TikTok has announced today it’s allotting a large pot of funds for its bustling creator community.
The Bytedance-owned micro-video platform has today established the $200 million TikTok Creator Fund, which it says will support ambitious creators who are seeking to turn content creation into their livelihoods. “The Fund will be distributed to creators in regular payments over the coming year,” TikTok said, “and the amount of the Fund is expected to grow over that time.”
We’ve reached out to TikTok about what it means by ‘regular payments’ — whether they’ll be recurring, or whether all creators will be receiving the same amount of funding — and will update this story with any additional information.
Applications for the Creator Fund will be available to all U.S. creators beginning next month. To be eligible, creators must be at least 18 years old, meet an as-yet-undisclosed follower baseline, and consistently post content in line with TikTok’s Community Guidelines, according to the company. It is unclear how many creators will be receiving funding, how TikTok will be choosing recipients, and what else the application process will entail.
In making the announcement, TikTok GM Vanessa Pappas noted in a blog post that the platform has already launched the careers of several buzzy creators, including: LGBTQ+ trailblazer Boman Martinez-Reid, who has signed with CAA and Scale Management; Kentucky father-son trio The McFarlands, who have nabbed numerous brand deals; Hollywood Reporter cover star Challan Trishann; and Tabitha Brown, who is set to headline a series for the Ellen Digital Network (EDN).
While TikTok does not yet operate an ad rev share monetization model, Pappas notes that the company has taken several in-house strides toward monetization. Its $50 million Creative Learning Fund, established in May, has handed out cash to roughly 1,000 U.S.-based creators who have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic and who are making educational content — including Bill Nye, Tyra Banks, and Lilly Singh.
Furthermore, hundreds of thousands of U.S. creators are also monetizing on TikTok through its live broadcasting functionality, according to the company, via various virtual items including Coins, Gifts, and Diamonds. Finally, TikTok launched its Creator Marketplace in beta last September — an influencer marketing platform that enables brands to search for creators with whom to partner on sponsored content.
Of course, beyond its own monetization products, TikTok has indirectly generated seismic opportunities for top creators. In addition to the above names highlighted by Pappas, Charli and Dixie D’Amelio were recently announced as brand ambassadors for both Morphe and Hollister (see below), and Addison Rae just launched a Spotify-exclusive podcast dubbed Mama Knows Best.
TikTok is pushing forward with monetization at a turbulent moment for the company, following a ban across its massive Indian market and rumblings that the U.S. government may be weighing similar action. Concurrently, Facebook-owned Instagram has apparently seized the opportunity to launch its TikTok competitor, Reels, globally in August.
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