Facebook claims it will be whipping open its checkbook in a big way for creators: CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the social-media giant will pay out more than $1 billion to creators on Facebook and Instagram through the end of 2022.
Zuckerberg announced the new initiative in a Facebook post Tuesday — but didn’t provide a lot of details.
“We want to build the best platforms for millions of creators to make a living, so we’re creating new programs to invest over $1 billion to reward creators for great content they create on Facebook and Instagram through 2022,” he wrote. “Investing in creators isn’t new for us, but I’m excited to expand this work over time.”
Separately, last month Zuckerberg said Facebook will not take a cut of creator-generated revenue until 2023.
Facebook’s push to dole out cash to creators may be in part a PR effort to counteract ongoing negative attention the huge tech company has generated. That includes bills pending in the House aimed at curbing anticompetitive behavior by Big Tech, including Facebook, and the release of “An Ugly Truth,” a book by New York Times reporters Sheera Frenkel and Cecilia Kang making a case that Facebook has routinely avoided taking action to prevent hate speech, disinformation and other harmful conduct.
Facebook, which has a current market cap of nearly $1 trillion, ended the first quarter with $64.2 billion in cash and equivalents on its books.
According to Facebook, the new $1 billion investment will include new bonus programs that pay eligible creators for hitting certain milestones when they use Facebook or Instagram tools. It will also provide seed funding for creators to produce their own content.
The company plans to launch a dedicated place for bonuses within the Instagram app this summer and in the Facebook app this fall where creators can learn about bonuses available to them.
Bonuses are available by invitation now to some creators on both Facebook and Instagram.
On Facebook, those include an “In-Stream” bonus that pays an earnings bonus over the next four months to select video creators who use in-stream ads. Facebook also is expanding the recently announced Stars Challenges to include select gaming creators; participating video and gaming creators will receive a monthly bonus for hitting specific Stars earnings milestones over the next three months.
On Instagram, the IGTV ads bonus (available now by invitation to creators in the U.S.) lets creators earn a one-time bonus for signing up for IGTV ads, which enables them to earn a share of revenue when ads run against their videos. The badges in Instagram Live bonus, available now by invitation to creators in 11 countries, rewards creators when they meet certain milestones with badges, such as going Live with another account.
And Instagram’s Reels Summer bonus — launching in the next few weeks by invitation to creators in the U.S. in the new Bonuses section of the Instagram app — will pay creators based on the amount of engagement their Reels receive. Instagram launched Reels, essentially a copycat of TikTok, widely in August 2020.
Facebook said to be eligible for the new bonus programs, creators must comply with its partner monetization policies.
Variety's Todd Spangler contributed to this post.