Facebook is toying with the idea of letting some of its users make money off their activity on the social network.
According to a user survey spotted by The Verge, Facebook is soliciting feedback from some users about the types of revenue earning features they would be in interested in, such as a tip jar to collect money for their content or a marketplace to find content sponsors. The survey appeared for verified users and its language suggested that it is targeted to that type of user, according to the report.
If Facebook does eventually let users make money from their content, it’ll be a departure from the company’s previous policy of not sharing its money-printing machine with others. Only recently did it let publishers start to make money from their content with the debut of Instant Articles, its fast-loading news story format that lets users read pieces without exiting Facebook’s mobile apps. Earlier this month, Facebook also changed its rule regarding sponsored content that celebrities and brands can post, now allowing them on its network.
One reason why Facebook is likely considering the move is that the battle for real-time sharing, especially through live video broadcasting, has intensified. Today, celebrities and other personalities with sizable followings have several options when it comes to sharing live video or other real-time content, including Twitter’s Periscope, Facebook’s Live Video, and even Snapchat, among others. Enticing them with the possibility of making money from their content could help Facebook keep those valuable users within its walled garden.
With that said, the survey appears to be only an exploration of possible ideas. “It’s still very early, but we’re committed to creating sustainable, long-term monetization models for our partners and we’re listening to feedback,” a Facebook spokesman told Fortune.
And as the report notes, these questions about monetization were part of a larger survey asking users about their activity on the social network.