Instagram and Facebook Pledge $1 Billion for Creators: Photographers, Learn How to Get Your Money

Instagram and Facebook have announced a range of new programs to help creators make careers out of their content. With $1 billion pledged, read on to learn everything about how to get your piece of the pie.

In a viral post to his Facebook page on July 14th, 2021, Mark Zuckerberg announced:

Directly following this, Facebook and Instagram released statements outlining their initial plans and teasing that much more is to come. It is important to note that in what is a strong PR move, last month, Zuckerburg also stated: “To help more creators make a living on our platforms, we’re going to keep paid online events, fan subscriptions, badges, and our upcoming independent news products free for creators until 2023... And when we do introduce a revenue share, it will be less than the 30% that Apple and others take.” If upheld, all of these new programs can mean big money for creators who get in early and take advantage of the various incentives.

The first program is aimed to reward and entice creators to share more content related to product offerings. You may recall back on June 8th, they teased a new native affiliate program. This in-app tool allows creators to tag brands and items, then earn a commission off any sales generated through those links. They are also rolling out in-app shopping especially directed at creators who have merchandise to sell. Whether you are tagging another brand's item to sell or are selling your own items, Facebook and Instagram want in on the action.

In line with the affiliate monetization theme, Facebook also has a revamped tool for brand partnerships. The Brand Collabs Manager is an opt-in tool that connects creators with brands. Once approved, creators can make a portfolio with details about the genres and content that they offer. The tool will match creators with brands and advertisers whose objectives line up. This can help creators connect and work with brands on paid partnerships, campaigns, and promotions.

Next, in a huge push towards video content, Facebook and Instagram have announced several ways to earn money for video creators. Unfortunately, most of them are currently by invite only. The first video monetization move is in-stream ads through pre-roll, mid-roll, and image ads. On Instagram, they are going hard with the IGTV incentive program. Creators can monetize their video content on Instagram through a one-time bonus for signing up for IGTV ads, Badges in Live bonus, and a new Reels Summer bonus, the latter of which will be found in the Bonuses section of the Instagram app and promises payouts based on the performance of your Reels.

The next incentive program is called Badges on Instagram Live and Stars on Facebook. While Badges has been out since 2020, it is being revamped with challenges for reaching milestones and the ability for supporters to make purchases during live streams. This is reminiscent of Bits, donations, or tip jars on Twitch for streamers. It appears that Facebook and Instagram are taking notes from the streaming phenomenon and the huge earning potential of other platforms. Now, they want supporters who watch live content to have a way to “tip” or pay the creator in the moment.

With the revamped Badges and Stars programs, Facebook and Instagram pledge more money for creators if they meet challenges set forth by the app. “Creators in the program can earn payouts from Facebook in the form of free Stars if they meet certain milestones, such as broadcasting a certain number of hours or earning a set number of Stars within a designated time period.”

In another mimicry move, Facebook has added a subscriptions model similar to Patreon. Supporters can now pay a monthly fee to subscribe to a creator and gain access to exclusive content and sub benefits. Creators can customize these experiences to build a community around those who would pay monthly for this special content. It is an interesting move as Facebook and Instagram usually focus on ad-related monetization. Hopefully, they can integrate this further and continue to invest in more non-ad associated support for creators.

In addition to these incentives, Facebook and Instagram promise that more is coming. “We will launch a dedicated place for bonuses within the Instagram app this summer, and in the Facebook app in the fall, where creators can learn about bonuses available to them.”

“To express interest in and sign up to learn more about both our monetization products and bonus programs on Facebook, visit Monetization Tools on Facebook for Creators. Creators on Instagram can learn more in the Bonuses section of the app, which will be available in the coming weeks.”

What do you think about these new programs that Instagram and Facebook have announced? Do you plan to opt in or sign up for any? Also, what do you think of the huge shift towards rewarding video content? Let me know in the comments below.

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6 Comments

Pedro Pulido's picture

"Instagram is no longer a photo sharing app", Adam Mosseri, Instagram CEO.
June 30th, 2021.

Doug Walkey's picture

So paid advertising becomes even more prevalent at the expense of "unbiased" content. Then it becomes a small step to controlling what content providers are allowed to say or infer. It wasn't very long ago that content providers weren't allowed to say "covid" for fear of being de-monitized.

Ben Bezuidenhout's picture

Instagram is a platform to view portrait shots of sexy women and celebrities. Nothing more, nothing less. I would love an actual photographer social media platform.

Les Sucettes's picture

Facebook should just go away… when they say creators they mean fitness bunnies and when they say content they mean images that use "viral filters" or LR presets.

Another distraction for artists.

Tom Reichner's picture

At first it sounds great, on the surface. But after reading the entire article, it seems that the real emphasis is on products being sold through Instagram and Facebook links. Like, it's not truly about IG and Facebook wanting to support creative endeavors, but rather, it's about IG and Facebook trying to get creators to focus their efforts on things that sell or promote products. In other words, it seems to be 100 percent about IG and Facebook making more profit, and zero percent about them wanting to support artists. I feel that they are wanting to exploit artists by getting them to use their creative efforts for their own financial gain.

I photograph wild animals because I think they are beautiful and interesting and amazing, and I want to show people just how awesome they are. Are IG and FB going to support my wildlife photography? Or are they only going to support photography that is used to help sell things?

kate g's picture

Its both. They want you to sell on their platform (prints, your photo services, etc), advertise on their platform and post more content. One quick example is the Reels bonus. But you have to opt in / be selected for some of those. However, with them you get money just for uploading Reels. For still image photographers you can be creative and show BTS clips of you in the field, what is in your cam bag, etc and post it. Most of the Reels bonuses are a few hundred dollars. Some are $500+.