In a move to keep creators invested in Instagram and Facebook, Meta made the announcement in 2021 that they would pay up to 1 billion in bonuses through 2022. The move came in answer to TikTok, who is now attracting 1 billion monthly active users, and Snapchat, who paid out 250 million in 2021 to support Spotlight. Clearly, Meta needed to do something. CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the concept was launched to make Instagram and Facebook “the best platforms for millions of creators to make a living.”
The Verge reported that content creators could score a piece of Meta’s bonus pie in several different ways. They could run ads on Facebook and reach milestones, allow ads on their IGTV videos, get tipped on livestreams and/or publish Reels on Instagram that attract viewers. Invites were then sent out to creators to get the ball rolling.
Chances are very few — if any — in the adult industry were asked to be part of the focus group, which is typical with Meta’s track record. There is some satisfaction, however: Turns outs their promise to support creators and pay them for what they’re worth wasn’t all it was cracked up to be.
Meta’s billion-dollar creator fund: Lotsa bark, no bite
What started out as an awesome payout proposition from the heavyweight has fizzled into frustration as creators recently reported that their payments are down as much as 70 percent. The Reels Payment Program rules were outlined in this confusing manifesto, which has users scratching their heads at how big a bonus they’ll get and what hoops they must jump through to lock it in. Attempting to get answers from the platform on how the system worked, Instagram was mute, using the excuse to TechCrunch back in November that they were still in the experimental stages.
Irritated creators reported how the company backtracked on projected payouts with one telling The Financial Times that at first they only needed to get 58 million views to get paid up to $35,000 but now had to get 359 million to land the same amount! Creators also stated that the system’s not predictable and that hooking up revenue from advertising works better.
It appears it’s not just Meta that falls short either. Hank Greene, a top YouTube creator, said all the other platforms basically “suck” compared to the amount you can make on YouTube’s ad-generated 55-45 split. He explained that social media sites cap how much you make so you’ll never earn what you do on YouTube: “When TikTok makes more, creators make less.”
Of course, all this opportunity to make big cash on the streamer means little to the adult industry as YouTube’s mostly off limits. For now, creators in the adult industry are stuck with Instagram, TikTok, Facebook and Snapchat — which aren’t the friendliest either but still (allegedly?) have possibilities of monetization.
Hopefully Meta really is struggling with the newness of the payout program and can clean up their act to award earnings in a fair manner to those who drive traffic to the site. And when that finally happens, it’ll remain to be seen whether the adult industry is invited to be a part of it. For now though, rest easy. You’re not missing out on much.
Alyssa Collins hails from Minnesota, where snowy days were the perfect excuse to stay warm inside and write. Over the years, she turned that joy into a career and has authored numerous articles for various publications (under pen names). Email Alyssa via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Header image via Pexels.com.