax places a disproportionate and unnecessary financial burden on small businesses, particularly those that rely on other platforms, such as Facebook, to connect with their audience because they lack the resources to develop their own app.

Update on September 25, 2020 at 9:00 AM PT:

Businesses will be able to keep all of their paid online event earnings (minus applicable taxes) from now until December 31. Facebook Pay will process all paid online events purchases, meaning that businesses and creators will not pay the 30% Apple App Store tax for the remaining three months of 2020. All businesses are eligible except gaming creators. Facebook will not collect any fees from paid online events while businesses remain closed for the pandemic, until at least August 2021.

Originally published on August 14, 2020 at 12:15 PM PT:

Today we’re launching the ability for businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to earn money from online events on Facebook. Now Page owners can create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place.

With social distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones. People are also relying on live video and interactive experiences more when they can’t come together physically. In June, we saw live broadcasts from Pages double compared to the same time last year, largely attributed to broadcasts since March.

By combining marketing, payment and live video, paid online events meet the end-to-end needs of businesses. Pages can host events on Facebook Live to reach broad audiences, and we’re testing paid events with Messenger Rooms for more personal and interactive gatherings.

Paid Online Events screenshot

In testing, we’ve seen businesses use Facebook to host expert talks, trivia events, podcast recordings, boxing matches, cooking classes, intimate meet-and-greets, fitness classes and more.

Now, Pages in 20 countries around the world that meet our partner monetization policies can start charging for online events, making it easier for millions of people and small businesses to make money on Facebook. Check here to see if you qualify and get access.

Waiving Fees on Paid Online Events to Support Businesses and Creators

In our most recent State of Small Business Report with OECD and World Bank, we found that access to cash continues to be the most common ongoing challenge for SMBs. Only 19% of surveyed businesses were getting any financial help (down from earlier in pandemic). Many businesses are struggling and every cent matters. Shifting in-person events to online is costly enough that businesses shouldn’t have to worry about fees charged by platforms.

To support small businesses and creators, Facebook will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year. For transactions on the web, and on Android in countries where we have rolled out Facebook Pay, small businesses will keep 100% of the revenue they generate from paid online events.

We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue. While Facebook is waiving fees for paid online events we will make other fees clear in the product. (Updated on August 14, 2020 at 1:07 PM PT to clarify where we will explain the fees.) Here’s how this will look on Android and iOS, which we submitted to Apple today for approval.

paid online events payment flow
Payment flow on iOS (left) and Android (right)

We remain committed to supporting SMBs, and we’ll keep finding ways to make it easier for them to bring their businesses online. You can see more resources to help Pages create paid online events, including a set of best practices and online lessons for businesses and creators to help them get started.

To learn more about how small businesses and creators are using paid online events to earn money, join Fidji Simo for a Facebook Live with entrepreneur, fitness business coach, and mentor, Rachel Holmes on Tuesday, August 18 at 9:00 AM PT.

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