Facebook Introducing ‘TIP JAR’ to make money from posts: You Can Earn by Your Facebook Post
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.)
MOVING AGGRESSIVELY TO BECOME THE DOMINANT PLATFORM FOR REAL-TIME SHARING
In that context, options for individual users to make money from their posts are especially interesting. To date, social networks have been able to grow to massive valuations while paying nearly nothing for the content that users contribute to them. Critics, led by virtual reality pioneer Jaron Lanier, have criticized the company for concentrating the wealth generated by users’ posts rather than sharing it with them. Dan Rose, Facebook’s vice president of partnerships, has spoken recently about the company’s interest in creating various revenue-sharing deals with users — though to date, discussion has focused on users with big followings.
In any case, new options for generating revenue seems likely to draw more sharing to Facebook. Public figures with large followings who want to promote a cause or give fans a way of contributing to a project would suddenly have a low-friction, highly visible place to do so. And that might sap some lifeblood from Twitter and Snapchat in the process.
The survey’s questions about monetization came as part of a larger set of questions aimed at asking people how they use their personal profile pages, what kinds of things they share there, and whether their Facebook friends comprise mostly real-life acquaintances or people the user has never met in person.
The survey also asks users what data about their Facebook presence would be most interesting to them. Options include data on what percentage of their videos people watch, how many new followers a post generates, and information about how post performance compares to others’. Typically data like that is interesting primarily to large brands and publishers, but it could be useful for celebrities and other public figures who are trying to understand their audiences. And as Facebook presses its chief advantage in social media — that is has the largest audience — sharing that data with users is likely to make rival services look puny in comparison.
Of course, it’s only a survey, and Facebook could easily decide against introducing monetization options or analytics for users. The survey reflects a range of options, not a list of everything Facebook plans to do. And no product changes are imminent. But given the company’s aggressive moves around real-time sharing, the survey suggests yet another way Facebook can wield its dominance. It’s nice to get a “like.” But it’s a lot nicer to get paid.
With the launch of Instant Articles for publishers to deliver content and ads more quickly on mobile, Facebook made it clear that it was serious about monetizing content. A new user survey from the company, spotted by The Verge, hints at the possibility of Facebook allowing users to accept donations in posts, either to earn money or aid a charitable cause. The survey also indicated that the social network is considering other ways of generating revenue, including branded content and sharing earnings from ads on posts with Facebook.
It’ll be interesting to see if the company goes down any of these roads. The most straightforward path of allowing users to add a tip jar to their posts might see Facebook go up against blogging platform, which recently enabled publishers to monetize their work through sponsored content and monthly subscriptions. Medium, which has already clocked more then two million posts from users, has seen heavy hitters like Femsplain and The Awl, as well as blogs from Time and Fortune sign on to its networked service to take advantage of the new payment features.
Of course, it may be too early to predict a winner, seeing as how all Facebook has done is conduct a survey. But it could be a compelling choice for publishers because that’s where a lot of their readers spend their time anyway. In a piece about publishers struggling to cope with shifting trends in digital media in The New York Times, Om Malik, founder of the celebrated and now defunct tech blog GigaOM, said that if he were to launch his company afresh today, he’d skip building a website and go with just a Facebook page instead – but he still hadn’t a clue about how he’d earn money from it.
Given that Facebook is now an advertising powerhouse comparable in scale to Google, it can experiment with several different ways to generate revenue from valuable content. Let’s see if it can figure out the exact formula to make it rain dollars and revolutionize publishing on the Web.
If you’ve ever ended what you thought was a particularly witty or entertaining Facebook status update with, “Thanks, folks, I’ll be here all week!” you may have wished you could earn extra cash with such a great comedic performance. Facebook may just allow that to happen with a “tip jar” feature it’s currently toying with.
Facebook is looking into how individual users can profit from their posts, The Verge reports, citing a user survey it happened upon this week. The survey hinted at ways that a user could make money or promote a cause, possibly by using a tip jar, or posting branded content and taking a piece of the ad revenue that’s generated from the post. Users were asked to weigh in on things like a “call to action” button that would let followers make donations, and a “sponsor marketplace” that would match users up with advertisers.
Would these features be available to that guy you met at a party once who thought he was really funny but actually wasn’t? Probably not. While it’s unclear whether the option would be open to all, it appears that it’s targeted at verified users who have followers instead of friends, The Verge says, noting that the survey appeared on the author’s own verified Facebook page. “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.
Other social media platforms already allow users to reap monetary rewards from their posts: YouTube started a revenue-sharing program for prominent users in 2007; the Twitch streaming platform lets partners make money through revenue sharing, subscriptions, and merchandise sales; YouNow, another streaming platform that’s all the rage with the younger set, takes a cut of tips and digital gifts that fans bestow on its stars. And of course, we’ve all seen “sponsored” posts on Twitter and Instagram, where celebrities or other famous faces shill products they received free from brands in their posts.
Facebook may allow some verified users to monetize their content, reveals a survey. The social media giant may be considering the idea of letting some of them make money from their activities on the platform. If such a feature is implemented, it would be the end of the company’s previous policy of avoiding sharing money with others. Facebook is soliciting feedback from some users on the types of revenue earning features they would be interested in, like a marketplace to find content sponsors or a tip jar to collect money for their content, according to a user survey noticed by The Verge. This survey appeared only for verified users, and its language suggested that it is targeted at that type of user.
The competition for real-time sharing, especially through live video broadcasting, has intensified, and Facebook could be considering the move for the same reason. When it comes to sharing a live video or other real-time content, celebrities and other personalities with huge followings have many options today, such as Facebook’s Live Video, Snapchat, and Twitter’s Periscope, among others. A Facebook spokesman told The Verge, “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.”
The question in the survey was part of a questionnaire that asked users about how they use their personal profile pages, the types of things they share and whether or not their Facebook friends include real-life acquaintances or people they have never met.
Facebook is not the first to do so. In 2007, YouTube launched a revenue-sharing program. Also Twitch, a popular streaming platform for gamers, allows partners to make money through merchandise sales, revenue sharing, and subscriptions. Another streaming platform that’s popular among young users, YouNow, earns money by taking a cut of the tips and digital gifts followers give to its stars, whereas social media platforms like Twitter and Snapchat allow celebrities to strike sponsored deals by including brands in their posts without any permission.
With the debut of Instant Articles, Facebook allowed publishers to make money from their content. Instant Articles is a fast-loading news story format that allows users to read pieces without exiting the Facebook’s mobile app. Also earlier this month, the social networking site changed its rule regarding the sponsored content that brands and celebrities can post. The social media platform is now allowing them on its network.