Facebook Wooing Creators: What Does it Mean for Brands and Influencers?

InfluencerBrand8/5/2021

Facebook’s new creator funding- $1 billion through 2022- is an attempt to woo creators who have set up shop on other platforms. But is Facebook too far behind to win influencers over?

With the rise of video content and TikTok’s dominance in the space, many creators and influencers have already moved to TikTok and YouTube. These platforms invested in digital tools for influencers earlier than Facebook, and provided them with monetization options to make money off viral videos.

Facebook has lagged behind supporting and promoting video content and offering creators the monetization options they’re looking for. Tack on recurring criticism regarding misinformation and privacy violations, and you have an exodus of influencers and creators moving to platforms outside of the Facebook umbrella. (Think TikTok and YouTube instead of Facebook and Instagram.) To make matters worse for Facebook? iOS 14.5 privacy updates have made marketers rethink their use of Facebook as a viable strategy.

Outside of Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok there are many other platforms vying for influencers’ attention. Last November, Snapchat started paying creators up to $1 million a day to put up on its platform and it’s rolling out extra methods for creators to make money, like tipping. Twitter additionally launched tipping and a feature where creators put their content behind a paywall and cost a month-to-month subscription price.

Facebook and Instagram face a challenge because a user’s posts and videos are mainly available to those who have viewed them. This means it could take years to gain a large audience to make money. It is also difficult to stand out among the crowd with Facebook’s more than three billion users worldwide.

TikTok’s “For You” discovery algorithm is a notable exception. It allows budding influencers without large followings to have content shown to hundreds of thousands of viewers. TikTok’s unique algorithm has shown the viability of participatory platforms as opposed to one-to-one platforms, like Instagram.

Trying to take on its competitors’ strategies is nothing new for Facebook. Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, stated this month that the app would make changes to maintain its recognition of video-sharing apps. In an Instagram video, Mr. Mosseri stated that “We’re not longer a photo sharing app.” 

Facebook is trying to outdo every competitor it can by rolling competitor features into its fold. Bulletin, a publication service, was launched last month. It aims to attract unbiased writers to help them build their Facebook audiences. Audio Rooms has also been launched by the company. This feature allows users to live audio chats with their followers and followers. These tools are being used by the company to target the podcasting market, and compete with apps such as Clubhouse and Twitter Spaces.

What does this mean for brands and influencers?

This transition is rather turbulent for both brands and influencers alike. So how do marketers and creators create a strategy that meets their goals?

Influencers should take the opportunity to slowly transition their content into the new features being pushed by each platform. Try using shorter videos to A/B test audience response before delving into long-form versions of new content strategies.

Brands should take advantage of the age of the creator by partnering with influencers. With tracking limited by iOS 14.5 and the decline of traditional advertising methods, now is a great time to embrace creator partnerships.

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