So far, Facebook Live’s partnerships with digital publishers has yielded, among other things, an exploded watermelon and a failed interview with the president. Now, new details have emerged about Facebook’s plans to pay not just media outlets and celebrities, but also content creators from Vine and YouTube. And boy, did I ever pick the wrong line of work!
According to the Wall Street Journal, Facebook is paying “internet stars,” like Jon Paul Piques and Ray William Johnson, more than $100,000 to use Facebook Live for a few months. Piques snagged some “fame” on Vine; Johnson made his name on YouTube. According to the Journal, these dudes are just a few of “nearly two dozen YouTube creators, Vine stars and internet personalities” targeted by Facebook. (Johnson is reportedly the highest paid “personality,” and could make about $224,000 for under six months of “work.”)
In total, Zuck and co. are shelling out about $2.2 million to coax “internet personalities” into using Live. This is no doubt chump change for Facebook—both in general and when one considers it’s only about 5 percent of the $50 million the company is reportedly spending to goad companies and people to use Live—but it does signal that Facebook wants to beat the shit out of Vine and YouTube when it comes to “content creators.”
In June, during online video convention VidCon, the question of Facebook Live and revenue sharing from advertising reportedly popped up. That’s the method YouTube currently employs—and Facebook has yet to try. (As the Journal points out, YouTube used to pay people to create channels, which is similar to what Facebook is doing now.)
It’s unclear whether or not a Facebook partnership would prohibit participants from using other platforms, but judging from Piques’ still-active and still-boring Vine account, it doesn’t seem to be a problem.
Disclosure: Facebook has launched a program that pays publishers, including the New York Times and Buzzfeed, to produce videos for its Facebook Live tool. Gawker Media, Gizmodo’s parent company, recently joined that program.