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Facebook Adds New Monetization Tools for Gaming Streamers

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Facebook has announced some new monetization options for gaming streamers, as it seeks to maximize opportunities for creators heading into the holidays season.

And while the updates are specific to Facebook Gaming at present, they may also be extended to live-streams more generally in future, providing more ways for all creators to make money from their Facebook Live efforts.

First off, Facebook’s launching a new promotion for the holidays which will see Stars, the donation stickers that users can allocate during a stream, offered for reduced prices. 

Facebook Stars

Users will also be eligible to receive a unique badge for sending Stars, and will have access to a limited time Hand Raise virtual gift option. The promotion will end on January 1st, giving users two weeks to use tap into the limited time offer, which could prompt increased Stars usage.

Facebook’s also adding a new, larger display option for those donating higher Star amounts, which will provide more visibility in the chat stream. Bigger donations will also be pinned to the bottom of the chat window for a period of time.

Facebook Stars

And lastly, Facebook’s also launching a new set of animated virtual gifts, which can be purchased with Stars, providing even more visibility during a stream.

Facebook Stars

I mean, they’re expensive – that rainbow cloud animation costs 10,000 Stars, which is equal to over $100, depending on how you purchase them (with the prices reducing the more you buy at once). So you’d have to really support the creator, and/or really want them to notice you. But for dedicated fans, it could be a good option to show your appreciation, and provide some additional monetary reward for their work.

And as noted, those tools could, eventually, be extended to all live-streamers. Facebook first launched Stars with gaming streamers only, before extending them to more Pages and creators in June this year, in order to provide additional income opportunities for performers who’d lost opportunities due to COVID-19 closures. 

It seems likely that these additional tools, if they prove successful, will also be made available to more streamers in future – so even if you’re not a gaming creator, it could be worth noting for future opportunities.

Amid the pandemic, live-streaming has had something of a resurgence, with Facebook reporting that the number of people in the US watching Facebook Live-streams increased by 50% throughout the year. That’s sparked new potential, and with the increased capacity to monetize your live broadcasts, it seems likely that more big-name stars will be looking to the option to supplement their income. Which could bring more viewers, and more opportunity for smaller players as well.

It’s still not a major element, but as Facebook continues to push its video tools, live-streaming could still become a bigger thing, and new additions like this will help provide even more opportunity.   

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Iran pop singer silenced, but his song remains a protest anthem

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Shervin Hajipour's song "Baraye" draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life

Shervin Hajipour’s song “Baraye” draws on the tweets of Iranians longing for a normal life – Copyright Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP)/AFP –

David Vujanovic

Even though he has been silenced, Iranian pop singer Shirvin Hajipour’s impassioned song in support of protests over Mahsa Amini’s death in custody remains an unofficial anthem of the movement.

The song “Baraye” notched up 40 million views on Instagram before it was deleted when Hajipour was arrested, but he has since been freed on bail and has distanced himself from politics, likely as a condition for his release.

Baraye, the Persian word “For” or “Because”, is composed of tweets about the protests and highlights longings people have for things lacking in sanctions-hit Iran, where many complain of hardship caused by economic mismanagement.

It also draws on everyday activities that have landed people in trouble with the authorities in the Islamic republic.

“For the sake of dancing in the streets; Because of the fear felt while kissing; For my sister, your sister, your sisters,” the song’s lyrics say.

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“Because of the embarrassment of an empty pocket; Because we are longing for a normal life… Because of this polluted air.”

Baraye has been heard played loudly at night from apartment blocks in Iran to show support for protests sparked by Amini’s death on September 16, after the notorious morality police arrested her for allegedly breaching rules requiring women to wear hijab headscarves and modest clothes.

It was also sung with gusto by the Iranian diaspora at rallies in more than 150 cities around the world at the weekend.

In one clip shared by the New York-based Center for Human Rights in Iran, a group of schoolgirls without headscarves is seen singing Baraye in class with their backs to the camera.

The tune was removed from Hajipour’s Instagram account shortly after his arrest but is still widely available on other social media platforms, including Twitter and YouTube.

– ‘Because of forced Instagram stories’ –

Hajipour’s lawyer Majid Kaveh said he was released on bail at noon on Tuesday.

The reformist Shargh newspaper said his family had been informed of his arrest in the northern city of Sari on Saturday, in a report that cited his sister Kamand Hajipour.

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She had said in an Instagram post that her parents had been informed of his arrest in a call from the city’s intelligence ministry offices.

Shortly after his release, Hajipour was back on Instagram, but this time to apologise and distance himself from politics.

“I’m here to say I’m okay,” he told his 1.9 million followers on the platform.

“But I’m sorry that some particular movements based outside of Iran — which I have had no relations with — made some improper political uses of this song.

“I would not swap this (country) for anywhere else and I will stay for my homeland, my flag, my people, and I will sing.

“I don’t want to be a plaything for those who do not think of me, you or this country,” he added.

In response to his post, many on Twitter suggested the line “Because of forced Instagram stories” should be added to the lyrics of the song.

Human rights groups including Article 19 have repeatedly called on Iran to end its use of forced confessions, which they say are false and extracted under duress or even torture.

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In one recent case, a young Iranian woman, Sepideh Rashno, disappeared after becoming involved in a dispute on a Tehran bus with another woman who accused her of removing her headscarf.

She was held by the powerful Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and appeared on television in what activists said was a forced confession before being released on bail in late August.

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