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Facebook, Instagram widen money-making tools for creators

The social giant offers people ways to make money off virtual live events and allows Instagram creators to log in to Facebook's Creator Studio tools.

Claudia Cruz/CNET

Facebook is expanding the ways that people can make money from their audience on the social network, the company said Monday in a blog post. As the coronavirus pandemic scuttles in-person events, the company has started inviting some people running Facebook pages to use tools designed to create, promote, host and monetize virtual live events. 

The paid online events product will expand in the coming weeks, the company said.

It's also allowing users on Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, to sign in to some Facebook revenue-focused tools and products using their Instagram credentials, including the company's Creator Studio. Facebook is also expanding access to the Brand Collabs Manager, which helps creators get sponsors that they plug in their posts and to manage those deals more easily across both Facebook and Instagram.

Facebook has also widened access to fan subscriptions, which support creators through a monthly recurring payment, and "stars," which let fans send money to a creator to show their support in video comments. Creators can also now set a goal for stars that appears as a permanent overlay in videos, and stars can now be set up with automated thank-you cards.   

Creator Studio is getting new features: Video metrics will include data on live events, stars and traffic sources, as well as hourly details for the first 48 hours after a video is published. The Creator Studio app recently added the ability to publish and schedule Facebook posts from the app itself and is adding comment insights with details about how a creator's own comments can spur more interest.

Creators can now place advertising alongside 60- to 180-second videos. The company also said it has developed ad formats for live video, including a new type of mid-roll ad that plays in the main video player during the livestream while the broadcast keeps playing in a smaller window.