New Revenue Channel for SMBs on Facebook: What Apple and Android Users Must Note


Facebook launches paid online events for SMBs

Facebook announcedOpens a new window  a new feature that will enable businesses, creators, artists, educators, and media publishers to monetize their online events on the platform.

In view of COVID’s impact on small businesses and independent entrepreneurs, the social media company will waive off fees for paid online events for at least the next year. This move forms a part of a larger series of initiatives rolled out by Facebook to support small businesses amid the global health crisis and resulting economic impact. A couple of months ago, the company had announcedOpens a new window $100 million in cash grants and ad credits for SMBs. It also launched Facebook Shops to enable SMBs to sell online.

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According to research by Facebook and OECDOpens a new window , small businesses will require continued support to operate throughout the economic recovery. It is estimated that bankruptcies among SMBs could triple from an average of 4% before the pandemic to 12% by the end of 2020. Given that SMBs employ 60 – 70% of the working population in most countries, Facebook expects them to play a pivotal role in global economic recovery.

Fidji Simo, vice president and head of the Facebook app says the company witnessed a 2x increase in live broadcasts from pages compared to the same time last year. He writes, “With social distancing mandates still in place, many businesses and creators are bringing their events and services online to connect with existing customers and reach new ones. People are also relying on live video and interactive experiences more when they can’t come together physically.”

Paid online events combine marketing, payment and live video to help small business reach broad audiences. The company has also hinted at the possibility of launching paid events for Messenger Rooms to enable creators to deliver a more powerful and personal event experiences.

Facebook’s online events feature for SMBs

The feature is being made available in 20 countries. Pages that comply with Facebook’s partner monetization policy can start charging for online events.

“With Facebook’s latest feature, businesses will be able to monetize online events — creating a great opportunity for SMBs to not only make money through virtual classes and events, but to showcase their unique offerings. Along with initiatives from other tech giants, such as Venmo’s Business Profiles, SMBs can continue to generate brand awareness and connect with their customers on social platforms that many already use to engage with businesses, friends and family during Covid-19,” Madelyn Wing, director of product marketing at CallRail told Toolbox.

“It’s especially important for SMBs lacking a website to take advantage of social platforms in order to boost visibility among their audience. Taking part in these initiatives is ultimately a nice intermediate solution until these SMBs have the resources needed to create a full-blown web presence,” she added.

Also read: Top 10 Facebook Marketing Strategy Tips for 2020

Apple To Collect 30% of SMB Revenues Generated form Paid Online Events

In true Apple fashion – the company will keep 30% of the revenue generated by creators on Facebook’s new paid online events. For web transactions and Facebook Pay transactions, businesses and creators will keep 100% of the revenue they generate from paid online events. In addition, according to Facebook, if participants on the Android app use Google’s in-app payment system to purchase online events (rather that Facebook Pay), Google will keep 30% of the revenue.

Simo said in a statement, “We asked Apple to reduce its 30% App Store tax or allow us to offer Facebook Pay so we could absorb all costs for businesses struggling during COVID-19. Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests,” which means businesses and creators “will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue.” 

Also read: Messenger’s New Chat Plugin Lets Businesses Connect With Customers Beyond Facebook

Apple’s controversial approach to App monetization has been in the news since Epic Games filed a lawsuit against the company over the practice. Epic Games, the creators of “Fortnite” have are also suing Google over its same requirement that developers use its own payment system for in-app purchases and pay a 30% commission.

For Facebook’s paid online events, those who host events will receive payouts once per month after they cross a minimum balance of $100.

Paid online events are currently available to eligible Facebook pages in the following countries: Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, India, Italy, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Ukraine, the U.K. and the U.S.