Facebook Wants To Take Creators To Court. It Can Be A Tough Sell.


SAN FRANCISCO — In the last 18 months, Chris Cox, your facebook The senior product manager watched in amazement as Instagram came to life in ways he hadn’t seen before.

As young people seek ways to express themselves digitally during the pandemic, Mr. Cox has been fascinated by the content of creators like Oumi Janta. The Senegalese skater living in Berlin gained fame by posting videos of him. Instagram account while rollerblading to techno music. Mr Cox said the viral success of himself and others made him realize that Facebook, which owns Instagram, needs to do more to court the creators.

The problem was Facebook was running late. Many creators who make meme-y online content and profit from it have long flocked to competing platforms like YouTube and TikTok, which have long ago invested in digital tools for influencers and offered them ways to monetize their viral videos.

So Facebook started playing the catch game. To lure the next generation of viral stars, he started throwing millions of dollars at top influencers to use their products. It has changed its biggest practices to imitate its competitors. Last month, it hosted a “Creator Week” to celebrate influencers. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg also said He said he wanted to “build the best platform for millions of creators to make a living.”

“Covid was a turning point where the industry and creators more generally started to become a more creative economy,” Mr Cox said in an interview.

Facebook is trying to overcome its slow start with creators while trying to stay culturally relevant. The social network was once a regular Chewbacca Mom (a woman who laughed hysterically while wearing a Star Wars character’s mask) and ALS Ice Bucket Challenge (where people pour ice water to raise awareness and money for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis research).

But that was years ago. As YouTube, TikTok, and other competitors became more and more popular, they spawned more and more trends and memes. Sea Slum feelingIt was one of the biggest mainstream memes of the last 18 months, featuring people creating and performing traditional whaling songs with modernized lyrics, and it started on TikTok.

Influencing creators helps Facebook bounce back and capture more entertaining content, especially after it has faced criticism repeatedly for spreading misinformation, poisonous speech, and divisive political posts. The more popular videos, photos, and posts creators put on Facebook and its apps, the more likely users are to return to the network. And when the company eventually wants a cut from creators’ earnings, that can add a potentially lucrative revenue stream.

Nicole Quinn, venture capitalist at Lightspeed Venture Partners, who studies the influencer and creator market, says, “Facebook was basically, ‘Hey, Instagram was the biggest influencer platform and now we’re losing influence in this space.’ If I were Facebook, I would think, ‘I need to stay relevant.’ Will we bring it back?”

Still, it won’t be easy to win over creators with more and more options. Apart from Facebook, YouTube and TikTok, other platforms are also looking for influencers. Last November, Snapchat started paying creators up to $1 million per day offers more ways to publish on its platform and for creators to monetize, like tip. Twitter has also introduced tipping and will soon allow creators putting their content behind a paywall and get a monthly subscription fee.

At least 50 million people worldwide now consider themselves content creators, According to SignalFire, a venture capital firm.

“There is a complete arms race in the social media landscape to attract and retain creators,” said Li Jin, founder of Atelier Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on the creative economy. “All major platforms have realized that the value tie comes from the creators who create the content that keeps people coming back regularly.”

The shift has created challenges for Facebook. The company is primarily focused on advertising sales to large brands and small and medium-sized businesses. At the same time, its creators did not seize opportunities to win.

in 2016, after short-form video app Vine Top creators like Logan Paul and Piques took to Facebook to post their videos. But Facebook didn’t have enough tools to monetize influencers at the time, so many shifted their efforts to YouTube.

One problem for Facebook and Instagram is that a user’s posts and videos are only available to people who follow them, meaning it can take years to build a large audience to monetize. Facebook also has more than three billion users worldwide, so standing out from the crowd is no easy task.

In contrast, TikTok has a “For You” discovery algorithm that allows new users without followers to easily upload a video and have it instantly shown to millions of users. TikTok has also forged early relationships with popular creators on its platform by establishing “partnerships” teams that help creators grow and manage their following and streamline technical support issues.

Some creators – for example Jon BrownellThe 29-year-old, a lifestyle and health influencer with more than two million followers on Facebook – said she felt neglected by the social network.

Mr Brownell said he had trouble talking to anyone on Facebook after his page was hacked in 2017. He said he came to Facebook’s office in Playa Vista, California, on four separate occasions to try to speak to an employee for help, but tried to speak to an employee. never speak to anyone. While he eventually regained control of his Facebook page, he failed to post sponsored content on his page for weeks, resulting in a financial blow.

“Zuckerberg’s statement that he has always supported the creators is a lie, an exclamation point, an exclamation point, an exclamation point,” said Mr Brownell, punctuating his words with a curse.

Mr Cox said Facebook was listening. The company said it has added its own partnership teams to be more responsive to its influencer concerns. He added that Facebook already has creators leading large groups of followers on the site. These include Hala Sabry, who became a doctor in 2014. Founded Physician Moms Group, where female doctors who are also parents come together to support each other online. Mr Cox added that Facebook’s experience with small businesses built the company to support creators and help them build sustainable business models.

Facebook is also promoting more tools and features to help creators monetize. This includes paid monthly subscriptions to impressive pages and the ability to advertise within short-form videos and live streams. Mr. Zuckerberg has pledged that Facebook will not take any cuts from the earnings of creators on the platform until 2023 at the earliest.

Facebook is also returning to a familiar strategy: it’s more like its competitors. Instagram head Adam Mosseri said this month that the app will make changes to keep up with the popularity of video sharing apps. This includes fine-tuning Instagram’s algorithm. start showing users more videos from people they don’t follow – in other words, to do what TikTok does.

“We are no longer a photo-sharing app,” Mr Mosseri said in an Instagram video this month. (He later tweeted out That Instagram isn’t abandoning photos, leaning on video.)

Facebook is developing other products to attract all kinds of creators, from writers to podcasters and beyond. Last month, Announced the newsletterA newsletter service that aims to attract freelancers and writers to build their own audiences on Facebook. It also released Audio Rooms, a feature where people have live voice chats with fans and followers. The company uses these tools to target the podcasting market and compete with Clubhouse and similar apps. Twitter “Locations.”

Recently, Mr. Zuckerberg has also taken to viral memes about himself. he has been lately sent a photo A meme that went viral last year is a picture of a surfboard he commissioned with an artistic rendering of his face covered in pure white suntan lotion.

Over the 4th of July weekend, Mr. Zuckerberg also tried to create his own meme. he published Self video surfing Facebook On a hydrofoil holding a giant American flag waving in the wind on Lake Tahoe, California. The video is set to perform the song “Take Me Home, Country Roads” by John Denver.

The creators attacked; almost instantly breastfed.


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