Facebook has launched a new ability for businesses, creators, educators and media publishers to earn money from online events on its platform.
Facebook Page owners can now create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place.
Facebook Pages in 20 countries around the world that meet the company’s partner monetization policies can start charging for online events, making it easier for millions of people and small businesses to make money on the social network.
The company said that to support small businesses and creators, it will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year.
“For transactions on the web, and on Android in countries where we have rolled out Facebook Pay, small businesses will keep 100 per cent of the revenue they generate from paid online events,” Facebook said in a statement on Friday.
The social network said it asked Apple to reduce its 30 per cent App Store tax or allow it to offer Facebook Pay so it could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during Covid-19.
“Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70 per cent of their hard-earned revenue,” said Fidji Simo, Vice President, Head of Facebook App.
Facebook said it was also testing “paid events with Messenger Rooms” for more personal and interactive gatherings.
“In testing, we’ve seen businesses use Facebook to host expert talks, trivia events, podcast recordings, boxing matches, cooking classes, intimate meet-and-greets, fitness classes and more”, the company said.
With social distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones.
People are also relying on live video and interactive experiences more when they can’t come together physically.
In June, Facebook saw live broadcasts from Pages double compared to the same time last year, largely attributed to broadcasts since March.
By combining marketing, payment and live video, paid online events meet the end-to-end needs of businesses.
Pages can host events on Facebook Live to reach broad audiences.