Facebook plans to pay creators $1.35 billion to use its products

This is not the first time that Facebook has given money to creators in exchange for using its products. PHOTO: REUTERS

NEW YORK (NYTIMES) - Facebook is setting up a programme to pay US$1 billion (S$1.35 billion) to creators through the end of next year, chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Wednesday (July 14), part of an effort to woo influencers onto its platforms.

The US$1 billion will be allocated among creators of all types, giving influencers an incentive for creating and posting original content to Facebook, the company said. Influencers will be able to earn money by using specific Facebook and Instagram features or by hitting certain milestones. If creators live-stream on a regular basis, for instance, they can earn cash.

In the past year, an arms race has emerged among tech companies seeking to court online content creators who can generate enormous engagement and bring their young fans and cultural relevance to a platform. TikTok and YouTube have cultivated deep relationships in the creator community by helping creators make money and by building features to serve their needs.

Under Facebook's new programme, which is invitation-only for now, eligible creators will see alerts encouraging them to join the effort when they open the app. Facebook said it planned to create a dedicated place for creators to track their bonuses on Instagram and Facebook by the end of the year.

This is not the first time that Facebook has given money to creators in exchange for using its products. The company previously paid TikTok influencers and YouTubers to use features of Instagram such as IGTV, a long-form video feature similar to YouTube, and Reels, a feature that functions similarly to TikTok. In December, Facebook pledged to invest US$10 million over the next two years in the Black gaming community, offering some creators guaranteed monthly payments for using Facebook Gaming, a streaming platform similar to Twitch.

Direct payments are becoming an increasingly common way to try to pry creators away from TikTok. In November, Snapchat began giving away US$1 million a day to content creators who posted to the app's Spotlight feature, which functions similarly to TikTok. Those payments have recently dried up, making Facebook's bonus programme potentially enticing.

At least 50 million people around the world now consider themselves content creators, and it is one of the fastest-growing segments of small business, according to a report by the venture capital firm SignalFire.

On Wednesday, the mobile insights firm Sensor Tower said TikTok was the most-downloaded app globally in the first half of this year. TikTok also surpassed three billion installations globally, SensorTower said, making it the first non-Facebook app to exceed that figure.

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