Facebook decided Friday to allow a type of paid political message that had sidestepped many of the social network's rules governing political ads, in a reversal that highlights difficulties tech companies and regulators have in keeping up with the changing nature of paid political messages.
Its policy change comes days after presidential candidate Mike Bloomberg exploited a loophole to run humorous messages promoting his campaign on the accounts of popular Instagram personalities followed by millions of younger people.
It used to be clearer what's an ad and what isn't — and thus what's subject to disclosures and other rules. With social media, a campaign can pay celebrities and other influential users to spread a message on their behalf, without ever buying an ad and be subject to its rules.
"This is a new kind of activity that simply didn't exist when the rules for internet political communications were last updated," said Commissioner Ellen L. Weintraub of the Federal Election Commission.
The change involves what Facebook calls "branded content" — sponsored items posted by ordinary users who are typically paid by companies or organizations. Advertisers pay the influential users directly to post about their brand.
Facebook makes no money from such posts and does not consider them advertising. As a result, branded content isn't governed by Facebook's advertising policies, which require candidates and campaigns to verify their identity with a U.S. ID or mailing address and disclose how much they spent running each ad.
Until Friday, Facebook tried to deter campaigns from using such branded content by barring them from using a tool designed to help advertisers run such posts on Facebook and Instagram, which is owned by Facebook. Friday's rule change will now allow campaigns in the U.S. to use this tool, provided they've been authorized by Facebook to run political ads and disclose who paid for the sponsored posts.
"After hearing from multiple campaigns, we agree that there's a place for branded content in political discussion on our platforms," Facebook said in an exclusive statement to The Associated Press. "We're allowing U.S.-based political candidates to work with creators to run this content."
Politicians still won't be required to disclose how much it paid the influencers to run the posts.
The Bloomberg campaign had taken the unconventional step of paying social media influencers — individuals with huge followings — to post Bloomberg memes using their Instagram accounts. Different versions of the sponsored posts from the Bloomberg campaign ran on more than a dozen influential Instagram accounts, each of which have millions of followers.
That effort skirted many of the rules that tech companies have imposed on political ads to safeguard U.S. elections from malicious foreign and domestic interference and misinformation. Online political ads have been controversial, especially after it was revealed Russia used them in an attempt to influence the 2016 presidential election. In response, Facebook has rolled out a number of rules to prevent a repeat of that, though it has declined to fact-check political ads and refuses to ban even blatently false messages.
The Bloomberg campaign's memes showed the 78-year-old candidate, in a tongue-in-cheek awkward fashion, chatting with popular social media influencers with names like "Tank Sinatra," asking them to help him raise his profile among younger folk.
"Can you post a meme that lets everyone know I'm the cool candidate?" Bloomberg wrote in one of the exchanges posted by an account called F(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) Jerry, which has nearly 15 million followers on Instagram. The candidate then sent a photo of him wearing baggy chino shorts, an orange polo and a zip-up vest.
F(asterisk)(asterisk)(asterisk) Jerry's account then replied, "Ooof that will cost like a billion dollars." Bloomberg responded by asking where to send the money.
With the sponsored posts, Bloomberg's campaign said it was reaching those who might not be normally interested in the day-to-day of politics.
"You want to engage people at every platform and you want them to feel like they're not just getting a canned generic statement," campaign spokeswoman Sabrina Singh said of the campaign's strategy.
The Bloomberg posts weren't much more than self-deprecating humor used to sell a candidate's old guy appeal, using a tactic that until now was largely used to sell skin care products or clothing-subscription services. But the lack of oversight and clear rules around influencer marketing, not to mention their effectiveness in reaching younger audiences, makes them ripe for misuse.
It's not yet clear if Facebook's sudden policy change will close all the loopholes, though the company says the issue represents a new territory and its approach could change over time. The same goes for regulation, too, which is even further behind than the tech companies.
The Bloomberg campaign declined to say how much it paid for the sponsored posts, or if it had more of them in the works. The posts did not appear in Facebook's ad transparency library, which catalogs the political ads that campaigns buy directly from Facebook or Instagram, and tells users how much was spent on them. Bloomberg's campaign told the AP on Thursday that Instagram did noty require the campaign to disclose that information on the sponsored posts it ran earlier this week. With Friday's change, the campaign would need to add the posts to the library, though it still wouldn't need to disclose spending amounts.
Facebook said Wednesday that its stand-alone messaging app WhatsApp has reached the milestone of 2 billion global users.
Facebook renewed its commitment to securing the instant messaging service with end-to-end encryption, to protect its users in their private online communication.
"Strong encryption acts like an unbreakable digital lock that keeps the information you send over WhatsApp secure, helping protect you from hackers and criminals," Facebook said.
WhatsApp is the second social media platform in the world to cross the 2-billion threshold, after its parent company Facebook, which had 2.5 billion active users every month by the end of 2019.
Facebook bought WhatsApp in 2014 for 19 billion U.S. dollars, with the messaging app amassing 1 billion users in 2016, before the figure climbed to 1.5 billion two years later.
Today adults mostly spend several hours every day writing posts, uploading photos/videos, sending comments/messages, or checking notifications on Facebook. According to research, excessive use of Facebook is wasting our precious time, mental peace and physical health. However, in this situation it would certainly be a windfall, if you can utilize Facebook to fatten your wallet. Yes we are talking about how to earn money from Facebook. Pioneering the realm of social media platforms with more than two billion users worldwide, Facebook has more to offer beyond social networking. Facebook can be a stable source of income if you can follow the right strategies. Stay with us to learn some effective ways to make money with Facebook.
You can’t expect to start earning from Facebook overnight. If you want to earn a handsome amount from Facebook, you have to work in a planned way. Before you expect earning, you have to create earning potential. Let’s see how to prepare you for monetization from Facebook.
The first step to earn from Facebook is to define your niche. Your niche can be your passion or skill like writing, graphic designing, or any kind of local business, like boutiques, Home Food Delivery, etc. When you are definitely confident about what niche you have potential in, learn the relevant skills/techniques/strategies to nail it down.
After defining your niche, create an attractive Facebook Fan Page and/or group for your niche/business. Facebook fan page can be the right place where people – who share interest in your niche – can get the opportunity to know you. The motto of creating Facebook Page/group is to build communication with your target audience.
After opening Facebook Page and/or Group, you need to connect with like-minded people who have interest in your niche. You can attract followers to your Facebook Page and group through utilizing different Facebook features like publishing quality Facebook posts, notes, live videos, setting events, etc.
However, Facebook has billions of users. So, people will not pay attention to your Page/Group, if you are ‘nobody’. So, you need to develop a trustworthy persona/authority. Certainly, it will take patience, and effort.
If you want to build your audience like a ‘Pro’ and want the audiences to listen to your voice, try to develop yourself as an ‘influencer’. The term ‘Facebook Influencer’ refers to an individual who has substantial amount of followers in a specific niche. The influencers can utilize their knowledge, skill, position, etc. to build relation with their audiences which is based upon trust, and respect. An influencer can be a celebrity, industry leader/expert, blogger, content creator, etc. The number of followers may range from thousands to millions depending on type of niche.
If you don’t have a local business, and still you want to earn from home with Facebook, then you must have skill in a specific niche like graphic design, photography, content writing, programming, etc. Having a Skill will make it easy for you to create quality content which will attract like-minded people to your Facebook Fan page or group. In other words, you can be an influencer by helping other people through sharing your experiences regarding your skill. For instance, if you have expertise in photography, you can share tips and techniques about how to capture great photos.
Picture Credit: Toucan Asia
When you know your niche, and have built an audience in your Facebook Fan Page/group through organic way or paid campaign, you are ready to earn money from Facebook. Let’s focus on some methods to earn from Facebook.
Facebook is a great platform to run an online business. You can also sell products through Facebook page, even if you have physical stores. Facebook page can also be a great platform to sell skills and services. And, if you have any expertise in a certain niche, you can sell that skill through Facebook.
You can sell products through your own Facebook Fan Page or group, when it has a good number of followers/members who trust you. Besides promoting sales through own Facebook Fan Page, you can sell your products, skills and services through different ‘Facebook Buy Sell’ groups. There are numerous groups in Facebook for buying and selling products from multiple sellers. Some groups may charge a nominal registration fee to allow your post.
If you work as an affiliate marketer, you can utilize Facebook to earn affiliate commissions. Now how does it work? Many reputed Brands and ecommerce websites like Amazon, Flipkart, etc. allows their affiliate associates to share product links on social media platforms like Facebook. If any a Facebook user clicks on your posted affiliate link and buys that product, you will earn an affiliate commission. The rate of commission varies depending on type, category and price range of that specific product.
The ultimate goal of an Influencer is to build authority. Using this authority an influencer can impact upon the followers’ minds, especially their purchase decision. Many brands are engaging Facebook influencers to promote their products and services to Facebook users. As an influencer, you can deliver sponsored contents (posts or live videos) through you Facebook Fan Page/ group. Besides these, influencers can sell their own products, services and skills through Facebook.
If you own a small-scale business, you can advertise your products/services through Facebook ads to get sales and earn money. Facebook purchasing funnel is a consumer focused marketing model which involves journey of potential consumers towards product/services. But does it really work?
When you post content on Facebook, the system will encourage you to run paid Facebook campaign, which is termed as ‘Boosting’. You can invest some money in Facebook paid advertisements (Boosting), to promote your Facebook page or post to reach more people in limited time.
While creating Facebook advertisements you can choose your target population based on several parameters like geographic location, age group, sex, etc., which will divert targeted audience towards your Facebook Sales funnel. Thus, Facebook ads can be a great way to make money through sales funnel.
Picture Credit: Vidooly
You can boost your own Facebook Post, Facebook Fan Page, or Facebook Group, to engage with a wider audience and promote your product/service. You can also work as a ‘Facebook Marketing Professional’ who sells services of creating and posting Facebook advertisement campaigns for other people’s businesses. Facebook marketers can offer digital marketing service to corporate and earn good money.
If you are a Pro in managing social media, you can take it as a profession (called ‘Social Media Manager’) and get paid. The responsibility of a Social Media Manager is to manage corporate social media (like Facebook) accounts that include post scheduling, building audience, monitoring campaign success, creating graphics, etc. Many brands and companies hire professional Social Media Manager to carry out brand promotion and product sale through diverse social media platforms including Facebook.
You may know that Facebook is indexed on the Nasdaq Composite as a publicly traded company. Like any other stock market investment, you can buy Facebook’s stock share ‘FB’ and earn profit. However, the FB stock price can fluctuate every day, so it is recommended to invest wisely.
So far we have highlighted on the best ways to make stable income from Facebook. Besides these, there are some other opportunities to earn some extra cash using Facebook platform. For instance, many Companies and Brands offer ‘Give Away’ or contest for sharing their post to other Facebook Pages or Groups. You can invest some time to participate in those contests. If you win, you can earn gifts, Gift Cards, or cash.
What is more? Any Facebook Fan Page or group holding a good number of followers can be considered as a sellable product. So, you can make some extra bucks selling Facebook Page/group. Some people sell ‘Facebook likes’, though it is not considered as a prestigious profession. Besides these, you can use your Facebook account/fan page for personal branding and searching jobs.
Picture Credit: Gizbot
Facebook is a continuously upgrading social media platform, which has no geographical boundary. Facebook is offering bunch of prospective features, like creation of Facebook Page, Facebook Group, running Facebook ads, etc. You can utilize these features and tools to reach more audience, sell products/services and earn money. However, to make money from Facebook in a stable way, don’t treat your fans/followers life a commodity; rather serve them like a friend, mentor and helping hand. And remember that you can’t sell certain kind of items through Facebook, like Tobacco, Alcohol, Certain types of healthcare products, illicit drugs, Weapons, Firearms, Real money gambling products, Wild Animals, etc. On the whole, Facebook can be a goldmine for you, if you can work strategically with patience and skill. Happy Facebooking!
Read: Monetizing Your Blog.
Facebook joined YouTube, Twitter and payment service Venmo on Wednesday in demanding that a facial recognition company stop harvesting user images to identify the people in them, which the startup does as part of its work with police.
Facebook said it has demanded New York-based Clearview AI stop accessing or using information from its flagship site and Instagram.
"Scraping people's information violates our policies," a company spokesman said.
Clearview has drawn scrutiny following investigative reports in January by the New York Times and Buzzfeed detailing its work with law enforcement agencies and its practice of scraping social media and other internet platforms for images.
Venmo on Wednesday said it is sending Clearview a cease-and-desist letter.
"Scraping Venmo is a violation of our terms of service and we actively work to limit and block activity that violates these policies," said Venmo spokesman Justin Higgs, who said the Paypal-owned mobile payment service is in the process of sending the letter.
Google-owned video service YouTube sent a similar letter to Clearview on Tuesday.
"YouTube's Terms of Service explicitly forbid collecting data that can be used to identify a person," YouTube spokesman Alex Joseph said in a statement Wednesday. "Clearview has publicly admitted to doing exactly that, and in response we sent them a cease and desist letter."
Clearview CEO Hoan Ton-That told CBS in an interview that it has a First Amendment right to the roughly 3 billion images it has collected.
"The way we have built our system is to only take publicly available information and index it that way," he told CBS.
He also said the technology is only used by law enforcement to identify potential criminals.
CBS was first to report the YouTube letter Wednesday. Twitter sent a similar letter in January and ordered Clearview to delete all the data it has collected from Twitter, including anything already shared with third parties. Microsoft-owned LinkedIn said Wednesday it is also looking into it and will take "appropriate action" if Clearview violated its terms.
Clearview attorney Tor Ekeland said in a statement Wednesday that the company's technology "operates much in the same way as Google's search engine."
Do you have a passion for writing? Or do creative writing ideas thistle in your mind like the flowers bloom in spring? If it happens, then why don’t you turn out your writing forte into a stable income generating source? Though blogging was taken as hobby even few years ago, nowadays money blogging is considered as an effective way to make money online. In this wake, many bloggers/writers as well as entrepreneurs are taking money blogging as fulltime /part time profession. To make money from blog, first you have to build a blog with earning potential. Next, you need to monetize your blog. Money blogging requires passion, perseverance, skills, and planning. Stay with us to learn how to make money from blogging in 2020.
If you want to work freely as a writer, but you hate looking for jobs in the online freelancing market places, then blogging is your cup of tea. If you want to make money from blog, treat it as a business. When you take blogging as a profession, it is wise to start with some investment depending on your financial capacity, vision, content marketing plan, etc. The investment behind your blog may start as low as $10 (domain price). Unlike freelancing, money blogging requires a viable blog business plan.
First, make a budget for your blog. The blog financials must include essential costs like logo design, domain and hosting charge, cost of blog-theme and plug-ins, monthly internet fee, etc. Your blog budget should also include branding/advertisement costs depending on your marketing strategies – online and/or offline. Next, decide how much can you invest in terms of money and time. Finally, calculate the return on investment (ROI) of your money blog.
Picture Courtesy: Blogging Wizard
Creating a blog doesn’t require huge technical skills. If you have little/zero programming knowledge, still you can build a money blog. In this section, we are going to discuss how to create a blog for earning money, even if you are a non-technical person.
The first step to create a blog is choosing a potential niche for making good money. However, if you prioritize the monetization fact before your passion or skills, you may end up with lack of interest soon. It is always recommended by the experts to pick a niche you are comfortable with. For instance, if you have a passion for gardening, you can start a blog on Gardening Tool niche. If you like your niche, blogging would feel like entertainment instead of stress.
Certainly native writers are ‘Pro’ in writing blogs. But as a non-native writer, you still have the opportunity to write quality blog posts, if you can level up writing skillss. The best way to upgrade your current level of writing skillss is to read and write. The more you practice, the more you can learn the language and express your thoughts in terms of words in a more powerful way.
In addition to this, you need to increase your level of knowledge regarding your niche to write informative blog-posts for the readers. For this quest, you must read niche related books and quality blog posts to continue research online/offline.
You can also take free/paid courses online/offline, where instructors can offer you guideline on effective techniques for creative writing. If you have enough budgets for content under your Blog Business Plan, you can hire a pool of quality writers, who will write for your blog as per your requirement.
You can create a blog within a few minutes with zero programming skills and without spending a penny. Can you believe it? Yes, several platforms, like blogger.com or wordpress.com offer you this golden opportunity to create a blog free of cost. You can open a blog within a few minutes without any technical skills. However, free blogging platforms have some limitations like limited hosting space, limited number of themes, lack of plug-in, etc.
To create a blog you can choose a CMS (Content Management System) like Wordpress, or Drupal. These popular CMS platforms offer a bunch of free themes and plugins. You can install any of these themes and plugins in your blog spending without a penny. However, free themes and plugins come with limitations. So it would be wise to install a paid theme on your money blog depending on your niche. You can purchase an appropriate theme from reputed market places like themeforest.net. You can also hire a designer to make a customized money blog complying with your specific needs.
Web Traffic is the visitor/audience to your blog. Your blog will earn money, when an audience clicks on any ad. In other words, visitors are the goldmine to whom you are going to sell your product/service. It won’t be overwhelming to say that traffic serves as the blood flow for any blog.
To make money, you have to attract visitors to your blog. You need to discern from which sources you can pull out the audience. When your blog gets traffic from any search engine like Google, it is called organic traffic. It is totally free of cost.
On the other hand, if you run paid campaigns or paid advertisement in Google or social media to pull traffic to your blog, it falls under paid traffic source. The cost of posting Ads/campaigns in Google/Facebook depends upon the competition of that specific keyword/phrase for which you want to pull traffic from Google/Facebook. Therefore, depending on your Blog Business Plan, you can choose organic and/or paid sources.
When an individual puts a query (keyword) on the search box of any search engine, the search engine result pages (SERP) presents a number of relevant results based on its algorithm. If your blog-post gets a position in the first page of a search engine for any specific keyword (query), it can pull huge traffic organically. As Google is the number one search engine today, you need to work for making your blog-posts visible on the Google SERP.
You have to apply SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Techniques for the blog as well as blog-posts to get ranking in the Google SERP. You can either learn SEO expertise or hire an SEO expert for doing SEO for your blog.
Besides organic and paid methods, there are some other sources to bring readers to your blog. For instance, you can ask the visitors on your blog to subscribe through email. When you can build the email list successfully, send emails to the subscribers regarding your latest post, products and/or services. You can learn email marketing techniques. You can also use free/paid software for email marketing. If your Blog Budget Plan allows, hire an email marketer expert, who can do this job professionally.
Picture Courtesy: EyeSwift
When you have prepared your blog with enough contents maintaining standard and quality, you can advance towards money blogging. There are several ways to make money from a blog. You can opt one or more ways considering the niche of your blog.
The most popular way to make money from blog is applying Ad Networks. First you need to submit your blog to a specific Ad Network. If your blog gets approval, then you have to insert Ad code following the specific instruction of respective Ad network. After successful insertion of Ad code inside the blog, Ads would be automatically appear within your blog-posts depending on the content topic, user interest, availability of offers/promotions, etc.
Ad Networks pay through different ways, like PPC (Pay Per Click), CPC (Cost Per Click) and PPV (Pay Per View). Now Google AdSense is the biggest Ad Network. However, approving a new blog for Google AdSense is getting tougher day by day due to several issues, like strict quality control, huge competition worldwide, etc. If you are a new blogger, you can try some other Ad Networks like Commission Junction, monumetric, infolinks, media.net, mediavine, AdThrive, Ezoic, Propeller Ads, Revenue Hits etc.
Affiliate Marketing is continuously getting popularity among the money-bloggers to make handsome amount per month. You can write review of a certain product and put the selling link inside your review article. The visitors can read the review and purchase that product navigating through the link.
Nowadays, many famous ecommerce websites, like Amazon, Ebay, Walmart, etc. are offering affiliate programs. You have to apply to an affiliate program and submit the required information regarding your blog. If your blog gets approved, you can insert affiliate links into your blog-posts.
Today most of the reputed companies maintain a blog to serve their customers. If you own a local business, you can start a blog on that niche. You can write posts to help the readers. If you can gain authority, the audience will trust you. Then you can advertise your own products to your audience. Using the blog you can sell products online or promote the physical locations of your stores to the audience.
If your blog can build authority for its niche and gain around 500 page views per day, you can write sponsored reviews. For writing such reviews the writer must have enough knowledge, skills as well as forte in writing. While writing sponsored product reviews, you must preserve your readers’ interest; otherwise you may irritate your valuable subscribers.
Several websites, like Tomoson, Famebit, Revcontent, Izea Pay per post, etc. offer opportunities for paid reviews or sponsored contents. If your blog has considerable traffic and page views, you can contact with your niche related brands for writing sponsored reviews of their products/services on your blog and earn good money.
Selling eBook is another great source to make money from blog. For instance, if you are a food blogger, you can sell eBook regarding diet plans, weight loss tricks, etc. When you have enough skills/knowledge regarding your niche, you can start writing an eBook. However, if your Blog Business Plan permits, hire a writer/expert to write the eBook as per your requirement.
The pro level bloggers who have considerable expertise in a specific niche can sell online courses. If you own a blog under digital marketing niche, you can offer some online courses regarding Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, Affiliate Marketing, Email Marketing, etc. In your money blog, you can also sell other kinds of digital products like Apps, plugins, themes, music, etc.
Do you have any specific skills like graphic design, writing, programming or photography? You can sell your skillss through your money blog. You can also sell physical services like Home Shifting Aid, or Auto Repairing service, etc. You can find your clients from organic sources like Google SERP. You can also opt for paid ads in Google or Social Media to attract potential clients under your service area.
If your blog gets enough traffic and page views per month, you can directly contact with the advertisers for selling space of your blog for placing advertisements. For instance, if you own a blog in bicycle niche, you can sell ad space to bicycle manufacturing companies. To attract the advertisers, the design of your blog should be user-friendly, so that users can easily navigate into it.
Pictture Courtesy: YourStory
Blogging is passion for many. To some it is a hobby. If you want to turn your passion for blogging into profession, work for money blogging. Blogging is a multitasking job. As a blog owner, you have to play the role of CEO, manager, worker and several other roles at the same time. To make stable income from a blog you need to follow a systemic process. First pick a profitable niche regarding your interest, forte or local business. Then you have to prepare a viable Blog Business Plan, including whether/how much you can invest, source of traffic, CMS platform, earning methods, etc. To build the blog you can utilize free/paid themes and plugins, depending on your budget. When you have prepared the blog, choose the best suitable earning method for your blog. You can make money through AdSense, affiliate marketing, selling digital products like eBook or online courses, etc. On the whole, to build your blog as a long-term earning source, increase the value of contents and make your blog a resource for your valuable readers.