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Facebook is luring creators with $1 billion in payouts

The company's giving influencers a big incentive to post engaging content on Facebook and Instagram.

Robert Galbraith / reuters

Facebook plans to dish out over $1 billion to creators across its platforms through the end of 2022, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said. "We want to build the best platforms for millions of creators to make a living," he wrote in a Facebook post. "Investing in creators isn't new for us, but I'm excited to expand this work over time." The aim is to "reward creators for great content they create on Facebook and Instagram."

The company will pay all kinds of creators, including those who are just starting to share their own content and build an audience. Facebook will offer creators more ways to earn payouts when they hit certain milestones and provide "seed funding" for some of them to make content.

Facebook will add Bonus sections to the Instagram app later this summer and the Facebook app in the fall where creators can learn about various programs, including details on eligibility and how to apply. Some of those programs are already available to invited creators, such as bonuses for running ads on Facebook live streams, and for video and gaming creators who reach certain earnings milestones with Stars (Facebook's Twitch Bits-style tipping currency) over the next few months.

Instagram Reels Summer bonus program

As for Instagram, invited creators can receive bonuses when they sign up to run IGTV ads (they'll also get a cut of ad revenue), sell a certain number of badges on live streams and make great Reels that perform well. Facebook will roll out more incentive programs in the coming months. The payouts build on Facebook's other monetization options, including fan subscriptions, paid online events and creator shops.

A billion dollars is a significant war chest for Facebook as it looks to lure creators away from rival platforms like YouTube, Substack (with Bulletin newsletters), Twitch and TikTok. In June, Zuckerberg said Facebook won't take a cut of creators' earnings through 2022, perhaps providing them with more of an incentive to switch to Facebook's products. The company has signed exclusive deals with Facebook Gaming creators over the last few years, too.

Facebook has been rolling out more ways for creators to make and share content. It's clearer than ever that attracting and rewarding influencers is an important part of Facebook's strategy. If there were any doubt that the creator economy is thriving, that billion-dollar figure might be enough to change some skeptics' minds.