Facebook buys Source3 in a bid to draw in content creators
Facebook is trying very hard to make itself more valuable to users. The company wants YouTube-style content creators and Instagram-like personalities to flood its platform and make it invaluable to an entirely new generation of Facebook users. As part of that bid to chase Instagram success, Facebook has bought Source3 – a content rights-management startup focused on protecting content creators’ rights.
Essentially, Source3 is there to ensure that content creators’ rights are maintained on social media channels. All too often you’ll see a video grace your feed from some meme-heavy Facebook page that’s simply recycled it from another meme-heavy Facebook page without accreditation. In reality, that original video content probably came from another platform entirely and the original creator’s work has gone entirely uncredited as it reaches millions of new people.
Facebook wants this to stop, and wants to encourage original content creators to post directly to Facebook in the process. If they know their content will be protected by Source3’s technology – and any other page that decides to use it will be forced to credit them – being on Facebook is certainly a more appealing proposition.
Source3 describes itself as a team that sets out to “recognise, organise, and analyse branded intellectual property in user-generated content, and we are proud to have identified products across a variety of areas including sports, music, entertainment and fashion”.
It’s unclear exactly how Source3 will sit in Facebook’s portfolio, but chances are that it’s there to augment Facebook’s Rights Manager software. Users of Facebook’s software can currently fingerprint their videos to track where they end up on the platform. Users can opt to block unauthorised uploads of their content or choose to make money from it via a revenue-sharing scheme.
The implementation of Source3 should make it even easier for Facebook content creators to spot their content going up online without their permission.
Another use could see Source3 kept as a separate platform, letting users access it to see if their non-Facebook content has ended up on the social network or its sister application, Instagram.
A slightly more novel use would be to turn Facebook’s standalone content creators’ app into a platform for connecting brands with influencers. Source3 would be able to recognise brands used in videos and help creators connect with those brands in a bid to craft a beneficial relationship for both sides.
Throw in the emotional-recognition software that Facebook patented only last month, and suddenly Facebook content creators could have a very granular breakdown of who’s sharing their content and which audience cares about what. Of course, that’s only if Facebook does decide to go ahead with its emotional recognition patents.
Facebook’s acquisition of Source3 may not sound like much, but it really could alter Facebook’s position in the market. Twitter is constantly on an ad-revenue treadmill, while Snapchat’s growth is slowing to a crawl. Facebook’s biggest content-creation rival, YouTube, is also seeing problems thanks to controversial personalities rising through its ranks. Right now Facebook is in the perfect position to mop up the market – even if it has its own demons to deal with.