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Google unveils paid virtual events service, Facebook bans license-free livestreaming

Google has launched a new service called Fundo in the US and Canada to help video artists and small businesses create events, set dates and sell tickets.

The site has been in beta for the past year with a few hundred “trusted testers,” who can set the price for access to online events and control how many people can attend, general manager John Gregg said in a blog post.

The turnkey service provides hosting features including video streaming, promotional tools, and payment-transaction processing.

Google takes a 20 per cent cut of revenue generated, with Gregg adding: “We think that represents the value Fundo provides with the end-to-end platform.”

With Fundo, event hosts are in control of ticket prices and any discounts, including free events if preferred. Creators using YouTube Channel Memberships can also offer Fundo Meet & Greets exclusively to channel members as a premium perk.

Gregg said: “Over the past year, many parts of life had to move online and become virtual. While we didn’t build Fundo specifically because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the mission of creating meaningful experiences online is even more important today.”

Fans can discover events happening on Fundo through the home page, or through links shared directly by creators. The Google service will provide the event link and send reminders up until the start time, as well as technical support if needed.


Meanwhile, Facebook has introduced new terms of service to halt artists from using the social media platform for “commercial or non-personal” purposes, unless they have obtained the relevant licences.

The crackdown on livestreaming could result in videos being blocked and the offending page, profile or group may be deleted.

The updated guidelines, which will come into effect from October1, state that users “may not use videos on our Products [which includes Instagram] to create a music listening experience…which includes live,” and adds that such content should be posted for the enjoyment of friends and family only.

Last month, Facebook launched a feature to give Page owners the option to run and sell digital tickets for paid-for online events.

Facebook Page owners, such as businesses, creators, educators and media publishers, can now create an online event, set a price, promote the event, collect payment and host the event, from within the social media platform.

The firm said it will not collect any fees from paid online events for at least the next year to help smaller organisations and creators struggling with the impact of COVID-19, unless attendees pay through iOS apps, in which case Apple takes a 30 per cent cut.