Helping Content Creators Diversify Revenue on Facebook

By Yoav Arnstein, Director, Facebook App Monetization

Content creators — digipubs, video creators, gaming creators, media companies, cultural institutions, businesses of all sizes and more — build vibrant communities on Facebook. We want them to have the tools and support they need to earn money and thrive, whether creating and sharing content is a primary business, one of many revenue streams, or a lifeline that’s kept their business afloat during the pandemic. 

And those efforts are making an impact. From 2019 to 2020, the number of content creators earning the equivalent of $10,000 USD per month grew 88% and content creators earning $1,000 per month grew 94% (Purchasing power parity adjustment based on World Bank conversion factor)

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Though we’ve made progress, we still have work to do. Today we’re sharing more ways content creators can monetize on Facebook:

  • Earn revenue from short-form video: Making it possible for content creators to monetize all video types and testing sticker ads in Stories.
  • Opening monetization to more content creators: Updating our in-stream ad eligibility so more video creators can access the program, opening access to in-stream ads for Live and expanding paid online events and fan subscriptions to more countries.
  • Accelerating fan support: Making it easier for content creators to get access to fan support while growing consumer adoption via free Stars giveaways to viewers.

Earn Money From All Types of Videos

From Live to short and long-form, content creators share an eclectic mix of videos on Facebook. Since launching in-stream ads, we’ve expanded the format to include pre, mid, post-roll and image ads, and formats specific to Live. 

Video creators can now earn money from videos as short as one minute long, with a minimally interruptive ad running at 30 seconds. For videos three minutes or longer, an ad can be shown 45 seconds in. Previously only three-minute or longer videos could monetize with in-stream ads, with an ad shown no earlier than 1 minute.

This has translated into growing content creator payouts — in-stream ad payouts grew over 55% from 2019 to 2020 — with video partners of all sizes earning meaningful revenue. For example, UFC is generating millions of dollars annually via in-stream ads. And from the end of 2019 through April 2020, Korean chef Seonkyoung Longest’s in-stream revenue increased roughly 50% per month.

Looking ahead, we’re exploring in-stream ad formats that increase engagement through rewards or product interaction — intending to help content creator payouts grow. While also providing a good viewing experience for people and a way for advertisers to reach relevant audiences. 

We’re especially focused on short-form video monetization. In the coming weeks, we’ll begin testing the ability for content creators to monetize their Facebook Stories with ads that look like stickers and receive a portion of the resulting revenue. While the initial test is small, we hope to soon expand to more content creators. And then broaden it to short-form videos on Facebook, eventually providing a way for content creators to monetize this popular content.

Increasing Access to Video Monetization

Now that we’ve expanded the types of videos that can monetize on Facebook, we’re updating our eligibility criteria so that more content creators can monetize their videos with in-stream ads. To join our in-stream ad for video-on-demand program, Pages must now have:

  • 600,000 total minutes viewed from any combination of video uploads – on-demand, Live and previously Live – in the last 60 days.
  • 5 or more active video uploads or previously Live videos. Videos must be published, not deleted, and compliant with our Content Monetization Policies.

Our previous requirements only considered at least three-minute-long on-demand videos. This updated criteria helps video creators that primarily create Live and short-form videos to monetize their recorded videos.

Content creators must still publish from a Page (not a profile) with at least 10,000 followers, be 18 years old and located in a supported country, and their Page must pass and remain compliant with our Partner Monetization Policies

Expanding In-stream Ads for Live

When the pandemic struck, Dena Blizzard went from performing in comedy clubs across the United States for a living, to live streaming on Facebook from home. With in-stream ads for Live, she’s been able to make up for lost revenue. She saw 65% growth in earnings after joining the program and in-stream ads for Live generates over 50% of her total earnings.

Because of stories like this, we’re excited to now make it possible for more content creators to monetize their Live videos with in-stream ads. This program previously was invite only. 

To qualify for our in-stream ads for Live program, content creators must have 60,000 Live minutes viewed in the last 60 days, in addition to meeting the video-on-demand program requirements. Watch time or uploads from cross-posted videos don’t count towards qualification for both programs.

Content creators can check their eligibility and submit their Pages for review for both in-stream ad programs in Creator Studio. We’ll review all applications and gradually expand to ensure we are maintaining strict brand safety requirements. Advertisers can also choose to exclude their ads from being shown in live streams when setting up ad campaigns.

Earning Revenue on Live with Stars

While ads can be a great way to monetize livestreams, the built-in engagement of Live also lends itself well to earning money with Stars. With a focus on rewarding fan loyalty, we’ve seen Stars enhance the connection between content creators and their community of fans. Over the past 6 months, people sent video and gaming creators an average of 1 billion Stars per month, equal to $10 million USD per month.

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For example, Vincenzo Girasoli — also known as Idressitalian — uses Live to bring his fans on virtual tours of Italy and monetizes with Stars. From May to September 2020, he averaged 634 people sending him Stars every month and received over one million Stars just in one day

Today we’re announcing that Facebook is investing $7 million over the next few months in consumer education and adoption via free Stars. During certain Star-enabled livestreams, some people will see an offer to claim free Stars that they can send at their discretion to their favorite content creators to boost their visibility and connection with the creator and add to the creators’ earnings.

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We’ve also introduced several enhancements to Stars. In addition to badges Stars senders already receive, now comments sent with Stars visually stand out and are pinned inside the Live player where other viewers can see them. We’re also introducing virtual gifts that people can send content creators.

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We’re rapidly expanding Stars to Live-focused video creators in 15+ markets. Those invited can now get access to the feature from their mobile device before they go Live and earn Stars, and then finish their account set-up on their computer in Creator Studio afterward. Content creators can also check eligibility and express interest in getting access here

While Stars has been primarily for Live streams, over the coming weeks we’ll start testing Stars for video-on-demand, exploring features for both short and long-form recorded videos. 

Expanding Paid Online Events and Fan Subscriptions

In August 2020, we introduced our paid online event feature and since then it’s grown tremendously, providing content creators and businesses another valuable way to earn money on Facebook. Pages are hosting a wide range of paid online events — sporting events, cooking classes, Live podcast recordings, virtual tours, make-up tutorials and more — and in doing so are reaching and monetizing new and larger audiences. 

Comedian Daphnique Springs reimagined her live comedy showcase for a primarily virtual world using paid online events to great success. A Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu gym in Australia, Subversion Jiu-Jitsu, earned more than $29,000 across three tournaments. And the Teatro San Carlo — Italy’s oldest opera house — brought in over 34,000 purchases in its first paid online event, 25 times the theater’s in-person capacity.

Today paid online events are in 20 countries, and we’ll be expanding paid online events to 24 additional countries in the coming weeks: Argentina, Austria, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Colombia, Denmark, Ecuador, Egypt, Guatemala, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Ireland, Malaysia, Morocco, New Zealand, Peru, Portugal, South Africa, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, the Philippines, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

Our fan subscriptions feature also continues to see strong growth and is providing a reliable source of revenue to content creators worldwide — there are now over 1 million active fan subscriptions to content creators on Facebook. In the upcoming months, we will also expand the product to more countries — we’re currently in 25+ markets and will be expanding to an additional 10 countries; Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Turkey.

For both paid online events and fan subscriptions, Facebook will continue to not collect any revenue share from either of these products through at least August 2021.

A Clear Path to Partnership for Gaming Creators

Eligible gaming creators have access to our full suite of monetization products and are earning significant income on the platform. We’re introducing a new set of minimum eligibility criteria for aspiring Gaming creators seeking to apply for a partnership with Facebook Gaming. Creators in Australia, Great Britain, Mexico, the Philippines and the United States can see the new partner eligibility criteria and the progress they’ve made toward fulfilling them in their streamer dashboard, with additional regions coming online soon.

Full Suite of Creator-Centric Products and Tools

Content creators can earn money from ads via our in-stream ads program, from the support of their fans via fan subscriptions and paid online events, through our Stars feature and with paid partnerships via branded content and brand collabs manager. This means that all types of content creators can choose the mix of products that best matches the community they’ve built and the content they share. 

To access any of our monetization programs, content creators must abide by our partner monetization policies and content monetization policies. These sets of policies include our Community Standards and an additional level of standards above and beyond our Community Standards that govern both Pages and Page content to ensure that monetized content creates value for people. 

We look forward to continuing to enhance all our monetization products so that content creators can thrive on Facebook. Visit Creator Studio to learn more about our offerings and for tips, best practices and to check eligibility for all products. 

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