By David Pierson Los Angeles Times
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) A new Facebook initiative is aimed at boosting video viewership. The program will include providing creators with more analytics tools and easier access to advertisers.
Los Angeles Times
If you're a die-hard fan of a Facebook video creator, the social network may soon give you a way to pay for exclusive content and award you with a digital badge to declare your fandom.
Those are some of the new ideas Facebook is introducing in the coming months to test ways to build up its creator community.
The initiative, aimed at boosting video viewership as Facebook competes with platforms such as YouTube, also includes providing creators with more analytics tools and easier access to advertisers.
"We've been working closely with creators to understand what they need to be successful on Facebook," said Fidji Simo, vice president of product, and Sibyl Goldman, director of entertainment partnerships in a co-written blog post Monday. "To support them, we're focused on three areas: helping them engage and grow their community, manage their presence, and build a business on Facebook."
Top fans will receive a badge next to their names so that they can be identified by creators (fans can opt out or turn off the feature). Fandom is determined by how much someone comments, shares, reacts or watches a creator's content, as well as how much a creator interacts with the fan, Facebook said.
Access to the badge can also be determined by how much viewers pay a creator. Facebook said it would begin testing monthly payments with a small group of creators.
"Fans will have the option to support the creator with a monthly payment in exchange for perks like exclusive content and a badge highlighting their status as a supporter," Simo and Goldman said.
The new payment method would be in addition to existing monetization tools such as branded content and, to a smaller set of creators, advertising breaks in videos.
Facebook said it will also be testing a tool that will make it easier for advertisers to find creators for branded content. Creators will soon be allowed to set-up a portfolio indicating their areas of expertise so that advertisers can search for them.
Facebook said it was also beefing-up its content rights management system for creators to monitor their videos to ensure they get credit for views.
The new tools come four months after the company introduced its Creators app, a platform for its video producers to make and publish content.
Facebook is attempting to siphon away some of YouTube's dominance in online video. YouTube has been marred the last year by controversy over some of its stars such as Logan Paul, who was criticized for making a video making light of suicide victims in Japan. The Google-owned video platform has introduced stricter rules to qualify for advertising, sparking a backlash from some of its creators.