Facebook To Pay For Live Videos From Internet Celebrities

Image courtesy of Poster Boy

YouTube stars and Instagram aficionados may soon pop-up on your Facebook feed in real-time: the social network is reportedly shelling out $2.2 million to dozens of internet personalities to create content for the recently launched Facebook Live. 

The Wall Street Journal, citing internal Facebook documents, reports that the move to pay stars of platforms like Vine, Instagram, and YouTube is intended to “encourage experimentation” on the live video service.

While the $2.2 million being paid to internet influencers is a drop in the bucket compared to the $47.8 million going to actual celebrities and media companies like BuzzFeed for their video creation on Facebook Live, the viral video-content makers are often more relatable to audiences.

That means, the WSJ reports, their content is more likely to attract younger fans and their content is more apt to receive a “like” or “share” on Facebook.

Facebook launched the Live video streaming option earlier this year, and has so far attracted hundreds of thousands of viewers.

For instance, BuzzFeed, which is one of the media companies to be paid for creating content, received as many as 807,000 simultaneous viewers in April when employees snapped rubber bands on a watermelon until it exploded, the WSJ reports.

Many of the internet celebrities now creating content for Facebook Live say that while they aren’t abandoning their normal mode of communication — Vine, YouTube, Instagram — they feel they can reach more people through Facebook, which has more than 1.6 billion users.

Jon Paul Piques, who rose to popularity on Vine, is one of the internet stars working with Facebook Live. The WSJ reports he’s being paid $119,000 to use the streaming service at least five times a month through September.

Piques says he was approached by Facebook in April. Since then his followers have increased from 1.5 million to 7.5 million.

So far, he’s taken viewers on a behind-the-scenes look at the Playboy mansion, and is planning to try live-streaming a standup-comedy routine.

Paying for content isn’t a new thing for social networks. The WSJ reports that since 2011, YouTube paid more than $100 million to media companies, Hollywood production companies and online-video creators to create “channels” on the site.

And while YouTube doesn’t pay creators directly anymore, the company does offer a share of revenue from advertising that goes along with their videos.

Facebook to Pay Internet Stars for Live Video [The Wall Street Journal]

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