Facebook makes a play for creators with new tools, features for monetizing content

  •   July 9, 2019

In advance of VidCon later this week, Facebook announced Tuesday a new slate of updates designed to provide creators with more opportunities to make money — and attract them to the platform, which is competing for creators’ attention with YouTube.  

“We’re committed to supporting our diverse community of creators on Facebook who share original, engaging content that people love and seek out,” Facebook announced Tuesday. “We’ve introduced a range of tools to help them engage their fans, manage their presence, and build a business.”

The new updates aim to support creators’ efforts to turn a profit and grow audiences. Facebook takes a slice of creators’ revenue.  

New placement options and regions for video ads. Creators who meet Facebook’s Monetization Eligibility Standards will be able to take advantage of a new feature in its Ad Breaks ad unit that gives creators more options for video ad placements. The feature gives creators on the platform the ability to activate un-interruptive ad formats, like pre-roll or image ads, in video content that may not have a natural break for ads.

Facebook’s Ad Breaks product originally launched in the US, UK, Ireland, New Zealand and Australia in August 2018, expanding to more than 21 countries a month later in September. In addition to new placement features, Facebook announced the Ad Breaks unit is now available to creators in more than 40 countries globally.

Ad Breaks now functions in three formats, including mid-roll shown during the video, pre-roll before the video and an image ad that runs below the video without stopping it (shown below).

Driving revenue with Brand Collaborations. Facebook aims to provide creators with new ways to reach audiences and measure the performance of their branded content. First launched in 2018, Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager is designed to facilitate the relationship between brands and content creators.

With the new updates, creators will have access to performance insights in the Brand Collabs Manager and able to share audience metrics with advertisers for more efficient and secure ad targeting.

Subscription-generated revenue options. Facebook’s fan subscriptions option, which allows users to support creators with a monthly payment in exchange for exclusive content, is expanding to give creators the ability to offer private Groups as a subscription benefit. The exclusive Groups option is designed to give fans a more intimate forum to interact with creators, with creators benefitting from the added revenue channel.

According to Facebook, the platform does not take a cut of the revenue share from Fan Subscriptions. However, mobile platforms like iOS or Android may take a fee of up to 30% for all transactions that occur within these mobile payment platforms.

Enhancements to the Creator Studio. Launched in 2018 as a centralized hub for publishers and creators managing video content, the Creators Studio tool now includes a new range of updates to support monetization efforts. Enhancements to the Creator Studio include a dedicated Monetization Overview section, new audience and retention insights, and the ability to now manage Instagram posts and IGTV in the Creator Studio.

Why we should care

Facebook has been working to attract creators from other content-driven platforms (ahem, YouTube), and giving them more revenue opportunities could bolster those efforts and entice them to create more content on Facebook.

For advertisers, the new creator options could enable more seamless collaboration on branded content efforts and expanded inventory options for video ads, in particular.