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Meta Updates Reels Monetization Options to Better Incentivize Creators



Meta Updates Reels Monetization Options to Better Incentivize Creators

With short-form video now the key battleground for social media attention, all of the major platforms are working to establish the most appealing creator monetization programs, in order to ensure that top stars continue posting to their apps.

YouTube already has its Partner Program, which essentially works to supplement Shorts, in addition to its Shorts Fund, while TikTok has just today announced its first steps towards a revenue share program for top creators.

And now, Meta is also sweetening its deal for Reels, with an update to its Reels Play Bonus program, which will see it restructure its payments process, while it’s also launching a new ‘Challenges’ option for Facebook Reels, providing more ways to earn money from your short clips.

As explained by Meta:

As we continue to test and refine the Reels Play bonus programs, we’re making some updates. We’re adjusting how payouts are calculated, aimed at rewarding creators across a range of audience sizes who are making high quality original content that resonates with people, (which may result in payouts changing for some creators)”

Meta hasn’t provided any specific breakdown as to how its calculations will be changing, but the update seems to be aimed at rewarding creators with smaller audiences, as opposed to the big players taking up all of the cash.

For example, if someone has a million followers, it’s going to be much easier for them to reach any engagement threshold set for Reels rewards, which disadvantages rising stars and those looking to establish themselves in the space. By factoring in variability, and potentially rewarding creators based on some kind of engagement per viewer ratio, that could make it a more equitable and encouraging program to foster rising talent.

In addition to this, Meta’s also introducing “Challenges” on Facebook, “a new incentive that helps creators in the Reels Play bonus program unlock new ways to earn from their content, up to $4,000 in a given month.

This is also angled towards helping a broader range of creators to make money from Reels, as opposed to the big names gathering up all of the cash available.

But really, creator funding programs like this are not scalable, and if Meta wants to build a truly equitable and beneficial revenue share system, it will need to incorporate ads at some point, and allocate a portion of their performance to relevant creators.

Which is where this next announcement comes in:

Building on the strong advertising and revenue sharing foundation we’ve established with in-stream ads, we’ve been rolling out overlay ads in Reels on Facebook, and we’re starting to test them with a wider set of creators, (beyond the in-stream ads program) to expand availability to more creators and open up more high quality inventory for advertisers on our platform.”

Meta’s been testing overlay ads for Reels with selected creators for some time, with all Reels creators in the US, Canada and Mexico getting access to the option back in February.

Reels overlay ads example

That could provide a more sustainable monetization pathway for short-form content, while also providing advertisers with another way to promote their products within the rising option, meeting consumers where they’re increasingly paying attention.

Indeed, in its most recent performance update, Meta noted that Reels clips now take up more than 20% of the time that people spend on Instagram, while video content, overall, makes up 50% of the time that users spend on Facebook.

Even if TikTok was the originator of the trend, and these other apps are simply jumping on the bandwagon, the popularity of the format is undeniable, and it’s worth considering the opportunities in short form clips, in all apps, for your marketing efforts.

Finally, Meta’s also rolling out new insights for Reels Play creators on Facebook.

“On the Reels Play Bonus Insight page on Facebook, creators can easily see how many Plays each of their eligible Reels received within the given earning period.

That will provide more transparency into the process, and help Reels creators establish a more sustainable process.

At least until Meta changes its monetization parameters again, based on what it’s looking to incentivize, which is why Meta really needs to push its Reels overlay ads offering, in order to provide a more reliable monetization flow for Reels creators.

It’s amazing to consider the adoption of short-form video, and the impact of TikTok, especially when you also consider that Vine was around years ago, and offered essentially the same type of content approach, yet never caught on in the same way.

Maybe it was ahead of its time, and maybe, as consumption habits continue to evolve, shorter and shorter forms of entertainment will continue to be the norm, leaning into the increasing pace of the media cycle, and the never-ending stream of content available to us 24/7.

I mean, it seems like our brains can only take so much, but we’re also evolving, and as we grow more accustomed to these changes, expectations will also shift, forcing industry changes to go with them.

Whatever it may be, short-form video is the key trend of the moment, and the platform that can work out the best monetization process will likely be the big winner in the end.

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Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets



Twitter Tests New Quick Boost Option for Tweets

Here’s the difficult thing with Twitter no longer having a comms department – now, there’s nowhere to go to confirm info about the app’s latest updates and features, and where each is available, etc.

Case in point – this week, Twitter appears to have launched a new in-stream boost option for tweets, which provides a quick and easy way to promote your tweet without having to launch a full ad campaign.

As you can see in these screenshots, posted by Jonah Manzano (and shared by Matt Navarra), the new boost option would be available direct from a tweet. You’d simply tap through, select a budget, and you would be able to boost your tweet then and there.

Which seems to be new, but also seems familiar.

It’s sort of like Twitter’s Quick Promote option, but an even more streamlined version, with new visuals and a new UI for boosting a tweet direct from the details screen.

Tweet boost

So it does seem like a new addition – but again, with no one at Twitter to ask, it’s hard to confirm detail about the option.

But from what we can tell, this is a new Twitter ad process, which could provide another way to set an objective, a budget, and basic targeting parameters to reach a broader audience in the app.

Which could be good, depending on performance, and there may well be some tweets that you just want to quickly boost and push out to more people, without launching a full campaign.

It could also be a good way for Twitter to bring in a few more ad dollars, and it could be worth experimenting with to see what result you get, based on the simplified launch process.

If it’s available to you. We’d ask Twitter where this is being made available, but we can’t. So maybe you’ll see it in the app, maybe not.

Thus is the enigma of Twitter 2.0.

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Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills



Twitter faces lawsuit by advisory firm for $1.9 million in unpaid bills

US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills. Reuters File Photo

New York: US-based advisory firm Innisfree M&A Incorporated sued Twitter on Friday in New York State Supreme Court, seeking about $1.9 million compensation for what it says are unpaid bills after it advised the social media company on its acquisition by Elon Musk last year.

“As of December 23, 2022, Twitter remains in default of its obligations to Innisfree under the agreement in an amount of not less than $1,902,788.03,” the lawsuit said.

Twitter and a lawyer for Innisfree did not respond to queries.

Elon Musk in October closed the $44 billion deal announced in April that year and took over microblogging platform Twitter.

In January 2023, Britain’s Crown Estate, an independent commercial business that manages the property portfolio belonging to the monarchy, said that it had begun court proceedings against Twitter over alleged unpaid rent on its London headquarters.

Advertising spending on Twitter Inc dropped by 71% in December, data from an advertising research firm showed, as top advertisers slashed their spending on the social-media platform after Musk’s takeover.

The banks that had provided $13 billion in financing last year for the Tesla chief executive’s acquisition of Twitter abandoned plans to sell the debt to investors because of uncertainty around the social media company’s fortunes and losses, according to media reports.

Recently, Twitter made its first interest payment on a loan that banks provided to help finance Musk’s purchase of the social media company last year.

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Twitter Expands Access to Twitter Blue, Announces New Incentives for Signing Up



Twitter Expands Access to Twitter Blue, Announces New Incentives for Signing Up

Twitter is making its next big push on Twitter Blue subscriptions, as Elon Musk and Co. look to build Twitter Blue into a more significant revenue driver for the app.

First off, Twitter has now expanded Twitter Blue access to Saudi Arabia, France, Germany, Italy, Portugal and Spain, which will enable millions more Twitter users to potentially sign-up for a verification tick.

I mean, most probably won’t, going on what we’ve seen thus far, but it will likely swell Twitter Blue sign-ups by another few thousand, adding more cash to Twitter’s coffers.

Twitter’s also looking to further incentivize Blue sign-up by offering revenue share for ads shown in reply threads.

The idea here is that if users write interesting tweets, they would get compensated for the discussion they generate – but you need to be signed up to Twitter Blue to get it.

Elon hasn’t shared any further info on potential revenue split or process at this stage.

Twitter’s also looking to bring back an improved Spaces/podcast experience, as a Twitter Blue exclusive, while Musk has also hinted at allowing some users to avoid having to pay for basic API access, when it becomes unavailable next week, if they sign-up.

Oh, and Twitter’s gold checkmarks for business? Yeah, they’re likely going to be expensive if you want them.

Can’t imagine many brands are going to fork out $12,000 a year for a profile badge, along with $50 per staff member you want to add.

But maybe, Elon and Co. have some more tricks up their sleeve here, and they’ll eventually offer more incentives for businesses to sign-up.

But right now, that’s pretty steep.

And also, ‘legacy’ checkmarks will apparently be gone within the next few months.

All of these elements combined could juice Twitter Blue take-up, though it’s still hard to see it becoming the major contributor to Twitter’s revenue as Elon envisions.

At present, based on third-party tracking, the new Twitter Blue program looks to have around 300,000 subscribers, bringing in an extra $2.4 million per month, and $7.2 million per quarter.

Which is pretty good – but again, it’s still a long way from where Twitter wants subscription revenue to be.

When initially outlining his Twitter 2.0 reformation plans, Musk said that he wants to make subscription revenue around 50% of Twitter’s overall intake. That would serve two purposes – if the majority of users sign-up, Twitter can then use Twitter Blue as a form of ‘payment verification’, meaning that those accounts that don’t have a blue tick are increasingly likely to be bots. It would also reduce Twitter’s reliance on ads, which would give Musk more freedom to make moderation decisions as he likes, without considering potential ad placement concerns.

But in order to do this, Twitter needs a lot more users to sign up.

Twitter’s revenue in Q2 2022, the last time it publicly reported its numbers, was $1.18 billion, meaning that Twitter Blue would need to be bringing in around $590 million per quarter to meet that 50% goal.

Which is about 81x what Twitter Blue is currently bringing in, while at 300k sign-ups, that’s also only 0.12% of Twitter’s active user base that’s currently paying for a blue tick.

That’s likely why Twitter is making a new push on the program, in a bid to jack those numbers up, and maybe, in combination with businesses that do end up forking over $1k per month, it could become a more significant element in Twitter’s revenue make-up.

But 50% of revenue still seems like a lofty goal.

It’s also still confusing as to why anyone would pay, because as soon as you do, you’re devaluing the whole point of the verification checkmark in the first place.

The initial blue ticks were designed to delineate noteworthy users and organizations, which Twitter didn’t always get right, but for the most part, you knew that a blue tick account was likely someone who had relevant, authoritative things to say.   

Now, it’s just anyone who can afford it, and with Twitter looking to increase the reach of tweets from Blue accounts, that also means that the app is increasingly becoming more ‘pay to play’ for regular users, with the blue ticks becoming increasingly meaningless from a functional perspective.

And the logic behind them becomes more diluted with every person who signs up. Eventually, all the blue checkmark will mean is that this person can afford to pay – and who cares? Why do they need a blue tick, from a user perspective, to show that they have enough money to spend?

It sort of feels like the NFT trend of 2021, but worse, because it’s replacing an existing system that did serve a purpose.

In any event, Twitter’s not backing away from its Blue subscription plan, and its hopes of maximizing revenue intake, in any way it can, to keep the company afloat.

Which, given the extra debt it’s been saddled with in the Elon deal, is even tougher than ever – but maybe, in combination with everything else, subscriptions will form enough of an extra income stream to meaningfully contribute to its plans.

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