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Facebook wants to host your next event on its Platform but at what cost?

Mari Smith

Facebook is introducing a feature giving Pages the ability to charge for access to events with Live videos, meaning you can host paid online events, conferences, classes or performances. This is a move meant to support creators and small businesses by allowing for a means to make money online through Facebook Lives.

However, there’s a catch. As we all know, there’s no such thing as a free lunch - everything comes with its own price- so it makes sense that there’s a fee to use Facebook to host paid events.

Renowned social media thought leader Mari Smith recently had a rant on her Facebook page about the commission fees Facebook charges for paid online events.

The terms for paid online events are the same as Facebook’s Fan Subscription terms. This means that up to 30% of your revenue will be deducted by Facebook as fees and taxes.

If someone pays on a mobile device, Fan Subscriptions may be processed as payments to Facebook via Apple or Google, which are subject to their separate payment terms and conditions. Apple and other platforms may charge Facebook a revenue share or fees for such payment processing services according to their terms and conditions.

Facebook will first deduct revenue shares, fees, and charges by Apple and other platforms from Facebook’s own revenue share.

The maximum Facebook will deduct is 30% of the revenue you earn, but the fees from other platforms could eat up an even higher percentage.

If the other platforms charge less than 30%, Facebook will take the rest. For example, say Apple or Google charges 15%, Facebook will charge 15%, leading to a total fee of 30% on your gross revenue. If the other platforms charge 30%, Facebook will charge nothing additional so your revenue share will be 70%. But if the other platforms charge 40%, Facebook will still charge nothing, but your revenue share will be reduced to 60%.

If someone pays on their computer then the payment goes through Facebook directly, so they take the full 30%. So, you are basically always going to be paying up to 30%, it just varies who you are paying it too.

For comparison, Event Brite lets you host paid online events for a fee of 2%, plus US$0.79 per ticket, and a 2.5% payment processing fee.

Facebook’s Fan Subscription fees may be worth it for subscription groups, but the benefit may not be economically viable when it comes to hosting paid online events. The fees are definitely something to consider.


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