Facebook is reported to be considering adding a virtual ‘tip jar’ which would enable users and official pages to earn money from their posts.
The proposal would see user’s tip others for good posts, rather than just liking or sharing a post.
The idea was first reported by Casey Newton from The Verge, which received a survey from Facebook which asked users their opinions on how they could earn money from the site.
The virtual tip jar was one of the options listed, along with improved monetisation of sponsored posts, as well as updates to its call to action button including new options for ‘Buy Tickets’.
The tip jar idea suggests that regular users could earn money from the content they post on Facebook and would perhaps work in a similar to way how YouTube pays users for their content.
Since 2007, YouTube has enabled users to monetize their content by paying anywhere from $25 to $150 per 1,000 views banner ads on their videos or by paying users every time someone clicks on an ad shown before the start of their video.
YouTubers who have thousands, sometimes millions of subscribers could earn tens of thousands of dollars from just one video. And that doesn’t take into account videos created solely as part of a sponsorship deal with a big brand.
In 2015, Forbes released its list of the World’s Highest Paid YouTube Stars. The minimum requirement to make the list was pre-tax earnings of $2.5 million. Felix Kjellberg aka PewDiePie, has over 43 million subscribers and predominantly creates videos of him playing computer games, was estimated to have earned over $12 million in 2015 on the back of the success from his YouTube channel.
There have been numerous attempts by other sites to launch similar online tip jars such as Flattr, which allows users to setup a monthly budget and tip creators for content they have enjoyed online. Blendle, which works in a similar way but is more focused towards journalism, and allows people to tip for stories.
However, if Facebook decides to introduce a tip jar or follow the example of YouTube with regards to monetisation of content, new options like this would almost certainly result more content being shared on the platform.
A report published by The Information earlier this month revealed that Facebook has been struggling to reverse a large decline in the number of posts being shared by its 1.5 billion users.