Why wouldn’t Facebook follow the logic of YouTube’s Partner Program?
Basically, I think there are three perspectives that we can think about and analyze on in order to answer this question.
The first perspective is the relationships between users on these two platforms vary. As we can see, Facebook mostly contains relationships like friends circle and family bonds with much few strangers, in other words, generally what we would like to “consume” on this platform is the “relationship”; and the quality of the posts in this sense doesn’t actually matter much compared with YouTube where the relationship between different users (i.e. the video uploader and the subscriber) looks more like TV Program makers and audiences. That is to say, even if we think that some of the posts from one of my friends is not interesting or formative enough, we probably wouldn’t stop following him because of this. While on the contrary, when it comes to YouTube, in most cases, if it’s not truly because we really appreciate a particular YouTuber’s playlists, we wouldn’t think about following him and see his new videos on a regular basis.
The second perspective is the functions by which these two platforms located themselves and the purposes why people are using these platforms vary. The functions YouTube endows itself is to offer all kinds of fast, easy and high-quality video access to the public. Correspondingly, People in most cases use YouTube mainly for entertainment when we watch all kinds of TV dramas, or for some special purposes to search for particular videos or video categories. YouTube need to ensure the quality of the videos to attract more users and keep the original users from running away, because if the quality of the videos on the platform cannot be ensured, the basic functions of it cannot be guaranteed. While it seems not necessary for Facebook to ensure the quality of its posts. As stated in the first perspective, we are not expecting Facebook for pure entertaining purposes, but a platform to stay connected with friends and family, be informative about things we are concerned about and be able to express our own opinions easily whenever we want. Furthermore, imagine the circumstance that supposing similar program is adopted and implemented on Facebook that leads to more and more users who would like to “create” and “design” more attractive and “high quality” posts to be involved in the partner program, then is it the case that Facebook is losing its original function as self-expression platforms and relationship bonds when even your best friends start to make good stories for commercial purposes?
The third perspective is the main contents on these two platforms vary. The main contents of YouTube, as we all know, are all sorts of videos. While for Facebook, the main contents are still texts though there are pictures or short videos as supplementary materials. And in fact, the differences between videos and texts make it difficult for Facebook to judge between good or bad contents, high-quality or low-quality posts, worth paying ideas and the others, which Leads to the concern of the feasibility for Facebook to actually implement similar policies and programs. Because it is much easier for us to set criteria on YouTube for distinguishing between good-quality and bad-quality videos or YouTubers according to the number of views, thumb ups, followers or even some specific technical evaluations regarding making videos for deciding whether a YouTuber is deserved to be a paid contributive user the Partner Program or not. However, when it comes to Facebook, it’s very difficult to evaluate. Within sentences of a short post, whether to judge it as a good one worth paying or not remains a problem. Still depending on the number of views or likes? That probably won’t work well. Suppose I have posted something full of complaints towards a very bad course in the university. Considering the reasons why Facebook users are willing to make free contributions to Facebook, within certain circles in HKU environment, it’s very likely that this post would trigger a huge amount of views, likes and replies from numerous school mates because some of them may feel that they are informative of useful knowledge that may be beneficial towards their academic performance, while the others may think that “oh this post speaks out exactly what I would like to say” that represents accurate subjective expressions towards a issue. However, is this simple, rude complaints towards a course in university something worth paying under the partner program? Definitely not. After all, high-quality doesn’t equal to the huge amount of likes and replies of a post and criteria are also hard to establish for evaluation. All of these actually make it less feasible for Facebook to follow this program even if they would like to do so.