Facebook to Run More Ads on Shorter Videos to Chase TikTok

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Facebook Inc. plans to run more advertising on shorter videos, part of a broader push to attract popular social-media influencers and compete with TikTok.

The Menlo Park, California-based company said ads will appear on clips as short as one minute. Previously, only videos at least three minutes long were eligible, according to a blog post Thursday. Facebook is also expanding eligibility criteria to include popular creators who primarily record live or short videos.

“We want to make sure that there is more content that can be monetized,” said Yoav Arnstein, Facebook’s director of product management. “We know that short-form video is becoming far more popular.”

Facebook takes 45% of the revenue from these ads, with the rest going to creators. The changes announced Thursday may help the company lure influencers who have thrived on other platforms that specialize in short-form video, such as Snap Inc.’s Snapchat and TikTok, which is owned by ByteDance Ltd.

Facebook will also experiment with letting some creators make money from Facebook Stories, user-generated posts that disappear after 24 hours, with ad stickers laid on top, the company said.

TikTok’s surging popularity has kicked off a new battle for talented video creators, with social-media companies rushing to offer new ways to make money on their platforms.

Last month, Twitter Inc. outlined a potential subscription product that will let people charge followers for access to special content or experience. Snap and TikTok have also been experimenting with direct payments to creators of popular content.

Creators and businesses can also generate revenue through Facebook’s subscription program, paid digital events, direct compensation from fans, and brand partnerships.

The number of content creators earning $10,000 a month from Facebook’s programs grew 88% in 2020. Content creators pulling in $1,000 a month grew 94% during that period, according to the company.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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