Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

In advance of VidCon later this week, an annual conference for video creators, Facebook is stepping up its efforts to offer creators tools to monetize their content.

The big picture: It's doing so amid increased competition to win over the hearts of creators from other big tech companies, like YouTube and TikTok, as well as platforms that are designed specifically for creative business management, like Patreon.

Why it matters: Investment in creators helps fuel the businesses of major tech platforms that rely on their content to sell ads and keep users engaged.  

Details: Facebook announced Tuesday that it's introducing a new set of tools to help creators make money off of their work, manage their businesses and engage their fans. 

  • Facebook says it will provide more options for creators to monetize different types of videos with ads, including branded content collaborations.
  • It will also add a dedicated monetization section within its Creator Studio tool to help creators manage their Instagram posts in addition to their Facebook posts. 

Between the lines: Reports have suggested that Facebook has struggled to lure video creators amid increased competition from other video platforms, like YouTube, TikTok, and Twitch.  

  • Content creators told the Economic Times last week that "they do not see a strong monetary incentive in switching to Facebook since there is more user engagement for YouTube videos. The YouTube videos also offer better tools, features and improved ways of making money," they said.  

There's also the issue of Facebook taking a higher cut of fan-base subscription payments than Patreon and other competitors. 

  • Facebook reportedly wanted to take a 30% cut of revenue (minus fees), compared to 5% by Patreon, according to a report from TechCrunch. YouTube currently takes a 30% cut, including fees, and Twitch takes a 50% cut, per TechCrunch. 

Be smart: Facebook, as well as YouTube, is pushing hard to compete with Patreon, a membership platform that makes it easy for artists and creators to manage their work, connect with fans, and get paid across several social media platforms.

  • YouTube confirmed last month that it would be rolling out updates to its video notifications within its Creator Studio, as well as adding new metrics to make it easier for creators to track video metrics and progress. 
  • It also says it's doing more to penalize creators who violate its content terms. 
  • Patreon's business has continued to grow steadily over the past few years, despite the fact that it often takes a tougher stance on content moderation than competitors like YouTube, The Verge notes

Our thought bubble: Patreon's ability to cater to creators' needs across platforms has given it a business advantage over the individual platforms. Several smaller platforms, like Memberful and Podia, are also trying to compete for cross-platform creator opportunities. 

What's next? VidCon kicks off Wednesday in Anaheim, Calif. The conference, which was acquired by Viacom in 2017, pulled in over 75,000 fans and attendees last year. 

Go deeper

Deadly storm Zeta pummels parts of Alabama and Florida

A satellite image of Hurricane Zeta. Photo: National Hurricane Center/NOAA

Former Hurricane Zeta has killed at least one person after a downed power line electrocuted a 55-year-old in Louisiana as the storm's powerful winds and heavy rainfall moved into Alabama overnight.

What's happening: After "battering southeastern Louisiana and southern Mississippi," Zeta weakened to a tropical storm over central Alabama early on Thursday, per the National Hurricane Center.

Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases

Catholics go through containment protocols including body-temperature measurement and hands-sanitisation before entering the Saint Christopher Parish Church, Taipei City, Taiwan, in July. Photo: Ceng Shou Yi/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Taiwan on Thursday marked no locally transmitted coronavirus cases for 200 days, as the island of 23 million people's total number of infections reported stands at 550 and the COVID-19 death toll at seven.

Why it matters: Nowhere else in the world has reached such a milestone. While COVID-19 cases surge across the U.S. and Europe, Taiwan's last locally transmitted case was on April 12. Experts credit tightly regulated travel, early border closure, "rigorous contact tracing, technology-enforced quarantine and universal mask wearing," along with the island state's previous experience with the SARS virus, per Bloomberg.

Go deeper: As Taiwan's profile rises, so does risk of conflict with China

Updated 2 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Politics: Biden ahead in Wisconsin, Michigan as cases surge in the Midwest.
  2. Health: Fauci says U.S. may not return to normal until 2022 — Trump's testing czar: Surge "is real" and not just caused by more tests Some coronavirus survivors have "autoantibodies."
  3. Business: Consumer confidence sinking Testing is a windfall.
  4. World: Europe faces "stronger and deadlier" wave France imposes lockdown Germany to close bars and restaurants for a month.
  5. Sports: Boston Marathon delayed MLB to investigate Dodgers player who joined celebration after positive COVID test.