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TikTok has always prioritized giving creators the freedom to be creative and bold, but they also want to allow creators to make money off their content. With the addition of TikTok live gifting, smaller creators can finally earn money while connecting with their audience through livestreams. If you’re curious about how TikTok’s live gifting feature works and how you can generate revenue from your content, check out the rest of this article.
What Is Live Gifting?
Familiar with Twitch’s feature where people can cheer for their favorite streamers by sending them Bits during livestreams? TikTok’s live gifting feature operates the same way. Whenever your favorite creator goes live, you can send them gifts with varying amounts of monetary value to show your love and support.
How Can I Send Gifts?
To be able to send gifts, you must be 18 years or older. Why you may ask? TikTok wants to make sure that TikTok’s younger audience isn’t exploited from possible scams or unknowingly spending money without their parent’s permission. When creating a TikTok account, if your age is set to below 18, you’ll have to wait until you become eligible to send gifts (aka, you turn 18 years old).
What Are Coins and Diamonds?
Before you decide to share some love with your favorite creators, you’ll want to know the difference between TikTok coins and diamonds. Coins allow you to purchase live gifts, and you can purchase them when going to Settings and Privacy and clicking the Balance tab on your TikTok account.
By clicking the Balance tab, you’ll be able to see how many coins you have in your account. Here you can purchase more – or in this case ‘recharge’ – whenever you want. From there you’ll have access to a variety of coin bundles ranging from $0.99 to $250. Once you accumulate a sufficient amount of coins, you’ll be able to use the TikTok live gifting feature!
TikTok coin recharge page. Credit: Brianna Borik
When you send gifts to a creator, the coins associated with that gift become currency called Diamonds that transfer over to the creator’s wallet. Diamonds are worth 50 percent of the coins the creator receives, while TikTok receives the other half of the transaction.
For example, if you give a creator a Confetti gift, which is worth 100 coins, the creator will receive 50 diamonds from your gift. Do note that the coin amount is what TikTok deducts from your transactions, while the diamond amount remains untouched. In her YouTube video, DavisonVideo explains that 200 diamonds equal one American dollar.
You may be wondering, “why does TikTok use diamonds for creator currency?” Davison makes a valid point, stating that TikTok does this so creators “don’t have to manage multiple currencies.” It can be frustrating to manage different currencies if you live outside the United States, so TikTok hopes that using diamonds makes transactions a bit easier.
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How Does a Creator Convert Diamonds to Real Money?
If you’re a creator with diamonds in your wallet, that’s great! In the Balance tab, you can find the amount of money you earned from TikTok live gifting. Upon clicking LIVE gifts, you can withdraw anywhere between $100 and $1,000 per day, but expect to wait at least 15 days before TikTok can successfully process your transaction. In order to receive your profit, you must have a verified PayPal account – preferably a business account, according to Davison.
How Do I Become Eligible to Receive Live Gifts?
You need to have 1,000 followers and be 16 years old to be able to go live on TikTok. However, you need to be 18 years or older to be eligible to receive gifts when you go live. It may be a struggle to hit that threshold, but be sure to remain active on TikTok, post quality content, and connect with other fans and creators.
Pros to Live Gifting
Smaller Creators Can Recieve Money
What’s great about the TikTok live gifting feature is that smaller creators can finally receive some money off what they love doing. Unlike the TikTok Video Gift feature where a creator is required to have at least 100,000 followers to receive gifts on their clips, TikTok’s live gifting is much easier to obtain when you’re first starting out on TikTok.
Establish Creator and Audience Connections
TikTok’s livestream feature is an excellent way to create memorable experiences between the creator and their audience. Interacting with a creator and giving them feedback during live events helps boost the morale of the creator and encourages them to continue posting. Meanwhile, livestreams also validate the viewer and make them feel like their creator appreciates their support through gifts.
So grateful!! Thank you 🥳🤗🤗🤗 #livegifts
Cons to Live Gifting
Smaller Accounts May Not Gain Much Money
While this con is not necessarily TikTok’s fault, it can still be a challenge to generate revenue off of your content if you’re a smaller TikTok channel. Unfortunately, larger TikTok channels are the ones that generate sufficient funds to live off of, but that doesn’t mean you can’t become popular with TikTok viral trends and grow your own fanbase. When benefiting from the TikTok live gifting feature, be wary that you may not make as much much as you want at first.
TikTok Takes a Chunk of your Earnings
Another drawback to the TikTok live gifting feature is that TikTok will take 50 percent of the coins a viewer sends to you, decreasing the value of your generated revenue on your livestreams. This can be especially frustrating for smaller creators that already struggle to reach the minimum withdrawal amount, though it is important to recognize that several other platforms follow this trend.
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When scrolling through TikTok, you might occasionally see creators expressing their heartfelt gratitude to their supports whenever they receive gifts, making the TikTok gifting experience relatively positive. However, there are also some users that have expressed concerns over TikTok live gifting.
Some content creators have posted clips of TikTok allegedly “taking” money from their earnings. Other users have also noticed a chunk of their revenue disappear from their Balance. It’s unclear whether these disappearances are glitches or intentional on the behalf of TikTok, but if you suspect that your funds have disappeared, consider contacting TikTok support.
THEY WONT LET ME ACESS MY LIVE GIFTS ( some i have cashed out before but i still had 50 in the app ) 💋 #live
TikTok creator named Zoochary_Official has expressed distaste for TikTok’s live gifting feature, stating that if an influencer wants to make money, they should consider partnering with businesses or starting a brand deal. Although there are varying opinions over TikTok live gifts, if a creator feels like they can benefit from the gifting, then they should utilize the feature.
Live Gifting and the Creator Economy
So what does live gifting mean for the creator economy? TikTok’s gifting feature encourages smaller creators to reach their target demographic and make money either as a side hobby or a life-long career. Live gifting also exposes TikTok creators to potential businesses looking for new influencers for upcoming projects and brands.
Creators can connect to a larger audience that businesses struggle to reach, making the creator economy designed for new users willing to throw themselves into influencer marketing. Every creator starts somewhere in their journey to become popular, and your success can begin with TikTok’s live gifting feature, whether it’s by making a few dollars every live event or by posting actively on TikTok and growing an audience of your own.