Date
14 December 2018
Facebook is preparing to roll out a new subscription feature that will allow users to make regular payments to content creators in return for exclusive content. Photo: Reuters
Facebook is preparing to roll out a new subscription feature that will allow users to make regular payments to content creators in return for exclusive content. Photo: Reuters

Facebook to launch subscription feature to lure content creators

Facebook announced this week that it is introducing a paid subscription feature to lure content creators as part of efforts to boost the quality of offerings on the social media platform. 

The social media giant will launch a new feature in mid-April that will allow users to make monthly payments to content creators and enjoy exclusive content, such as videos, from those creators.

A subscriber will receive exclusive content as well as a badge to pin on his or her profile to show that the person is a fan of a particular content creator, Recode reported.

The subscription fee will be US$4.99 (around HK$38.9) a month.

Content creators to get all the income

The program will see participation of 10 creators from the United States and United Kingdom initially.

Facebook will not take a cut of the money the content creators receive, at least in the test stint.

All the income generated by the subscription will go to the content creators, unlike Apple and Google, which take a portion of the income generated from in-app purchases they facilitate.

Facebook has more than 2.1 billion monthly users. Even if just one percent of the users paid for a subscription, that would constitute over US$100 million in monetary reward to content creators.

The social media giant in January announced a tipping feature inside Facebook Live, its livestreaming product. The feature enables users to send a small amount of money to professional gamers during broadcasts.

Facilitating sponsorship from advertisers

Aside from the subscription feature, Facebook also announced several updates pertaining to content creators.

The company will make a special dashboard where advertisers can source creators for branded content projects.

It will not take a cut from any branded content arrangements it helps facilitate. Facebook believes the new dashboard will serve as a another tool for content creators to generate revenue for their services.

In other initiatives, the company announced a special version of its Rights Management system particularly for content creators so they can receive alerts if copyrights on their contents are violated.

This article appeared in the Hong Kong Economic Journal on March 21

Translation by Jonathan Chong

[Chinese version 中文版]

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Hong Kong Economic Journal

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