May the best platform win: Facebook joins the race to become influencer’s favourite social

Facebook’s Brand Collabs Manager feature is aimed at connecting brands to creators, so they can work out sponsored content and product placement deals – without Facebook taking a cut. So, what’s the catch?

As of a couple of weeks ago, Facebook seems to have beaten us all to the mark by creating its new platform software, Brand Collabs Manager. This feature is aimed at connecting brands to creators, so they can work out sponsored content and product placement deals – without Facebook taking a cut. You may be thinking, where’s the catch? The answer is, there is no catch per say, but it’s undeniable that Facebook are steering somewhat adrift from their humble origins of friends, likes and high school reunions.

On top of this new feature, Facebook has also launched a number of different ways that creators can monetise the content they’re putting out – in a bid for Facebook to hold onto its loyal influencers, rather than lose them to the likes of YouTube, Patreon, Twitch and so on. Creators using Facebook as their platform can now earn money through short ad breaks in their videos or via Patreon style subscriptions services that enable creators to charge their fans monthly for content and behind the scenes footage. On top of this, Facebook are so dedicated to holding onto their creators, and in turn their lucrative popularity, they’ve gone to the trouble of creating features that will hopefully persuade influencers into staying loyal to their platform. These features come in the form of gameshow style video features that mean viewers watch actively instead of passively, and Top Fan Badges can be earnt, thought to encourage platform central community within creator fanbases.

Facebook have always marketed themselves as a platform solely focused connecting friends, old and new, and where you can laugh at a meme or two. But as the consumption of media increases, along with millennials’ obsession with anything digitised, it seems the internet giants have no choice but to be at war with one another, and desperately hold onto their precious commodities – aka, their creators. If this war were to have its own catchy slogan, it would go something like: “Let’s fight to maximise our platform’s profitability, unashamedly boosting our popularity!”.

No one works for free, and it seems the age old adage that “artists are poor” is changing now that the internet’s artists can draw so much popularity. According to statistics, influencers are so powerful that they can now earn an average of $4000+ per piece of content, and if they’re posting once or twice a week, that’s a lot of money in the bank. That’s why instead of immediately trying to monetise creators’ sponsored content, Facebook has launched the Brand Collabs Manager to prove to creators that they are still an authentic, humble, honest, user focused platform that can get them paid indirectly, meaning influencers keep their creative and monetary control. Instead of letting them happen and then taking a cut, Facebook are recognising just how much of a precious commodity creators are for their platform, and instead are actively facilitating the deals being made. Facebook want to send the message that they are prioritising their creators by letting them monetise through their own audience rather than the platform itself.

There’s no doubt that this will take some time and work, but given the often negative attitude of influencers towards other more controlling platforms such as YouTube, it’s probably a smart move, and definitely a cheaper one than paying the Zoella’s of the world under the table. May the best platform win.