Monetising Facebook through subscriptions

Posted on May 9, 2019

 

For almost a year, Facebook has been experimenting with subscription services for content creators, allowing people to earn money from their followers, or group members, on Facebook. It isn’t something that is actively promoted by Facebook, hence you may not have heard about it, but it is open to people to use – so long as you pass Facebook’s very specific requirements.

Let’s look at the different ways you can earn money from Facebook through content. You can see many of these listed here.

Fan Subscriptions

This is for Facebook Page owners who have a large following on their page, and who generate original content. It could be used by influencers, news organisations, clubs or anyone who generates content for their ‘fans’ (or followers) to enjoy and engage with.

It’s not available for anyone, however. First of all Facebook only has Fan Subscriptions available to certain regions at the time of writing. Guess what? It doesn’t tell you what those regions are. You can be fairly certain the USA is one of them, but the other regions could be anyone’s guess.

Secondly, you’ll need to qualify for Facebook’s Monetisation Standards. These are a little more transparent, and cover things such as content quality, compliance with their Community Standards (such as no satire, fake news, copyright infringement or hate speech) and other requirements. You can see a list of their standards you’ll need to comply with here.

Subscribers will have their own special badges, and you can reward them with special content that is just for subscribers – content such as videos, posts, polls or something else.

Payments can be made via Facebook, iOS or Android. Facebook doesn’t take a cut of the fee… yet.

Ad breaks

With ad breaks, it’s much easier to see whether or not your pages qualify, as the eligibility is more tangible and Facebook even gives you a tool to check your own pages.

To be eligible for ad breaks, pages need to have at least 10,000 followers (which is no mean feat). You need to pass the aforementioned monetisation eligibility standards – which most pages will pass, unless you’ve shared something that has been complained about, reported and removed by Facebook. Most satire pages will not pass this test.

You also need to have had no fewer than 30,000 one-minute views of videos lasting at least three minutes within the last 60 days. If you share a lot of video content, and have 10,000 followers, this shouldn’t be an issue.

If you qualify, that link will tell you and you can ‘onboard’ (Facebook’s word, not ours) to Ad Breaks and start displaying adverts in the middle of your videos. You’ve probably seen them in videos you’ve tried to watch… annoying, aren’t they?

Subscription Groups

Not to be confused with Fan Subscriptions, these allow people to join your subscription-only group and pay you a monthly fee to be a member.

Existing groups cannot be made subscription only – a new group has to be created as a Subscription Group. Much like Fan Subscriptions, it is currently only open in certain areas and Facebook doesn’t tell you what those areas are. It’s also only open to admins of existing groups, and groups that currently comply with Facebook’s Monetisation Eligibility Standards.

Why does a group have to comply with Facebook’s standards when you can’t monetise an existing group? Who knows, it’s Facebook!

You can find out more about Subscription Groups here, but don’t expect it to be particularly helpful.

So, that’s three ways you can monetise the time you spend on Facebook, assuming you live in the right areas and your pages and groups qualify under Facebook’s exacting standards. We’re sure these methods will become easier over time, as more people start to use them and Facebook starts to take a cut of the money being generated.

Darren Jamieson

Technical Director at Engage Web
Darren is Technical Director at Engage Web, as well as being a co-founder of the company. He takes a hands-on approach to SEO and web design, helped by more than 15 years’ experience in these fields.

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