Facebook to follow YouTube and start sharing ad revenue with video creators

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If you hadn’t already noticed, Facebook is pushing into video in a big way with new features and tools encouraging both users and media firms to upload their moving pictures to the platform.

And now, for the first time, the social networking giant is offering to share ad revenue with video creators in a move that’s sure to get a few eyebrows at YouTube HQ edging up from their usual position.

Facebook’s Dan Rose claims multiple partners, including the likes of the NBA, Fox Sports, and Funny or Die, have told him the revenue plan “will be a big motivation to start publishing a lot more video content” on the social media platform.

Re/code, who recently spoke to Rose about the move, described it as “a full-on attack” on Google’s YouTube service, which for many years has been offering a cut of ad revenue to publishers. Facebook’s split will match YouTube’s, with 55 percent going to the publisher and the remainder going to the platform.

The social networking company is confident the offer will bring new publishers on board and encourage existing ones to increase their video output on the site, leading to more video views as well as more ad revenue for both parties.

Suggested Videos

The new revenue-share deal works in connection with an upcoming feature Facebook’s calling Suggested Videos, which pretty much does what it says on the tin. You’ll land on it when you tap on a video in your News Feed. After watching your chosen video, you’ll be presented with a list of suggested videos served up by a Facebook algorithm.

You’ll see autoplay video ads nestled among the suggested videos, and it’s the revenue from these ads that’ll be shared between Facebook and publishers. The exact payout a publisher receives depends on factors such as if other videos from different publishers are viewed in the same session. In other words, that 55 percent could go to a sole publisher, or be split between several.

Facebook has recently been testing Suggested Videos with a select group of iOS users, and in the coming months expects to expand the feature more widely to include all iOS users, as well as Android and desktop.

The company’s determined push into video mirrors similar moves by other apps and startups. In a bid to stay ahead of the competition, the Menlo Park outfit has been working hard to push out more and more new features, among them an embeddable video player and support for 360-degree videos.  Speaking at the company’s annual F8 developer conference in San Francisco in March, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said he expected Facebook to be “mostly video” within five years.

Sixty-five percent of Facebook video views currently take place on mobile, with a daily view count said to be around four billion.

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