If you want to learn what’s happening on the internet, you go to Facebook, but if you want to be internet famous, Youtube is still the best place to be. It’s the way things have worked for years, but as Facebook looks to gain a monopoly on all things online, they are attempting to attract influencers away from other platforms. There are many Youtube stars, popular Twitter accounts, and Instagram celebrities, but there aren’t many names known specifically because of their activities on Facebook. After releasing several new features over the past year, the social media giant looks poised to change that in a battle over influencers.
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Social media stars are famous wherever they can create their own content. They upload videos to Youtube, post pictures on Instagram, and write their thoughts on Twitter. Facebook has always been about sharing content created elsewhere, making it difficult to attract those looking to start a following. Why house your brand on Facebook when all the content you could produce is done more effectively elsewhere?
Now Facebook is looking to change all that by focusing on content creation. They have introduced Facebook Live to compete with Periscope (and Snapchat) and provide a way for users to create live content right on their page. They reintroduced Facebook Notes and opened Instant Articles to everyone in order to keep bloggers and content creators from going to other blog platforms.
Facebook has also developed their own video player to compete with Youtube. Now internet stars can share their videos through the Facebook video player, and the platform’s algorithm will rank it higher than a Youtube link, giving more users a chance to see their content. If they want to attract content creators, giving them the ability to upload native content could be a game-changer.
Just like many employers offer benefits and perks to their employees, Facebook is trying to cater directly to influencers in order to lure them away from other platforms. Youtube allows their users to work with brands to create both branded content and automated ads, which has allowed many of the platform’s biggest stars to make millions. Facebook is changing their policy on third-party advertising in order to compensate their users and compete with Youtube.
For years, Facebook didn’t allow third-party advertisements to exist on their platform, meaning you couldn’t post an ad for a brand. Now they have changed that policy just this month, opening the door for branded content, and giving influencers the reliable revenue stream they didn’t have before.
In a recent survey sent to verified users, Facebook made it known that they are playing with the idea of adding a tip jar where fans can send influencers money, as well as a sponsorship marketplace where users can match with brands. If you’re an internet celebrity and hoping to be compensated for your following, Facebook is suddenly looking like the place to be because now you can seek out compensation instead of hoping it comes your way.
The recently-introduced Mentions app provides celebrities with a powerful tool that allows them to share live video with their followers and helps them manage their social media presence all in one place. The service is open to all verified accounts, giving Youtube stars on Facebook a more convenient way to share their lives.
The next big step for Facebook would obviously be to verify some of their own users with the biggest followings, so they can use the same app that actors, musicians, and internet celebrities are using. If Facebook wants to attract influencers, and even create some of their own, the platform needs to win them over and then celebrate their elite status. The term Facebook Star is about to become a thing.