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Brief Published: 12 Jan 2021

Facebook’s Cameo Competitor Feature

Facebook's New Product Experimentation (NPE) Team is working on a video product called Super, which will let users pay content creators and celebrities for one-on-one interactions during live streams.

During a video event, viewers can tip creators with micropayment gifts or pay to appear in split-screen to ask questions or take a remote selfie. Creators can also sell merchandise during streams.

Super takes inspiration from the likes of Cameo, where customers can pay over 300,000 celebrities to record personal audio and video messages. The company was valued at $300m in mid-2019 (Axios, 2019). Funnelling these funds towards actively shared quality time through intimate live online experiences is the next logical monetisation step. UK-based individual content subscription site OnlyFans' 2020 revenue was $400m (see Digitally Native Economies for more), and other networks like Australian start-up Serenade, which offers fans personal live-streamed mini-gigs are cropping up to address demand.

Social platforms aimed at shrinking the distance between creators and followers draw communities around smaller digital campfires as people seek out more personal quality time in their online social spaces. Forty-three per cent of US consumers under 30 feel large social networks like Facebook and Instagram have 'too many people on them' (Zak, 2019).

For more on how creatives are monetising their content and follower interactions, check out Mobilising Online Microcultures. To read about how megastars like Billie Eilish and Lil Nas X are integrating community exchange into their virtual events, see our Pop Culture Round-Up: Autumn 2020.