Updated Feb 5, 2022 - Technology

Facebook and Snapchat pivot to the pros

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Facebook and Snapchat are relying more on professionally created content as personal sharing on social media continues to decline.

Why it matters: The pivot away from the stuff that made these companies what they are could provide a buffer against growing regulatory pressure.

  • At the same time, it could add to the burden and headaches of content moderation (exhibit A: Spotify's Joe Rogan dilemma).

Driving the news: Facebook parent company Meta set a record for the biggest one-day drop in market value in stock market history this week after it reported its first-ever decline in daily active users.

  • Snap, on the other hand, crushed it last quarter — and investors sent the stock soaring more than 60% after Thursday's results.

State of play: Public sharing of personal posts had already started to move more toward private messaging pre-pandemic. 

  • People shared even less of their personal lives when the pandemic sapped them of exciting or interesting things to share.
  • To maintain engagement, Facebook and Snapchat plugged those gaps with content created consistently by a smaller group of users or by professionals.

By the numbers: Snap added 160 new international channels for its premium content platform, Axios' Sara Fischer reported.

  • The company said on its earnings call that it's paid more than 12,000 people to create content for its Spotlight feature.

What they're saying: Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg told investors the company is "building more great creative and monetization tools for creators."

What to watch: As more platforms rely on content they commission, the more responsibility they will be expected to assume for what creators do.

Editor's Note: This story was originally published on Feb. 4.

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