Video onis about to get more interactive.
on Tuesday announced a grab-bag of developments for on its , including the addition of interactivity features that can turn anyone into the of their own empire.
Facebook also said it's widening ways for people to make money off their videos on Facebook, like setting $4.99 monthly subscriptions and letting more people stick ads in their clips. (So look forward to more ads!) It will be broadening the programs in its Watch tab, so there will be more user-generated material alongside the heavily produced shows that Facebook recruits from celebrities and the like. And videos may start to look differently, as the company tests a new template for clips on Facebook pages.
The announcements, coming the same week as the mega-convention for online video creators, VidCon, underscores how video has grown in importance for Facebook, as it jostles with YouTube to vacuum up marketing dollars migrating online from TV.
Later this year, Facebook will introduce polling for both live and on-demand videos and gamification (a.k.a. HQ Trivia tools) for live broadcasts, the company said in two blog posts Tuesday.
Polling lets people add questions with a set of answers to survey their viewers' opinions. Facebook suggested creators could ask fans to vote for their favorite character, get advice on what to do next, or play Two Truths and a Lie. An existing show on Facebook's Watch tab, where the network clusters video, tested the feature, letting viewers of "Help Us Get Married" help pick on couples' wedding venues and themes.
The "gamification" feature on live videos programs a set of questions with each having one correct answer, and people get eliminated from the game when they answer incorrectly.
For serious video creators on Facebook, the company announced several changes.
It is widening its superfan badge feature to more creators, after testing it in March. The badges highlight a creator's most loyal fans by displaying a badge next to their names. Facebook is also expanding fan subscriptions to more creators, which lets viewers pledge $4.99 per month to unlock perks like exclusive content and a badge (MOAR badges) calling out their supporter status.
Also rolling out to more video makers in the US: Ad Breaks, which runs commercials on videos and shares a slice of the advertising revenue. Facebook said it would be opening up the ability to run ads in stages, starting with creators who are creating longer, original content that has a loyal audience. The company is also introducing a system called Brand Collabs Manager that connects creators with companies looking to do paid product placements.
Ad Breaks returns 55 of revenue to the creator, with Facebook taking the rest. Facebook isn't taking a share of revenue of subscriptions during its testing phase, but because all subscription payments are processed through either through Apple or Google's in-app billing service, Apple and Google apply their standard revenue share and transaction fees.
Facebook will also be letting more creators' clips into its Watch section, saying that produced shows will continue to have a prominent place in Watch but videos from people's Facebook pages would start being mixed in. "For creators, this means their videos may be eligible to show up in Watch to be discovered by a broader audience," the company said.
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