Earlier this year, concerns about “brand safety” triggered a massive advertiser boycott on YouTube, and Facebook is looking to avoid that sort of trouble. As it begins to roll out ad breaks on its videos, the social giant has shared a list of guidelines so that its publishing partners are clear about the sort of content that will not be eligible for monetization.
Some advertisers who plan to spend programmatically don’t want their spots the run against videos that depict violent or adult situations, and by denying monetization for those sorts of videos, Facebook is showing deference toward its brand partners. Like on YouTube, the list of content that violates Facebook’s guidelines includes videos that are overly suggestive, profane, or illicit, as well as videos that misappropriate children’s media characters (sorry, weird Spiderman and Elsa fetishists).
The main issue creators have expressed regarding YouTube’s monetization guidelines is that the parameters are too broad; videos that talk about violent topics in a newsworthy manner often get demonetized just the same as those that actually depict violent behavior. From the sound of it, though, Facebook’s approach won’t be any less strict. Videos featuring “tragedy and conflict” will not be able to run ads, “even if the intention is to promote awareness or education.” In a similar vein, “debated social issues” are off limits for publishers who wish to monetize, “even if in the context of news or awareness purposes.”
“At Facebook, we take very seriously our responsibility to earn and maintain the trust of our advertiser partners—and give them the confidence they need to invest in us. That’s critical to their success and ours,” reads a blog post authored by Facebook VP of Global Marketing Solutions Carolyn Everson. “Which is why today, we’re introducing new monetization eligibility standards that will provide clearer guidance around the types of publishers and creators eligible to earn money on Facebook, and the kind of content that can be monetized.”
Despite these guidelines, the publishers who are making videos for platforms like Facebook’s Watch tab should still be able to run ads in most cases, though don’t be surprised if those videomakers shy away from sensitive topics. As for individuals, the implementation of these standards shows that young, hungry creators may run into the same problems on Facebook that they already encounter on YouTube.
To get a better sense of Facebook’s monetization guidelines, click here.