Last Updated on September 1, 2023 by Jeremy
In mid 2023, Meta announced a new bonus program, aptly named the Facebook Performance Bonus, that would reward creators with payments for engagement-related metrics on most all types of posts excluding Reels and Stories.
Unlike past bonus incentives, this one was quite exciting to many creators as it appeared that we would get paid for the content (and subsequent engagement) we were already generating day in, day out.
After getting accepted into this one for my local blog, I decided to look closely at my data to see if I could find any trends in how money is earned and ways to increase our revenue via the program.
Who Qualifies for the Facebook Performance Bonus?
Currently, Facebook is not sharing much about the Performance Bonus program, so most information you read out there should be considered speculation at best.
The most information provided is that up to 3,000 posts will qualify for a max income threshold of $30,000 and that payout values may vary by location. The upper threshold has varied for other performance programs in the past, but this one seems consistent to most creators in the USA- for now, at least.
Earnings are based on post-engagement metrics, including views, comments, reactions, and shares; however, they give no basis on what any respective category may earn individually.
We have personally only heard of a handful of creators invited to the program so far, and the ones we know all have high follower counts (most are 100K+ in the USA, but we have heard of some in the 10k+ range, too). As with past bonus programs, we expect this one to be extended to more creators over time, but it definitely seems like highly followed pages in the USA are the target at this time with a few exceptions here or there.
The earnings period is set at 30 days, and after the period ends, creators appear to be automatically renewed for another 30 days. However, like past programs, this one could end anytime with or without advanced notice.
How Much Can You Earn on the Facebook Performance Bonus?
In past programs, like the Reels Bonus Program on Instagram, we tried to figure out how much you can earn from postings. This was easy if only because my personal posting of Reels was infrequent, and we could easily identify at what point income rates changed over time (namely, we always saw a substantial earnings drop after 20,000 views without fail- this was later verified by many other creators as well).
The Facebook Performance Bonus program is a bit harder to calculate if only because we do not know how views, comments, reactions, and shares are weighted. Are shares treated the same as comments? What about reactions? No one knows. But let's dive into the numbers from my first month anyway.
During my first bonus period, I earned a total of $562 based on the following performance for posts on my page:
- 112 total posts
- 617,401 total reach
- 24,379 total reactions (likes, love, etc.)
- 7,000 total comments
- 2,778 total shares
I'll spare you from further breakout numbers here because, in all honesty, averages for any given category simply don't make a lot of sense here. $0.91 RPM for reach, $23 RPM on reactions, and so on are not nice, round numbers that we would hope to see if one single category drove earnings alone.
Considering Facebook is very clear that all engagement metrics are involved in this one, likely all with their own unique weightings, instead, it is best to look at my performance from an average standpoint overall and go from there.
On average, I earned approximately $5 per post ($562 / 112 posts) or approximately $18.73 per day ($562 / 30).
Perhaps the most interesting observation was that my daily rate did not change much throughout the 30 days despite a few viral posts. At the start, I was making about $15 per day, by the end I was averaging about $18.73 per day, and my best single day was just a little bit north of $20.
Considering I often post three to four times per day, the averages make a lot of sense.
But what doesn't make sense is that we also had a few viral posts during that time. One of which had 239,783 reach, 2,003 comments, and 1,239 shares. Posts like these did virtually nothing to move the needle on earnings.
You'd think a single post that contributed 39% of my total reach, 17% of reactions, 29% of comments, and 45% of shares would contribute between 17%-45% of my total earnings- but it seemingly did not. At most, I made about $5 more that day if I had to estimate based on how the income tab changed in real time.
So, do engagements matter or is something else going on that is not readily obvious?
To take a broader look at this one, I reached out to other creators who have been in the program, earning anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars in a single 30-day campaign period, to find out what they were seeing. Based on these conversations, we have a few trends emerge that we think could explain what is going on in the Facebook bonus program.
So, What is Really Going On?
After talking to other creators, we are seeing a few trends that could likely explain some of the quirks noted above.
First, there appears to be a wide income disparity between creators of comparable page sizes/engagement rates. When comparing pages that had similar metrics like ours, the biggest difference we saw that could potentially correlate to earnings was simply posting frequency. An account that posted 10 times a day vastly outearned accounts that only posted three times a day when other engagement metrics per post were similar.
Could it be as simple that more posts = more total reach/engagement = more money? It certainly seems that way.
Second, viral shares did not seem to move earnings as much as we expected for a campaign said to be driven by “engagement.”
As mentioned above, we never saw a substantial increase in earnings whenever a post went viral compared to our averages. Those we talked to also experienced the same. So, while I would've hoped for 10-20x in earnings for a post that performed 10-20x in engagement metrics, we barely tipped the needle $5-$10 at a time (if that).
As far as we can tell, the long-term engagement of content does not really generate too much revenue in this program for some unknown reason.
Third, as an extension of the last point, we theorize that a time element is baked into the metrics here. That is to say, accounts are credited on engagement only within a certain period after posting (think hours, not days or weeks).
This is one possible explanation for why posts with 10-20x average performance only earned about double what an average post would make. If a time element is involved, our theory is that earnings are based only on the first few hours after posting at most, and the rest (the bulk of the viral) is ignored or has vastly reduced earnings.
In a way, this could make a lot of sense. Posts that go viral on our end tend to pick up steam within a few hours after posting and last for several days thereafter. We can see an uptick in the (what appears to be) real-time earnings on our dashboard when a post begins to take off, only for it to fall back to what we have called our “daily average” after a short period despite the post continuing to grow in popularity.
If this is the case, then your page's historic algorithmic performance (i.e. how many people see/react to your posts on average) matters more than anything else. A page that instantly gets 1,000 likes/comments within the first few hours will likely vastly outperform one that only gets 10 likes/comments within the first few hours.
That said, if this is the case, then our first point about posting more frequently would likely also make sense. You may not be able to change how the algorithm initially shows your content too much (at least, in the short term), but you can indeed post more frequently with a similar end effect.
- As a side note, if a phase-out on engagement like this exists within the program, I wouldn't be surprised if it is done to avoid paying out to posts that are designed to be engagement bait. Facebook probably recognizes that paying creators is something that can be gamed and as such put some safeguards in.
Fourth, a few creators with exceptionally high reach (hundreds of thousands or millions per post) noted that earnings dropped off for them at a certain reach threshold. However, it is hard to say whether a reach threshold is a trigger here or simply the time element we theorized above.
In either case, creators are noting somewhat regularly that there is an earnings drop off at some undisclosed point on posts- be it time-based, reach-based, or perhaps both!
Overall, we really don't have any concrete answers here on how this Performance Bonus works, only a few theories that are, at this time at least, holding some water across a modest sampling of those in the program.
The most we can say is that payouts appear to be based on the first few hours of performance for any given post, which is likely dictated by your account's average engagement levels/organic reach within the algorithm. Virals may do a bit to help, but perhaps only if you get engagement quickly, which is easier said than done.
As such, at this time, our best recommendation to earn more is to simply post more quality content every day. Insofar as your average performance holds organically for every post, you may see an uptick in earnings simply by having a higher volume of posts going out overall.
Is It Worth It To Post for the Facebook Performance Bonus?
Although details about the Facebook Performance Bonus program are sparse, and most of the analysis in this post is anecdotal at best, we must admit that it is nice to see creators rewarded for things they already are doing day after day.
As opposed to the now-ended Reels performance bonus program, this one is a night and day difference as most creators can monetize their content without doing something new. I made very few adjustments to my posting style and frequency in my first month, and making $562 for that work is pretty incredible!
So, while I do believe I will start to increase my posting frequency to see if I can earn more in my next promotional period, I'll end this one with a slow clap to Meta for finally paying out to creators who help keep the network going. That said, many more regions, countries, and creators still need access to this program, and we hope to see it expanded more in the future!
Are you currently in the Facebook Performance Bonus program? What trends are you seeing from your own page? Comment below to share!
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