Following a period of relative quiet after the launch of their Watch platform back in August, Facebook is again ramping up its original video efforts.
After announcing a new deal to air 47 college basketball games, The Social Network is also launching a new tool to encourage more video creators to post original content, re-vamping their Mentions app into a new tool called ‘Facebook Creator’.
The app provides a range of new features designed to help creators maximize their video content, including:
- New tools which enable publishers to add custom intros and outros to their live videos
- Custom Reactions, which enable creators to replace one of the six Reactions emoji with an alternative graphic of their choice
- Access to a unified inbox with comments from Facebook. Instagram and Messenger in one place (this functionality has been rolling out to Pages since February)
- The ability to post content direct to Facebook Stories (and now, by extension, Messenger), and cross-post from Facebook to Instagram
- New insights, available direct within the app, which will provide creators with more data on fan response, enabling greater optimization.
There’s a lot to take in – for video creators, the new options could be huge, enabling them to create more professional, high-quality streaming content, an area that’s long been a limitation in the wider adoption of the form. The same applies to brands – now, with the capacity to add intros and outros, which can include relevant calls to action, there’s even more incentive for businesses to start streaming, in a way that can help them drive traffic and build community.
In addition to this, Facebook’s also launching a new ‘Facebook for Creators’ website, which will be an online hub of ‘resources and tips on how to create great videos, connect with fans, and grow on Facebook’.
The site contains tips, short lessons, connection to the Facebook Creator app, and a listing of examples of how other creators are seeing success.
But maybe the best part about the new app is that it’s open to all individuals on Pages and profiles. The original Mentions app, upon which the new platform was modeled, was only open to verified public figures and Pages, but Facebook’s opening these new creative tools up to more users, broadening the capacity for all creators to try them out. Pages that represent a business (not a person) cannot get access at this time, but that too may be coming soon.
It’s another key step in Facebook’s video advance, likely putting it ahead of Twitter’s Periscope for creative options, and on par with YouTube - though it doesn’t provide all the same features as yet. As noted by TechCrunch, one limitation of the new app is that it doesn’t include monetization options:
“There’s no subscriptions or tipping, and they can’t even inject revenue sharing ad breaks into their videos. The only option is to post sponsored, branded content and label it with Facebook’s partnership tagging feature.”
Those tools are undoubtedly on the way – Facebook’s already experimenting with monetization options for selected live broadcasters, and with the roll out of their Watch platform set to expand, you can bet that their video ad options will also evolve in line. On this aspect, Facebook’s taking a cautious approach, following their usual monetization framework, which begins with ‘building a product people love’.
That’ll likely put some limitation on the number of creators willing to switch across, but with more than 2 billion users, Facebook’s impossible to ignore, and as their video focus expands, the flow on benefits to individual broadcasters could be massive.
Interesting too for creators – Mentions, traditionally, has been where Facebook tests out new and coming features, giving access to high profile users ahead of others. That could be similar with this new app, with it becoming the place to see the latest features first, before a wider roll out.
The new Facebook Creator app is now being rolled out globally on iOS - you can download it here. Facebook says it’ll be coming to Android users in the coming months.