Is Facebook back in vogue with a billion-dollar budget plan?

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A large number of Internet stars, such as the Kenyan actor Mark Moas, were surprised by Facebook’s announcement of its intention to spend more than a billion dollars on programs dedicated to content producers, given that the network, which seeks to compete with other platforms such as “Tik Tok” and “YouTube”, has become “obsolete”. “Sort of, says Mawas.

The 25-year-old, who has 160,000 followers on TikTok, and speaks a mixture of English, Swahili and slang about his student life, questions his ability to encourage his audience to join the social network.

“My mom has a Facebook account, but she doesn’t know Tik Tok,” he told AFP in an email. My content is designed for millennials who prefer other platforms.” And Facebook announced last week that it will allocate $1 billion to pay until 2022 to content producers who publish their material on its platform, in areas as diverse as humor, fashion or video games.

The networks “YouTube”, “Tik Tok” and “Snapchat” are already engaged in a fierce battle to attract social media stars and their followers, who can return them with huge advertising revenues.

In November 2020, Snapchat began spending $1 million a day on top content producers on its platform. As for YouTube video producers, since 2007 they have also been able to get a small portion of the billions that are generated by advertising on the site.

It wasn’t until 2017. Facebook started paying for its popular videos.

As for Facebook’s Instagram, it wasn’t until last year that it started including influencers for a portion of its advertising revenue. They get paid through the partnerships they make directly with brands.

Unleashing the trend

Co-founder of the Fair Nation agency for social networking celebrities, Joe Galeese, was not surprised by Facebook’s delay. The Mark Zuckerberg Group, which was founded in 2004, had already built a solid advertising model when the early influencers began to break into networks and attracting them wasn’t necessary to “change the company’s business model,” says Galizzi.

But like the influencers, the followers, who are mostly from the younger generation, also went to other platforms, reinforcing the impression that Facebook is a “outdated” site for the sons of the so-called “Generation Z”, which is only worthy of their parents.

The percentage of people over the age of 65 who subscribe to Facebook has increased by nearly a quarter over the past year; That is, twice as fast as the growth rate of other age groups of all kinds, according to the “Digital 2021” report prepared by We R Social and Hootsuite.

During the first half of 2021, the Chinese application “Tik Tok” was the most downloaded, according to the American “Sensor Tower” center. Facebook has overthrown the trend in social networking, especially during the pandemic, as the short recordings posted on its platform have softened the atmosphere for millions of people.

One of the goals of Facebook’s billion-dollar plan is for the platform to become popular again and for young people not to be alienated from it.

large capacity

Experts consider it too early to consider the Facebook era over. “We can’t underestimate them,” says Joe Galeese. “They are very strong in technology.”

And Facebook, which earned $84.2 billion in advertising revenue last year, has a large financial capacity that gives it a wide margin for investment. Its subscribers are growing, with 2.8 billion active users today worldwide.

The giant group has not yet clarified how the money will be distributed, but Claudia Cameron expects that a large part of it will be allocated to “Instagram”, which is still considered “popular”. (AFP)





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