Facebook is exploring new ways for individual users to profit from their posts on the network, The Verge has learned.
A user survey distributed this week hints at a broad range of ways that users could make money or promote a cause, including a tip jar, branded content, and taking a cut of the ad revenue Facebook earns from posts.
The survey also asked users to indicate their interest in a “call to action” button, a way to let followers make donations, and a “sponsor marketplace” to match users with advertisers. It’s unclear whether Facebook is considering making these options available to all users; the language of the survey indicated it is targeted at verified users. The survey was spotted on the page of a verified user with a relatively small following.
Facebook does not currently offer individual users a way to earn money by posting on Facebook. It has allowed publishers to sell advertising inside its fast-loading Instant Articles format, and recently clarified rules allowing posts sponsored by brands to be shared by verified pages.
Facebook is also testing ads within the suggestions that pop up after you watch a video, sharing money with publishers. But recently the company has taken steps to make its publishing tools more widely available.
In February the company began letting anyone publish Instant Articles. “It’s still very early, but we’re committed to creating sustainable, long-term monetization models for our partners and we’re listening to feedback,” a Facebook spokeswoman told The Verge.
Facebook would not be the first social media platform to allow users to profit from their posts there. YouTube launched a revenue-sharing program for prominent users in 2007.
Twitch, the streaming platform of choice for gamers, lets partners make money through revenue sharing, subscriptions, and merchandise sales. YouNow, a streaming platform popular with younger users, earns money by taking a cut of the tips and digital gifts that fans give to its stars.
On platforms without partner deals, including Twitter and Snapchat, celebrity users often strike sponsored deals to include brands in their posts without explicit permission from the company.
Facebook’s interest in monetization comes amid aggressive moves to become the dominant platform for real-time sharing — an area where it has suffered in comparison to Twitter and, more recently, Snapchat.
In January, Facebook unveiled Sports Stadium, a hub for real-time discussion of athletic events — a historic strength of Twitter. More recently, the company has made an all-out push into live video, an effort that could blunt the momentum of Twitter’s Periscope app and Snapchat’s Live Stories.
Unlike its competitors, Facebook is paying some publishers to bring their live videos to its platform — and publishers have leapt at the offer. (Vox Media, which owns The Verge, has a live video deal with Facebook.)
Source: The Verge