Facebook is to share ad revenue with selected videos creators that post on its new ‘suggested videos’ scheme, in a step toward luring more premium content away from sites like Google’s YouTube.
Facebook will offer contributors 55% of the revenue from ads that appear alongside videos, the same split as YouTube.
The spots will be part of a new feature that suggests clips to Facebook users who are already watching videos.
Facebook is testing the Suggested Videos feed for iPhone users in the US and that the revenue-sharing arrangement will not begin immediately.
“We’re running a new suggested videos test, which helps people discover more videos similar to the ones they enjoy. Within suggested videos, we will be running a monetization test where we will show feed-style video ads and share revenue with a group of media companies and video creators,” a Facebook spokeswoman said in a statement.
The NBA, Fox Sports, Funny or Die, Tastemade and Hearst are among the first media companies to join the program.
Threat to YouTube?
Facebook says its users clock up four billion video views daily, posing a serious threat to YouTube.
While YouTube gives content creators 55% of the revenue from ads displayed before their videos, Facebook will split the 55% it is offering between several creators.
Facebook made $3.3bn (£2.1bn) in ad revenue in the first quarter of 2015, 73% of it from mobile ads.
While YouTube allows most users to monetise their videos, Facebook says it is working with a group of media companies and chosen individuals for the time being.
One likely concern for video creators is that it is more difficult to search for videos on Facebook than YouTube at the moment.
Speaking to the Financial Times, Robert Kyncl, head of content and business operations at YouTube, said that the growth in video means there’s plenty of audience for Facebook and YouTube to share. He said there “will be a decade before we bump into each other.”