Facebook has announced some new monetization options for gaming streamers, as it seeks to maximize opportunities for creators heading into the holidays season.
And while the updates are specific to Facebook Gaming at present, they may also be extended to live-streams more generally in future, providing more ways for all creators to make money from their Facebook Live efforts.
First off, Facebook's launching a new promotion for the holidays which will see Stars, the donation stickers that users can allocate during a stream, offered for reduced prices.
Users will also be eligible to receive a unique badge for sending Stars, and will have access to a limited time Hand Raise virtual gift option. The promotion will end on January 1st, giving users two weeks to use tap into the limited time offer, which could prompt increased Stars usage.
Facebook's also adding a new, larger display option for those donating higher Star amounts, which will provide more visibility in the chat stream. Bigger donations will also be pinned to the bottom of the chat window for a period of time.
And lastly, Facebook's also launching a new set of animated virtual gifts, which can be purchased with Stars, providing even more visibility during a stream.
I mean, they're expensive - that rainbow cloud animation costs 10,000 Stars, which is equal to over $100, depending on how you purchase them (with the prices reducing the more you buy at once). So you'd have to really support the creator, and/or really want them to notice you. But for dedicated fans, it could be a good option to show your appreciation, and provide some additional monetary reward for their work.
And as noted, those tools could, eventually, be extended to all live-streamers. Facebook first launched Stars with gaming streamers only, before extending them to more Pages and creators in June this year, in order to provide additional income opportunities for performers who'd lost opportunities due to COVID-19 closures.
It seems likely that these additional tools, if they prove successful, will also be made available to more streamers in future - so even if you're not a gaming creator, it could be worth noting for future opportunities.
Amid the pandemic, live-streaming has had something of a resurgence, with Facebook reporting that the number of people in the US watching Facebook Live-streams increased by 50% throughout the year. That's sparked new potential, and with the increased capacity to monetize your live broadcasts, it seems likely that more big-name stars will be looking to the option to supplement their income. Which could bring more viewers, and more opportunity for smaller players as well.
It's still not a major element, but as Facebook continues to push its video tools, live-streaming could still become a bigger thing, and new additions like this will help provide even more opportunity.