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Facebook now lets businesses charge for online events

Facebook is letting businesses charge money for live online events, which it says will help businesses stay afloat as the pandemic keeps customers away from storefronts.

With the new addition to the platform, page owners can host an event on Facebook and charge guests attendance fees.

“With social-distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones,” said Fidji Simo, head of the Facebook App. “People are also relying on live video and interactive experiences more when they can’t come together physically.”

Profiles must use Facebook Live to host paid livestreams, but the company is also testing paid events in Messenger to help personalize gatherings. The new feature is available in 20 countries. Users must meet Facebook’s partner monetization policies.

To further support small businesses and creators, Facebook is waiving the usual online event fees, however other fees make occur with the use of other event options like marketing.

The company also pushed back against the 30% App Store tax attached to certain profiles.

“We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs[small and midsize businesses] will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue,” Simo said in Facebook’s statement.

According to Facebook, live broadcasts on the app continue to draw larger crowds. In June, livestreams on Facebook pages doubled, as creators flocked to livestreaming to make up for canceled in-person events.

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