Meta’s Facebook is dropping its monetization program that gave creators 55% of ad revenue on certain videos, the Information reported yesterday. Ad revenue sharing on videos is something the Zucc-owned empire has done since way back in the Stone Age (circa 2017).
Meta is replacing the ad share program with a new model that feels pretty identical to their Instagram Reels bonus program, which launched in 2022 (remember that Meta owns Instagram, too). The Reels program gave creators payouts based on metrics like views, as opposed to a percentage-based revenue share based on ads played next to videos. Initially, the program seemingly paid creators quite a bit, but the payments soon dwindled. Then, the program shuttered back in March 2023.
Per the Information, Facebook has argued that the new monetization arrangement will be better for creators for two reasons. Firstly, because they’ll stand to make money from their content even if an ad never appears on the creator’s video. This, in turn, “addresses one problem with the old arrangement,” according to the outlet, because “whether ads play on videos is partially determined by how many ads a person viewing the creator’s content has already seen.”
Second of all, Facebook managers say they think this “performance-based model” will be more user-friendly toward newer creators who are perhaps “wrapping their heads around ad metrics like CPMs” moreso than those who have been creating for a longer time. … Interesting characterization.
This monetization pivot is reportedly also part of a bid to convince creators to use Facebook as well as Instagram, with executives noting that Facebook has a large (perhaps under-tapped) audience of 3 billion users compared to TikTok’s 1 billion.
But of course, this new bonus structure is much less opaque than a clear 55% revenue split. And if the death of Reels bonuses was any indication, this program may not last.
If I were a content creator and a platform changed something in order to make me use a certain feature more, I simply wouldn’t do it out of spite. Which, to be fair, is probably why I write about the creator economy rather than partaking in it.