Facebook is setting up a program to pay $1 billion to creators through the end of 2022, Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, said on Wednesday, part of an effort to woo influencers onto its platforms.
The $1 billion will be allocated among creators of all types, giving influencers an incentive for creating and posting original content to Facebook, the social network said. Influencers can earn money by using specific Facebook and Instagram features or by hitting certain milestones. If a creator live streams 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 program, 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 plans 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 has previously paid TikTok influencers and YouTubers to use features of Instagram such as IGTV, a longform video feature similar to YouTube, and Reels, a feature that functions similarly to TikTok. In December, Facebook pledged to invest $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 $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 program 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, mobile insights firm Sensor Tower said that TikTok was the most-downloaded app globally in the first half of 2021. TikTok also surpassed 3 billion installations globally, SensorTower said, making it the first non-Facebook app to exceed that figure.