Creators like The Pun Guys are becoming more and more unhappy with Facebook’s tight-fisted stance in regards to its biggest social media influencers.
In an effort to “make sure people’s time is well spent,” Facebook has recently trimmed some of the fat from its social media design, keeping posts from friends and family more visible while significantly reducing the amount of viral content that is displayed on the site to any given user. Unfortunately, that has left some of their most prolific users with a bad taste in their mouths.
Ryan “Hammy TV” Hamilton “did 1.8 billion views last year” but “made no money from Facebook. Not even a dollar.” Dan Shaba, co-founder of “The Pun Guys,” has similar complaints. It feels like they’ve pulled the biggest bait-and-switch of all time,” he said. “They’ve been promising monetization from the moment we got in.”
Rick Lax, another creator pulling in more than a billion Facebook views per month, is a little more understanding. Still, he disagrees with Zuckerberg that his content cannot be considered time well spent. “A good video can be the catalyst for a meaningful connection,” Lax said. “Think of a good Facebook video like a Mother’s Day card. It doesn’t stop someone from sharing her feelings with her mom — it gives her a jumping-off point.”
As a stop-gap, many creators signed on with publishers like Diply and LittleThings. Creators would share links on their pages and receive tidy sums of money for advertising to their followers. But when Facebook’s content policies changed to prohibit that, the burgeoning ad economy promptly tanked. LittleThings president Gretchen Tibbits frames it as a disservice to Facebook’s users, saying that “people are saying that their feeds are getting stale, and they’re missing the diversity of content they felt they had selected. People carefully curated their feeds, and Facebook took that away.”
In a statement, Facebook vice president of product Fidji Simo explained, “our branded content policies prohibit Pages and Profiles from accepting payment to share content they did not have a hand in creating, since the spirit behind branded content is to have a collaboration between brands and creators to produce content.”
The words aren’t encouraging. And while Zuckerberg’s infamous social media titan flounders under the weight of its own irresponsibility, they may well be parting ones.