Facebook, the world’s biggest social media company, has recently sent out surveys to some of its users asking them how they use the global social media platform.
Some of the questions include how they use their profile pages, what types of information or content they share, and whether their Facebook friends are real-life friends, mere acquaintances, or people they have not met at all.
However, one portion of the survey talked about monetization.
In that part of the online survey, users were asked how they would want to get paid for sharing content on the social media website. Some options include “tip jars” to be added to the “like” button, branded content, and even getting a cut of the revenue that the social media giant makes from posts.
— Digiday (@Digiday) April 9, 2016
For Facebook users who spend hours posting content on the social media website, this may be the chance to make a profit out of it.
The survey also asked users if they are interested in placing a “call to action” button at the bottom of each post where other users can make donations, and a “sponsor marketplace,” which would be a meeting place for Facebook users and advertisers.
The call to action button can be very helpful for users who create and share posts of other people in need. In a way, the social media platform can act as a crowdsourcing site to fund these specific expenses.
— Wired Flare (@wiredflare) April 8, 2016
In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson told The Verge what it plans to do.
“It’s still very early, but we’re committed to creating sustainable, long-term monetization models for our partners, and we’re listening to feedback,” the spokesperson said.
It is not the first time that there have been reports about Facebook wanting to pay for content. For the longest time, the social media giant has been interested in gaining real-time sharing – something that it has not dominated yet.
Other websites such as Twitter and Snapchat are currently the most popular channels for social media users to share this real-time content, although Facebook wants to have all the content to itself.
In fact, Facebook unleashed Sports Stadium earlier this year, which serves as a platform for real-time discussions about the latest in sports. Regardless of the launch, Twitter remains as the top place to share real-time stories.
Facebook launches Sports Stadium to follow your favorite game: https://t.co/3PAYVkFwHI
— Natali Morris (@natalimorris) April 5, 2016
Most of these Twitter and Snapchat users also have FB accounts. So what’s hindering them from sharing their stories or posts on Facebook instead? The company may lure them in once this new monetization scheme materializes, and at the same time cause Twitter and Snapchat to lose some of their lifeblood.
Facebook is so obsessed with getting content that it has paid publishers to bring their content to the social media website.
With the questions in the recent survey, it seems like the company is looking to its user base in order to grant them monetization options.
Facebook will not be the first social media company that would provide profit to its users. YouTube and video game streaming website Twitch are also enabling its users to make money by means of small donations, subscriptions, and merchandise purchases.
— OgilvyOne India (@OgilvyOneIN) April 21, 2016
Unfortunately, there is a catch: the survey only got to “verified” Facebook users, or those that have a pretty decent following. Because what they share online is seen by thousands, if not millions, they were asked by the social media site how they wanted to be paid for bringing in content.
While there is definitely a possibility that the social media site would proceed with its monetization plans, the company may just be using the survey to get additional information and feedback about its services.
In the end, Facebook may simply scrap the idea of monetization among users.
[Photo by Dan Kitwood/Getty Images]