- Facebook will invest $1 billion in creators on its core app and Instagram through 2022, according to an announcement by chief executive Mark Zuckerberg. The funds intend to buoy newer creators and reward them for achieving certain benchmarks, per additional details shared with Retail Dive's sister publication Marketing Dive.
- The big blue app will dole out paid bonuses to video creators using its in-stream ad product over the next four months. Select gaming creators will receive perks for acquiring a certain number of Stars — essentially virtual tips that followers can give out — over the next three months.
- By invitation only, Instagram is offering a one-time bonus to U.S. creators who sign up for ads on its livestreaming IGTV service. IGTV ads provide creators with a cut of the revenue when they run against their videos. The app is also promoting a summer bonus to invited creators who post content to Reels, its TikTok lookalike feature. They will be paid based on how their Reels posts perform.
Facebook is putting a more concerted investment in its creator community as it contends with increasingly stiff competition from rivals like Twitch and TikTok, the latter of which recently became the first non-Facebook mobile app to achieve 3 billion downloads globally, according to Sensor Tower estimates. Other platforms, including Snapchat and YouTube, have started paying hefty amounts to get creators to post more frequently and adopt new features, underscoring the importance of high-quality content to the digital landscape.
As a report in The New York Times earlier this week pointed out, Facebook is comparatively late to the creator game and could face an uphill battle in bringing on the right talent. Doing so and encouraging users to engage with the content could help Facebook address growing challenges around the digital advertising ecosystem as user data and privacy remain in the crosshairs.
Ease of use and transparency are clearly in the spotlight as Facebook tries to make a welcoming environment for newcomers. The latest creator initiative adheres to three guiding principles: rewarding people who create original and high-quality content; courting creators across a diverse range of verticals and audience sizes; and making platform requirements easy to understand so creators can grow their businesses.
The variety of bonuses unveiled Wednesday also incentivize using features such as Reels and IGTV that represent more fledgling bets for Facebook. While many of the perks are invitation-only for now, the company said it will launch dedicated bonus hubs for Instagram and Facebook in the summer and autumn, respectively.
Pushing creators toward Reels and IGTV comes as Instagram plans a comprehensive overhaul of its service to center more on those features. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recently said that the platform would pivot away from a long-standing focus on photo-sharing to instead emphasize four core areas: creators, video, shopping and messaging. Mosseri specifically called out the success of competitors like TikTok and YouTube in the announcement.
Instagram has yet to break out specific engagement numbers for Reels despite the product coming up on a year in market. The service has been known to be inundated with content repurposed from TikTok, which could be one reason why Facebook is building some of its incentive structure around original posts. Instagram introduced ads to Reels last month.
TikTok's massive popularity has made it a powerful driver of sales, with products that trend on the platform thanks to creator recommendations quickly selling out at stores. Facebook could be trying to capture that creator magic as it grapples with headwinds to its more traditional advertising business. Apple recently made tracking on devices like the iPhone an opt-in feature, a policy tweak that Facebook has warned could negatively impact revenue. Bloomberg earlier this week reported that some advertisers that rely on Facebook to reach consumers are already panicking as opt-in rates remain low.