Facebook Creators Suffer a Plunge In Video Ad Revenues — Facebook Calls It a ‘Glitch’

facebook shorted video creators
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facebook shorted video creators
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Photo Credit: NeonBrand

A new report suggests Facebook videos ad revenue isn’t what it should be for many creators.

Changes in how Facebook counts views may be impacting video creators on the platform. The Verge spoke with three different creators who say Facebook shorted them payments and ignored their requests for help. All three creators say the short payments showed up in January.

One scuba diver saw $2,000 to $3,000 monthly payments in 2020. That dried up to less than $1,000 in January. It dropped to under $700 in February when he reached out to Facebook. Facebook transitioned to its new Pages experience in January, which impacts how creators can monetize their content.

Facebook has always pursued advertising dollars in the past – but now it’s seeking revenue-sharing agreements with video creators. That puts the social network in direct competition with other video platforms, like YouTube and Twitch. Gamers, writers, photographers, musicians, and more have flocked to Facebook to make a living during the pandemic.

Facebook has a broader array of money-making tools on its platform than something like Twitch, which operates a digital tip bucket for viewers to drop ‘bits’ in. In-stream ads, shopping, and subscription newsletters are just some of the monetization features Facebook offers. And just a few weeks ago, Facebook was crowing about how many new creators are earning on the platform.

Facebook says there are now more than one million shops on both Facebook and Instagram. From 2019 to 2020, the number of content creators earning $10k per month grew 88%. Creators earning at least $1,000 per month grew 94%. So if Facebook’s video platform is growing so well, why has it stopped paying its content creators?

When The Verge contacted the company about the short Facebook videos ad revenue payments, they were told it was due to a glitch.

“[We] resolved a technical issue that prevented a small number of video creators on Facebook from receiving their full in-stream ads payouts,” a Facebook representative says. “We’re notifying these partners that they’ll receive those remaining in-stream payments during the April payout cycle, and we apologize for any inconvenience,” the email continues.

Check your emails to see if you are one of the shorted creators impacted by Facebook’s glitch. It’s a little alarming that video creators can see such a drastic drop in revenue without much of an explanation as to why. There’s also no guarantee that these creators won’t face the same problems in the future.