Meta is bringing more ads to Reels on Facebook and Instagram, and changing up how creators can earn money from their content. The change comes two months after Meta “paused” a bonus program that rewarded creators for hitting specific goals.
Now, Meta says it’s “accelerating” its plan to bring ads into Reels on Facebook, with “thousands” of creators now eligible to join the monetization program. The company plans to test a similar program for Reels creators on Instagram in the “coming weeks.”
Notably, Meta is structuring the program a bit differently than typical revenue sharing arrangements. The company says it will pay creators using “a new payout model that pays creators based on the performance of their public reels, not the earnings of ads on their reels” and that “initially, payouts in the test will be determined by the number of plays.” In other words, creators who rack up the highest number of views will earn the most, regardless of other engagement metrics or how much ad revenue their clips generate.
The decision to prioritize views apparently came as a result of the company’s earlier tests, with Meta noting that payments based on ad performance can sometimes negatively impact creators for things out of their control, like the company’s own ad inventory. Those terms are also likely a reflection of the fact that while Reels drive a lot of engagement for Meta, the feature hasn’t proven to be as easily monetized as its feeds and stories features. (The company says in its blog post that it’s continuing to “optimize the ad experience for advertisers,” on Reels.)
It’s also not yet clear just how much creators can expect to make through the new program. Meta had previously promised Reels creators monthly bonuses up to $35,000 a month when it launched the Reels Play bonus program in 2021. But the company reportedly slashed those payments last year, before “pausing” the program entirely in March. According to a Meta spokesperson, the "overarching goal” is for creators to be able to earn consistent payouts, but these numbers “will vary widely by creator.”