Facebook is investing a whopping $1 billion in creators between Facebook and Instagram through 2022 to try to poach creators from its competitors.
The social media ecosystem has blown up since the 2010s. Now that Facebook is contending with platforms like Twitch, TikTok, YouTube and Snapchat, Facebook is a bit late to the game in its new incentives.
Facebook is trying to create a welcoming environment for newcomers, but has been embroiled in controversy over privacy concerns for years. The ongoing criticism over Facebook’s approach to privacy means that transparency is a prominent feature, and attracting creators through ease of use is also top of mind for Facebook. Rewarding creators who produce original content and attracting creators from a wide range of industries and audiences are top priority for Facebook as it invests in influencers across its digital ecosystem.
Reels and IGTV: Instagram’s current priority
Reels and IGTV, which represent more promising bets for Facebook, are among some of the many bonuses announced. Many of the perks are currently invite-only. However, the company stated that it will open dedicated bonus hubs for Instagram and Facebook in autumn.
As Instagram prepares to overhaul its service, it is pushing creators towards Reels and IGTV. Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, recently said that the platform would pivot away from a long-standing focus on photo-sharing to instead emphasize four core areas: creators, video, shopping and messaging. In this announcement, Mosseri specifically referred to the success of rivals like TikTok or YouTube.
Reels has not seen specific engagement numbers on Instagram despite it being a year old. The service has been flooded with content repurposed from TikTok, which could be one reason why Facebook is building some of its incentive structure around original posts. Instagram introduced ads to Reels last month to add more monetization options for brands and influencers. TikTok reposts have also been limited in the Reels feature to promote exclusivity.
Sales and privacy are driving change
TikTok’s massive popularity has made it a powerful driver of sales, with products that trend on the platform thanks to creator recommendations quickly selling out at stores. Facebook may be trying to capture this creator magic as it struggles with headwinds in its traditional advertising business. With the adaptation of iOS 14.5, Apple made tracking devices such as the iPhone an opt in feature. Facebook warned that this policy change could have a negative impact on revenue. Bloomberg earlier this week reported that some advertisers that rely on Facebook to reach consumers are already panicking as opt-in rates remain low.
How influencers and brands can adapt
With massive changes to the creator and marketing ecosystem, it’s important for brands and influencers to stay on their toes. When given new features and new funding opportunities, the best course of action is to lean in.
New features signal priorities for content creators and monetization efforts for brands. Try to adapt your current content strategies or marketing efforts to better support these new mediums.
Transition slowly. Take your time to explore the new features and adapt your content over time by transitioning more and more heavily to new features.
For marketers: it might feel like a bit of a gamble to embrace content within a new medium, but adaptability is actually a huge advantage. Staying on top of trends makes you more likely to reach your target audience with your influencer partners.
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