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Tech Safari Take: Meta wants to make it rain

For African creators it may only drizzle

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Each Friday, I’ll look at an interesting story that went down in African Tech in the week and give you the quick ‘Tech Safari Take’.

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Last week, Meta announced that it’s finally going to start letting African creators earn money on its platform.

But what does this mean for the creator economy in Africa?

Grab a cup of coffee ☕️ and we’ll give you the gist.

The Backstory

This is Rex Papi.

He’s a Kenyan content creator who makes people laugh without saying a word — just like Khaby Lame.

All he does is stand next to people and put his arms around them.

Some people find him funny; others think he’s annoying, but either way, he’s huge.

Over the past few years, Rex has built a massive audience of more than a million followers across social media.

Over 500k people follow him on Instagram alone, and his content has been watched millions of times over.

But all that attention for Rex Papi meant nothing — until now.

Meta just announced that it’s rolling out monetization tools to African creators.

These tools include stuff like:

  • Performance bonuses, based on how viral their content goes.

  • Instagram stars that allow them to earn money on live shows.

  • Ads on reels, which gives them a cut of ad revenue.

  • And subscriptions, so they can earn a steady monthly income from their followers.

Sounds like exciting news, yeah? But is it?

The Context

Fisayo Fosudo, Africa’s biggest tech reviewer.
Source: TechCabal

Africa is a young continent, and internet penetration is on the rise — so young people get to grow up with social media.

Over 300 million Africans consume content on the internet.

Some of them have become digital creators, making travel content, educational videos, and even comedy — just like Rex Papi.

And as internet access becomes cheaper and better, more Africans are making content with their phones.

Some are doing this for fun, while others are using it to make a living.

This has sparked the rise of micro-influencers on the continent.

These are folks with thousands of followers who get paid anywhere from $100 - $500 to make sponsored posts promoting brands.

For example, Sabinus, a Nigerian skit maker with millions of followers, makes around $7,000 monthly as an influencer.

And every month, he gets anywhere from two to five brand deals.

That’s a great living, and there are many others like him.

Korty EO, a Nigerian YouTuber, promoting the Nigerian startup, Eden. Source: TechPoint

They do it full-time, but save for YouTube, nearly none of their income comes from social media apps themselves.

With this announcement from Meta, that’s hopefully about to change.

But by how much exactly?

The Tech Safari Take

Meta talks a big game, but it’s hard to see how this will rock the world of African creators.

Because social media platforms have a history of not inviting African creators to the party. or paying them less than their counterparts from other countries.

TikTok left Africans out of its Creators Fund, despite it being the fastest-growing app in the region.

YouTube pays way less for African creators with the same audience size as creators in the USA.

In 2018, Tayo Aina, a Nigerian YouTuber, shot a video featuring J. Cole performing in Nigeria.

The video racked up a million views within one year, but he only made $132 from it.

Part of this is because payouts to creators depend on the cost per mille (CPM) for each region.

This is how much advertisers pay for a thousand impressions on social media.

In the US, hitting a thousand views on YouTube pays you roughly $5 — but in Africa, you get $1.

The CPM is tied to the spending power of consumers, and Africa doesn’t have much of that right now.

As times change, that might get better. But today, the reality of Monetization on Meta is unlikely to be different from YouTube.

Creators like Rex Papi might finally be able to earn money by simply posting online, but will it be enough?

Do you think Meta’s move will change the game for African creators?

3️⃣ things we’re reading this week

💡Remember Sam Bankman-Fried, the guy who ran FTX into the ground and scammed millions of crypto users? He just got sentenced to 25 years in prison. Read about it here.

🎬 Amazon Prime Video was in Africa for a good time, but not a long time. It finally packed its bags and left the continent. Read a deep dive on why it happened here.

🤯The biggest tech lawsuit is happening between Apple and the United States Government. Will Apple finally lose its monopoly? Find out here.

Tweet of the week

Financial advice of the week: become a founder.

That’s a wrap! Hope you enjoyed our Tech Safari Take.

If you did, shoot us a quick email and let us know 🙏🏾

Until next week.

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