- Six months ago Facebook allowed verified pages and profiles to share branded content and it now will allow all users to apply to get access to the branded content tool, as reported by VentureBeat.
- Branded content lets users monetize Facebook content including text, photos, videos, Instant Articles, links, 360-degree video and live video.
- Facebook also changed the label for branded content to the more direct “paid,” but doesn’t claim that disclosure necessarily meets FTC or other regulatory standards. “Publishers will be still responsible for complying with any relevant advertising regulations in the markets, including providing necessary disclosures indicating the commercial nature of the content they post," the blog post states.
Micro-influencers and other users with a large number of followers who didn’t make it to verified status on the platform will see the most immediate benefit, as Facebook’s move greatly democratizes the ability to earn revenue for content on the platform.
The move does come at an interesting time as Google is facing serious backlash for the wild west nature of content it hosts on platforms like YouTube with brands and agencies alike pulling ads until Google can gain more control over ads appearing next to offensive or sensitive content. Giving more influencers an opportunity to earn money on Facebook could attract them away from YouTube, where reports suggest they have been losing money during the brand boycott.
Just how safe the Facebook environment is for brands is unclear. Facebook appears to be leaving it up to sponsors to make sure they aren’t paying for content that might appear next to other, potentially offensive content on the user’s profile.
Facebook’s statement on disclosure is interesting in that it put the onus on sponsors and the sponsored content to ensure the post meets standards. The FTC has not been entirely clear with its guidelines and recently has shown propensity to take action in sanctioning brands, although it’s unknown how the agency will handle enforcement under the Trump administration.