Australian creators will now be able to charge people to watch their livestreams on Facebook, as the pandemic forces people to take their business online

Supplied: Facebook
  • Facebook is launching a feature that allows creators to charge people to access live broadcasts on its platform.
  • Prior to this, creators were using third-party solutions which would send users off platform.
  • Facebook is temporarily waiving fees for those on Android but not for iOS users, as part of the backlash to Apple’s 30% in-app purchase fee.
  • Visit Business Insider Australia’s homepage for more stories.

As people turn to live-streaming in lieu of in-person events during the coronavirus pandemic, Facebook is making it possible for Australian creators to charge for their virtual services without leaving the platform.

The company now offers eligible creators the ability to charge in-app for access to livestreams through its Pages function.

“Now Page owners can create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, all in one place,” said Facebook’s head of the Facebook App, Fidji Simo, in a blog post announcing the feature.

“By combining marketing, payment and live video, paid online events meet the end-to-end needs of businesses. Pages can host events on Facebook Live to reach broad audiences.”

The company says that livestreams on Pages in June had doubled from the same time last year.

Australia is one of the 20 countries where creators can access the feature once they meet the company’s monetisation policy criteria.

Throughout the pandemic, creators and businesses have adapted to social distancing restrictions by using livestreaming to allow people to take part in virtual events.

Prior to Facebook’s announcement, creators were using third-party solutions to charge for an event, often by promoting events through Facebook and hosting livestreams on a different platform. Facebook’s latest announcement allows them to keep creators within its ecosystem.

As part of the announcement, Facebook took a jab at Apple while announcing that it would wave transaction fees for paid events for the next year – but only on Android devices.

“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,” Simo wrote.

“Unfortunately, they dismissed both our requests and SMBs will only be paid 70% of their hard-earned revenue.”

This comes amid intensified scrutiny over Apple’s 30% cut on any in-app purchases made on iOS.

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