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Facebook's New Rules Let Video Creators Make Money on the Side

Look out, YouTube.

Maxim Blinkov/ Shutterstock

Facebook is aggressively courting video creators with money and lots of eyeballs. It’s latest peace offering: The go-ahead to publish native ads on Facebook, or videos that brands have paid them to create or that include product placement.

Native ads (or “branded content”) is how a lot of video creators make a living. They build up a following, and then introduce that following to brands or advertisers who pay for the privilege. It’s a popular business strategy for video creators who use YouTube and even Twitter’s Vine.

And now that business is possible on Facebook, too, although there are limitations. Creators have to specify when video is “branded,” for example, in which case Facebook will include a tag to distinguish which advertiser paid to produce the video. A creator also cannot include any pre-roll or mid-stream commercials within their videos. (YouTube has the same limitations in its guidelines.)


But what’s happening here is pretty simple: Facebook wants people creating great video content for Facebook, and they’re more likely to do that if they can make some money on the side. It’s the same reason Facebook is paying celebrities and media properties to use its new live video product.

It’s also why Facebook prioritizes live and traditional video in its News Feed algorithm, bumping it higher in News Feed so more users will see it. More eyeballs means more incentive for video creators to post more often.

What we don’t know is whether or not Facebook will eventually try and take a cut of the revenue created by these kinds of agreements. It won’t right now and has no plans to, according to a spokesperson. (Again, YouTube operates the same way.)

But it’s hard to believe Facebook won’t want to monetize these kinds of videos at some point — after all, creators are making money from Facebook’s audience. There are a few ways Facebook could do this. It could ask for a cut of existing revenue agreements. Or place its own ads before or alongside branded content with some kind of revenue split in place with creators.

For now though, Facebook isn’t getting greedy and is rolling out the red carpet to people who will hand over high-quality video instead. We’ll see if that carpet ever gets yanked.

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