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Facebook adds a path to partnership for its Level Up creators

Facebook adds a path to partnership for its Level Up creators


Here’s what you have to do to make partner

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The word Facebook in white against a blue background.
Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Facebook Gaming has announced a path to partnership for streamers in its Level Up creators program, which is the site’s equivalent of Twitch’s affiliates. It’s pretty grueling, and eligibility isn’t judged on the same metrics as its Level Up program, which allows streamers to start monetizing their broadcasts. Partners, however, get a slew of benefits, including a direct line to Facebook’s support team, a private Facebook Gaming community group, partner-only invites to Facebook Gaming events, a partner badge, and more.

Streamers in the Level Up program, on the other hand, are able to monetize their streams with Facebook Stars, a site currency, and fan subscriptions; they also get features like high-quality transcoding (i.e., 1080p 60fps streams) and access to beta products and features.

To be eligible for the Level Up program, gaming creators on Facebook have to stream games for four hours in the prior two weeks on at least two separate days in that same period. They also need at least 100 followers on a page that’s been active for more than two weeks. The admin of said page needs to be older than 18. These metrics are pretty reasonable and just about comparable to Twitch’s program metrics for its affiliate program (reach 50 followers, stream for eight hours on seven different days, with an average of three viewers in a one-month period).

Eligibility for Facebook Gaming’s partnership program is judged on “engaged followers”

Eligibility for Facebook Gaming’s partnership program, on the other hand, is judged on “engaged followers” — Facebook’s way of tracking the people who regularly return to your stream — and Stars revenue. To be considered for the partnership program, a gaming creator needs to have 3,000 engaged followers and earn $2,000 (200,000 stars) in a month.

Twitch’s partnership program has different requirements: streamers must broadcast for 25 hours on 12 different days with an average of 75 viewers in a month. It also has a reputation for being notoriously difficult to achieve. Those metrics seem fairly reasonable on their face, but in practice, it’s hard to hit those numbers and get Twitch to approve your application. Many streamers apply more than once before making it into the 27,000-strong club.

What’s most interesting about Facebook’s partnership requirements is that they didn’t have a clear path to being verified as a gaming creator on the site before; it’s also fascinating that there are just two requirements, and one is tied explicitly to how much money a creator earns on the site. ($2,000 works out to about 200,000 bits or 800 $5 subscriptions — Twitch takes a 50 percent cut.)

A spokesperson for Facebook Gaming told me in an email that more than 2,000 creators earn at least $1,000 a month on the site, though they presumably are including the current slate of Facebook Gaming partners — streamers like Cory “King Gothalion” Michael, who left Twitch for an exclusive Mixer deal in October 2019 and who then moved to Facebook Gaming after Mixer shut down — in those numbers.

Some Level Up streamers will absolutely hit Facebook’s numbers for partnership immediately, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the requirements become less onerous over time. After all, back in 2015, streamers on Twitch used to have to average more than 500 concurrents a stream to be considered for partnership. As one Reddit post from that era lamented: “500... 500 viewers on average, every time you stream. This seems an almost impossibility? Anyone had experience with twitch partnering?”

While they still stream — and cast and produce Valorant tournaments — they still haven’t made partner. It’s important to remember that the creator economy is just as unequal as the real one. By Twitch’s own count, there are now around 27,000 partners on its site. But that’s out of 2,000,000 other active broadcasters.