Facebook announced that Pages owners who qualify can now charge for their online events through Facebook Live. This brings together several Facebook technologies that small businesses have found helpful during the pandemic:
Content creators can choose to host their event on Facebook Live or provide their customers with a link to an outside platform upon payment. The company is also testing Paid Online Events for Messenger Rooms—a more exclusive and interactive option for special events.
In order to qualify for Paid Online Events, Pages must meet several monetization standards, including those related to originality and authenticity, and those Pages used to promote misleading or stolen content will not qualify. Owners can check the eligibility of their Pages prior to scheduling.
A delayed entry with more connective power
Five months into the pandemic, many small businesses have already found ways to make money with online events. The company is late to the game in offering event monetization, but the rollout does promise a smoother experience for businesses and customers than other options. And it’s not the platform’s first attempt to help SMBs during the crisis. In May, Facebook published COVID-19 resources for small businesses looking to make money on their platforms and provided $100 million in small business grants.
Most online events up to this point require business owners to sync information across several different platforms: a scheduling app like Mindbody, a video or conference software like Zoom, and any promotional tools they use including email and social media.
With Paid Live Events, companies can plan, promote, take payment, and host their event in a single platform. They can promote directly to their followers and use the granular Facebook Ads audiences to target new customers.
☕ Throwing shade at App Store fees
In a blog post announcing Paid Live Events, Facebook said they will waive payment charges for Paid Live Events for at least a year. The post went on to say that due to the pandemic, “Many businesses are struggling and every cent matters. Shifting in-person events to online is costly enough that businesses shouldn’t have to worry about fees charged by platforms.”
However, the company can only provide a fee waiver for events booked through Facebook Pay via the Android app or on the web. Apple declined to waive the 30 percent App Store fee for mobile payments. Facebook points out in strong (for Facebook) language that this decision means “SMBs will only be paid 70 percent of their hard-earned revenue.”