Facebook and their image-sharing Instagram are set for a massive spending spree going into 2022, with Reuters reporting the firm is set to spend $1B in the next 17 months to rival the growing success of TikTok. The Chinese video-sharing app crossed the 3B download mark recently, despite multiple negative PR hits in the past 24 months. They have had to release breaking news on these PR hits and have used many press release distribution services.
The scheme will see creators offered bonuses for hitting milestones on either of the Facebook-owned apps, as well as funding for content to be created specifically for the platforms, and comes amid a growing fervor from media platforms to tie down content creators in the online space. User engagement is also a concern, with TikTok boasting far higher engagement stats than competitors for both micro-and mega-influencers.
Facebook’s bonus program will include perks for creators that can induce their audience to buy Stars, a form of a digital tip that is similar to Twitch’s Bits, while Instagram will also focus on their own ‘Reels’ feature. Reels are similar to TikTok in that it provides a platform for creators to make shorter video content, with payouts linked to video performance for talent invited to be part of the program.
Facebook also has plans to create affiliate programs that allow creators on their site to earn by recommending products to their audiences, with creators apparently able to earn ad revenue from videos as short as one minute long. The plans are aimed in part at addressing the top-heavy influencer market, which currently means larger creators can earn huge sums while those below often struggle to monetize their platforms.
The news comes after reports from 2020 that TikTok is set to invest $2bn over the following two years in creators, while Snapchat was apparently paying out as much as $1m a day to creators at one point. Influencer marketing is expected to grow to reach a value of $13.8bn by the end of 2021 with companies increasingly viewing it as a way to connect with younger audiences.
We’ve even seen the President of the United States meeting with Olivia Rodrigo, a Disney+ star with 14M followers on Instagram, in an attempt to get younger Americans to get vaccinated, showing the power and scope of influence the young stars of social media have today. Previously platforms like Vine died due to a lack of avenues for creators to monetize their fame, something Facebook is clearly looking to avoid with these initiatives.