Facebook is opening up its Fan Subscriptions and live-stream 'Stars' payment options to more creators, while also adding new ad tools and analytics insights to help creators maximize their Facebook presence.
The changes come as Facebook sees major increases in video viewing amid the COVID-19 lockdowns, with the consumption of live-streaming, in particular, reaching new highs.
First off, Facebook says that it will now allow more creators to sign up for its monetization tools.
As per Facebook:
"We’ve seen tremendous interest from people wanting to support their favorite creators, so we’re making fan subscriptions and Stars available to more creators."
Now, any Facebook Page that meets the eligibility criteria will be able to sign-up for monetization. Though the actual details of eligilibity remain slightly vague:
"Creators and publishers must have an authentic, established presence on Facebook. To be eligible for all monetization features, this means having an established presence for at least 90 days. To gain access to in-stream ads, this also includes maintaining a sufficient follower base, indicated by your Facebook friends or followers."
'Sufficient' is not a hard number, but you can get check your Page's eligibility and apply here.
For those that do qualify, Facebook's now adding new monetization options, including monthly recurring payments (fan subscriptions) and Stars goals which appear as a permanent overlay in videos.
Facebook's also adding automated thank you cards to acknowledge fan contributions in-stream - which seems to somewhat go against the ethos of crediting your committed fans, but it can also be difficult to individually respond to each during a broadcast.
In addition to this, Facebook's adding more options for creators to monetize their video content:
- Ads in Short-form Video - Facebook says that creators will now be able to monetize 60-180 second videos with image and post-roll ads.
- Ads for Live Video - Facebook is also working on new ad formats for live-streams, including mid-roll ads which play in the main screen while the stream continues in a smaller window.
- New Ad Experiences - Facebook's also working to increase overall payouts for video creators in Watch. "For example, when people start watching videos in News Feed, we’re testing the option to continue watching in Watch after viewing a short ad".
The tools will facilitate more revenue options for creators, and are minimally interruptive - or at least, no more interruptive that what viewers are accustomed to on other video platforms.
In addition to this, and in line with the increasing shift to digital events in replacement of physical functions, Facebook's also testing a new option which would enable Page owners to monetize live events on Facebook.
"Paid online events are a new way of monetizing your live online event through a one-time access charge that’s collected when guests register to attend. Enabling an admission fee is done through the event set-up process and requires you to sign our terms of service and have a payment account on file."
Many event organizers have already made a similar shift, posting events through a third-party event management platform, where they can charge an access fee, then providing attendees with approved entry. This option would essentially remove that middle step, enabling you to host the whole process through Facebook.
The option is being rolled out to selected Pages, with Facebook looking to expand the program in the coming weeks.
In addition to this, Facebook's also adding new insights into Facebook Live broadcasts within the Video Details Explorer dashboard, including specific information on Stars performance.
And lastly, Facebook's also rolling out new 'Comment Insights' for creators, which show how commenting on posts may lead to increased engagement and impressions.
We reported on this earlier in the month, with some users seeing the new prompts in action. Facebook also notes that it will provide weekly summaries of such in future.
As noted, with the increased shift to online video consumption, Facebook has been looking into new ways to help creators generate more revenue, in order to both keep them posting more regularly, and to provide an alternative source of revenue for musicians and other artists that have lost out due to COVID-19. These tools address some key elements, while the improved analytics will help guide your process in creating more effective, engaging content.
As always, the resulting effects will relate to your individual interpretation of the data - posting basic replies to every comment may or may not help, depending on how you do it - but it will provide new considerations, while also enabling more people to monetize their Facebook content.