Facebook has made its first move to allow video creators earn revenues through advertising, effectively creating a business model around uploading videos on its platform and taking on YouTube.
The social network began testing “suggested videos” for users of its iPhone app last week, throwing up a string of content related to the one that showed up on the user’s News Feed.
Facebook has already revealed that it will monetize “suggested videos” with in-line autoplay ads that appear in between clips. The company will keep 45% of these ad revenues.
Chief competitor YouTube too engages in a 45-55 revenue split and Facebook’s move is seen in direct contention to take on Google’s mega video sharing platform.
So far, video creators were drawn to Facebook because of the ease of sharing and large reach. However, now the company hopes to lure in video creators away from YouTube with cash.
Fox Sports, NBA, Hearst, Funny or Die and Tastemade are some of the partners Facebook has tied up with to test video ads. For now though, the company’s video partners aren’t allowed to sell their own ads on the service, but Facebook isn’t ruling out the possibility.
Over the span of 2 weeks, the social network is looking to widen the span of suggested videos to several million users which it will begin to monetize. It isn’t clear how soon any user will be able to upload videos and earn a cut from the advertising revenues on Facebook – our guess is not long.