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It seems like just about everyone is trying to make a name for themselves on social media nowadays. While content creators run to cash in on this opportunity, social media platforms have been caught in the race, too. In order to keep their most valuable players (top creators), they’ve had to get competitive with their strategies. This has started a wave of different creator funds – an incentivized approach platforms have taken to pay their creators directly.
By offering payment to creators directly, platforms are hoping to convince creatives that sticking to their network to create original content is worth it. While top platforms unveil their payment programs, it’s no secret the bidding war to create the best systems is underway.
Just as no two social media platforms are the same, neither are their creator funds. In fact, each platform refers to its potential payouts by a different name and offers diverse monetization options. We’ve compiled a list of creator funds top platforms are offering to make it easy for you. Let’s see who’s the best, worst, and most profitable so far.
Social Media Creator Funds
1. TikTok Creator Fund
TikTok got ahead of the game when they announced their creator fund in July 2020. In fact, they were one of the first platforms to do so, and have essentially coined the term. In order to make it into TikTok’s creator fund, individuals have a set of requirements they have to obtain first.
TikTok Creators Must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a minimum of 10k followers
- Have 100k views across their videos within the last 30 days
- Are in the U.S., UK, France, Germany, Spain, or Italy
- Must follow TikTok’s community guidelines and terms of service
TikTok has yet to release an official statement on how their payment system works, but thanks to transparent creators on the app, it is speculated that they pay up to 2 to 4 cents per 1,000 views. Doesn’t seem like a lot? Well, it’s not.
This low chunk of change seemingly benefits its top creators the most, like Addison Rae and Charli D’Amelio, who post daily and rack up large numbers of views and engagement per vid. Even then, these creators make a majority of their earnings through paid partnerships and other third-party deals.
With that being said, growing a following on TikTok is still an enticing goal as these influencers have proven the app’s limelight can catapult you towards social success. However, you shouldn’t expect the platform to be driving your funding, for now.
TikTok announced an initial creator fund budget of $200 million but as competition rises, they have doubled down. Recently stating that they are upping their investments to $1-2 billion over the next three years. Definitely, something to look forward to.
3. YouTube Shorts Fund
While TikTok has changed the video content world, YouTube is proving they’re ready to make some changes in order to keep up. In 2020, they threw their first jab towards short form video content by rolling out their YouTube Shorts feature. In hopes of making content creation easier for its users, creators now have the option to upload 60-second clips to the platform right from their phones.
They haven’t stopped there, either. In May 2021, they announced they will be investing in a creator fund, deemed their YouTube’s Shorts Fund, by dedicating $100 million to be paid through 2022. Their requirements for getting in on their Shorts Fund are listed below.
YouTube Creators Must:
- Be 13 years old (or meet their country’s age requirement)
- Are in the U.S., Brazil, Russia, Japan, Mexico, India, UK, South Africa, Indonesia, or Nigeria
- Upload an original short in the last 180 days
- Must follow Youtube’s community guidelines and monetization policies
Despite the seemingly lower creator budget compared to its competitors, YouTube has stated creators can earn up to $10,000 a month through their Shorts Fund. If these proposed earnings are true, they may be the creator fund with the highest overall payout from a platform directly.
For more insights into the YouTube Shorts Bonus Fund, check here.
3. Instagram/Facebook Bonus Program
Facebook bought Instagram back in 2012, and they have since integrated the two platforms under Facebook Incorporated. Now, sharing content between the networks is easier than ever. And that’s not the only thing they’re sharing. Facebook Inc. recently announced their own creator funds for Instagram and Facebook in July 2021, coined their Bonus Program. With plans to invest over $1 billion in these programs by the end of 2022, they are turning the heads of their creators and media competitors alike.
Like other creator funds, Facebook and Instagram have their own set of eligibility requirements. Let’s dive into the standards they’ve outlined.
IG/FB Creators Must:
- Create content on an eligible surface (i.e. Facebook Pages, Events, and Groups)
- Reside in an eligible country
- Follow community standards and content monetization policies
- Share authentic/original content
- Generate authentic engagement
- Have an established account for at least 30 days
- Maintain a sufficient follower base (over 2k on Facebook and at least 700 on Instagram)
- Share accurate information
Since their Bonus Program is so new, they are slowly introducing their payment plans to creators. They started trials on both apps, through invite-only, with a select number of content creators. If you didn’t get the invite, don’t worry – the party is just getting started and will be open to more users by the end of the year. Additionally, they state that their programs will be developed over time and include seasonal strategies.
So far, we know their programs consist of Badges and Stars Challenges. The monetization of these challenges will vary between the apps since their content and profile styles are unique to each platform.
On Instagram, creators will be rewarded for signing up for IGTV ads and for using badges in Reels and Lives. By partnering with IGTV ads, creators will receive a cut of revenue from the ads played with their videos. When using lives with badges, creators will have to reach milestones that will earn them a bonus of $100, $150, and $250 per completion. Lastly, creators will receive pay from their Reels based on content performance.
Building a Facebook’s bonus program is starting to pay creators through the app’s in-stream ads, and is looking to incorporate a Stars program (with milestone challenges) with its gaming creators. It’s not clear how much you can earn just yet, though.
While Facebook and Instagram ease into releasing their monetized incentives for creators, their large investment into funding their program suggests they’re eager to get ahead. While we wait to see how things pan (and pay) out on these platforms, they have us on the edge of our seats with their Bonus Program plans.
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4. Snapchat Spotlight Fund
Snapchat may be the least suspecting competitor in the creator fund arena, however, they may have been the best starting player. Last year, they announced they would be serving up a staggering $1 million a day across users who posted on their Spotlight reel. A similar video-scrolling feature to TikTok’s. This not only took the app from being a personal conversation platform to one that provided viral entertainment, but it transformed lives along the way. Literally.
The users who generated the most views in Spotlight were heavily rewarded, being paid in the tens of thousands per video. While many creators began to dedicate their days to reaping large payouts on the app, Snapchat announced in May 2021 that they would be lowering their investments in their Spotlight Fund.
Instead of the daily $1 million payouts, Snapchat shifted courses by deciding to pay only $1 million per month. This drastic adjustment has left many of its creators unhappy and turning to other platforms to generate more consistent streams of revenue.
While this may have made the app take a seat back on the bench, there’s always room to improve. With their Spotlight feature still in effect, you can check out their terms for creating content here.
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As the bidding war to be the biggest and baddest platform continues, the start of these creator funds will transform the way creators and platforms work together. While these ideas continue to evolve, each platform has its pros and cons. Deciding which one to work with has many factors to consider, but paying attention to initial investments in creator funds is another key component.
TikTok has proven to be a dynamite force with almost all competing social platforms following their lead. As their creator fund expands, the future looks bright for what it wants to offer its creators. Nonetheless, finding success on the app can generate money from more than one place.
YouTube’s annual investment for their Shorts Funds proves they are ready to modernize their platform and compete to keep creators. Their annual budget isn’t as eye-catching as some of its opponents, but for creators who use the shorts feature right, their proposed payout could be one of the largest (and most transparent) so far.
While Facebook and Instagram start to roll out their plans to support their creators, their large investments towards making it happen look promising. As their monetization evolution goes on, getting started on the platforms could reap you big bucks moving forward.
Snapchat had a strong start with its Spotlight feature. By lowering their investments towards funding recently, it has left past successful creators scratching their heads. New creators hoping to make money on this platform should consider the longevity of building a platform within the app. It may be better to look to other networks to build a social media career.