Instagram is Engaged on a New ‘Bonuses’ Fee Choice to Incentivize Reels Creators
It seems that Facebook is still taking inspiration from other platforms to prevent TikTok from rapidly rising.
Last November, Snapchat launched the short-form video trend Spotlight, which is a feed of short, TikTok-like video clips stored in a special tab in the Snapchat app.
The format is well known, and Facebook’s own Instagram already has roles to cover this element. However, the main differentiator of Spotlight is the fact that Snap is also paying out $ 1 million per day to the top Spotlight developers to further increase interest in the option.
This has been an effective approach as Spotlight is now visited by 125 million Snapchatters and some developers make big bucks from their Spotlight clips every month.
It was so effective, in fact, that it appears Instagram is now rolling out a similar payment program, with app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi spotting this announcement screen in the app’s back-end code.
As you can see here, Instagram appears to be testing a new “bonus” program that would focus on reels promotion.
According to the first point above, the program would allow users to “Earn Bonuses from Instagram” for sharing new Reels content. You would then apparently have to meet certain bonus thresholds in order to receive “revenue” from the program, and variable bonuses would also be made available to be made available to the creators.
The explanatory notes don’t specifically state that users would earn cash payouts with the program, but it does seem consistent with the Snapchat Spotlight approach to pay select creators for their role contributions – although this is apparently based on upload volume as opposed to engagement / quality based.
Which is really not that surprising.
Facebook’s product development playbook for the past five years consists essentially of two simple elements: “CTRL C” and “CTRL V”. Whenever a platform launches something effective it’s just a wait game to see when Facebook copies it, and with its unmatched size providing the ultimate bait, it has generally been possible to negate the competition through this approach and / or to blunt.
I mean, if it works, there’s no need for Facebook to stop – but in the case of TikTok, Facebook hasn’t been able to slow its momentum with the Chinese-owned Short so far. Form video app that shakes off Facebook’s various replications and barriers to move forward on the way to the next social media platform with billions of users.
And Facebook definitely tried:
- Facebook launched its first TikTok clone called “Lasso” in 2018 with an emphasis on markets where TikTok hadn’t yet established an audience. The project never caught on, and Facebook closed Lasso for good last July.
- Facebook had far more success with its most direct attack on TikTok in Instagram Reels, which Facebook launched just days after banning TikTok in the region in India. Instagram is currently still looking at how to maximize the roles. IG boss Adam Mosseri reports steady progress on the option.
- Along with the launch of Reels, Facebook was also making big cash offers to some of the top TikTok developers to post exclusively on Reels instead. It is unclear how effective this was in increasing roll intake
- Facebook has also launched several TikTok-like experimental apps through its NPE team, including the music collaboration app ‘Collab’ and the rap-focused ‘Bars’, both of which revolve around short-form video clips.
All of these efforts were started with TikTok in mind as part of Facebook’s strategy to slow the growth of the app. However, Facebook’s most direct attack on TikTok is rarely discussed and probably not even known to the public.
As early as 2019, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, held a “secret” dinner with then US President Donald Trump, at which the two discussed the many challenges and opportunities in the broader technology sector.
Indeed, a major focus of that meeting was on the rise of TikTok – as stated by the Wall Street Journal:
“”At a private dinner at the White House in late October, Mr. Zuckerberg made it clear to President Trump that the rise of Chinese internet companies threatens American business and should be a bigger problem than curbing Facebook, some people said. “
This reflects the same sentiment that Zuckerberg shared with Trump in a speech to Georgetown University just prior to that meeting, in which Zuckerberg stated:
“”China is building its own internet that focuses on very different values and is now exporting its vision of the internet to other countries. Until recently, in almost every country outside of China, the Internet was defined by American platforms with strong values for free speech. There is no guarantee that these values will prevail. “
In his speech, Zuckerberg specifically noted that TikTok had censored some users at the behest of the Chinese government as he highlighted growing concerns about the CCP’s expansion of the CCP’s reach through such apps.
What happened then?
In early November, literally days after Zuckerberg’s meeting with Trump, tThe U.S. government announced a national security investigation into TikTok, which eventually resulted in Trump pushing for a total ban on TikTok in the U.S. unless it could be sold in U.S. ownership. That eventually fell flat, but the element a lot of people overlook is that Facebook started this whole process – it was Facebook that sowed the seeds of doubt in the U.S. government, which eventually led to the Trump administration TikTok almost went out of business, at least we know.
In this context, it should also be noted that Facebook has spent more than anyone else major political lobbying tech giants in 2020, increasing their spending 17.8% year over year to $ 19.68 million to have more leverage over policy making related to their interests.
Facebook is doing everything it can to oust TikTok – and while on the one hand it will actually benefit from the rise of the Chinese app, it weakens the FTC’s ongoing antitrust proceedings against the company, Facebook also knows that it could lose a lot of time in the long run. It was, of course, Facebook that MySpace originally usurped for social media dominance.
Could TikTok be a “Facebook killer” at some point?
Probably not realistically, but trends that are emerging in younger age groups can lead to new habits. With people reportedly spending more time on TikTok than they do on Facebook or Instagram, Facebook actually gives cause for concern.
In conclusion, Facebook’s replication efforts will continue. As more platforms find new ways to add and expand their own offerings, Facebook will continue to take inspiration from these ideas while pushing for increased government regulation that works in its favor.
This is the benefit of being the greatest and best equipped player in space.