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Creator wars heat up as FB and Snap double down on bonus payments and capabilities

Creator wars heat up as FB and Snap double down on bonus payments and capabilities

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Facebook and Snap are doubling down on efforts to lure creators to produce more content on their platforms. Facebook has unveiled its "Stars Fest" feature, a month-long celebration to spotlight creators and recognise the ways the community has supported them with Stars. Stars is a virtual good that lets fans show creators love and creators show love back during live videos. Through Star Fest, Facebook will be offering bonuses to double creators’ earnings, limited-time sales on Stars, creator competitions, and exclusive live streaming events. Additionally, Facebook will also be introducing a new Stars feature to help people show support creators in new ways.

To up its ante against other social media platforms such as TikTok and Snap, Facebook is rolling out the "Stars Double Bonus", with its parent company Meta matching certain creators’ Stars earnings by up to US$750 a month through 31 March 2022. In total, creators could earn up to US$3,750 in bonus payments. According to Facebook, the programme is invite-only and available in all markets where Stars is available. Over the next few months, Facebook will also give US$3 million in free Stars to fans. 

This announcement follows Meta's US$1 billion investment commitment to creators earlier this year. This includes in-stream bonus, Stars bonus, IGTV ads bonus, badges in Live bonus, and Reels Summer bonus.

According to Facebook, its vision for Stars is to have it "be the best way for people to show appreciation for creators" on the social media application. To offer creators more ways to earn Stars, the platform is testing them in videos on News Feed, the Watch feed, and the gaming tab. It will also be testing Stars in Reels next year. To further value add its plans for Stars, Facebook will also be launching a "Stars Store", which is a website where users would be able to purchase Stars by utilising Facebook Pay. The Stars would then be deposited into the virtual wallets which can be sent to eligible creators during Facebook Live, on-demand videos, or Live Audio Rooms. 

Meanwhile, Snap rolled out the Lens Call-To-Action feature just today that allows creators to include a link on a Lens, making it easy to drive Snapchatters to a destination such as a merch shop. Other new monetisation functions include Gifting which allows Lens Creators to receive support from Snapchatters through Story Replies. According to Snap, Lens Creators earn a share of the revenue from Gifts received through Story Replies. Gifting is available now for Lens Creators in the Snap Lens Network across the US, and will roll out to additional countries soon.

At the same time, Snap's AR innovation lab, Ghost, is accepting new applications on a rolling basis. Developers and small teams who want to explore the technical and creative possibilities of AR can apply and receive a grant of up to US$150,000 for each project, as well as support directly from the Snap team.

These new monetisation opportunities come alongside new features that Snap unveiled for Lenses, including Custom Landmarkers, World Mesh, and an API library for real-time data. The company launched Landmarkers in 2019 and Local Lenses in 2020, layering AR onto dozens of popular destinations globally. Creators will soon be able to make Custom Landmarkers, transforming local landmarks into AR attractions. Meanwhile, World Mesh allows creators to use depth information and world geometry understanding to create experiences that look and feel more like they are part of the real world.

At the same time, Snap also unveiled new capabilities for Spectacles, which was first introduced five years ago. These include connected lenses, location triggers, and endurance mode.

Photo courtesy: 123RF

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