Meta is pausing its program to pay bonuses to creators for creating roles and hitting specific benchmarks. Originally introduced in 2021, the program incentivized content creators to generate more short video content. The closure affects all Reels creators on Facebook and US creators on Instagram – the Instagram program was only available to creators in the US.
The program’s shutdown, first reported by Business Insider, indicates platforms are looking to back away from paying creators based on the popularity of their short videos. Meta will still honor any bonus commitment for 30 days, according to the report.
Meta told the publication it could reintroduce the program in “targeted” ways as Reels enters a new market. This is a bit strange to hear since the short video product is already available in over 150 countries.
As AapkaDost previously reported, creators received healthy bonuses under this program. Multiple creators have received over $10,000 in bonuses, with some even claiming to get $35,000 in a month. But these creators had to rack up millions of views on their reels, and Meta was happy to shell out money to make the format more popular.
Since short video is one of the most popular formats on social media today, Meta is probably trying to make ad money. Last year, it expanded its overlay ad experimentation to creators in more than 50 countries in addition to serving in-stream ads. For both ad formats, the company shares 55% of the revenue with the creators.
Last year, Mark Zuckerberg said Reels has reached $1 billion in annual sales. But the company would hope the format brings in more money as it burns money on the reverse efforts.
On investors’ call for Meta’s Q4 2022 earnings, Zuckerberg said Reels isn’t making enough money just yet.
“The next bottleneck we’re focusing on to continue to grow Reels is improving the efficiency of monetization or the revenue generated per minute of Reels viewed. Currently, the monetization efficiency of Reels is much lower than that of Feed. So the more Reels grow, even though it adds more engagement to the system overall, it takes some time away from Feed and we actually lose money,” he said.
As the company stops bonuses, creators would need incentives to post short videos on Meta’s platforms rather than TikTok or YouTube Shorts. Facebook has promised to give more monetization tools to creators to make money on Reels.
“This year we are focusing on adapting and improving it [monetization] tools for short video. We will continue to expand our advertising on Facebook Reels tests to help more creators earn ad revenue for their Reels and grow virtual gifts through Stars on Reels,” Facebook head Tom Alison said in a blog post earlier this week.
But Meta is no anomaly when it comes to stopping bonuses for creators for short videos. Both Snapchat and YouTube Shorts have moved to ad revenue sharing models instead of spending the money on creators’ money.