PROCUREMENT

TikTok Shuts Down Its Creator Fund

Nov 17, 2023

Influencer News

TikTok Shuts Down Its Creator Fund

Here lies the TikTok Creator Fund. Good riddance!

TikTok has announced that it’s shutting down its controversial TikTok Creator Fund. The fund was initially created as a way to financially support content creators for their work, but quickly found itself at the centre of controversy. 

Anger at the fund was fuelled by creators complaining that it paid them mere pennies, no matter how successful their videos were. 

TikTok is replacing the fund with a new program and fantastical promises of riches for content creators.

Yet, with tempers still bubbling at the original fund, many creators are hesitant to trust this new program. Could this signal the start of TikTok being an adequate revenue stream? What does the new TikTok Creativity Program mean for creators and marketers alike? 

Let’s get into it. 

The TikTok Creator Fund

Initially announced in 2020, the TikTok Creator fund divided both TikTok users and creators. The fund, which promised to pay creators for their work over the course of three years, was initially valued at $1 billion. As of now, the fund stands at $2 billion. 

The fund was eligible to micro-influencers; defined by TikTok as creators who have at least  10,000 followers, are over 18 and have had 100,000 views over the past 30 days cumulatively. 

A major critique of the fund was its static payment format. This meant that all creators were paid the same, no matter how many views or likes their content received. Notable creators such as Hank Green and Mr. Beast were incredibly vocal about the poor revenue that the fund provided creators. 

Green, who has 8 million followers on TikTok, stated in a lengthy YouTube video that he was making around 2.5 cents per 1000 views on his videos. Mr. Beast, who has a jaw-dropping 88.9 million followers on the platform and was listed as Forbes’ Top Content Creator of 2023, claimed that he only made about $30 per day on the TikTok Creator Fund. 

In comparison, platforms such as YouTube are based on ad revenue. What this means is that the more money that your video generates, the more money you earn. 

For creators in the US, UK and Germany, the TikTok Creator Fund will cease to exist on the 16th of December. 

@katherout

if there’s gonna be a creator economy we should get paid fairly for it… #hankgreen #fyp #monetization #problematic #creatoreconomy #creatorfund

♬ original sound – katherine

The TikTok Creativity Program

Yet, this is not the end of the road for TikTok creators getting paid for their work. The platform has revealed that it will be rolling out a new fund, named the TikTok Creativity Program. 

The program, which has slowly been coming into effect over the course of this year, aims to fix the issues of the old TikTok fund. TikTok has stated that it will offer creators the chance to earn up to 20 times more than the original fund, as it operates on a revenue-per-mille basis. 

Essentially, this means that creators will get paid a set amount of money per every 1000 certified views. An interesting twist is that only videos longer than one minute are eligible. As such, we are sure to see far more long form content on TikTok in the coming years.

With all its magical promises, many are wondering if this program is too good to be true. Potentially, it might be. TikTok has yet to offer up a strict formula for how it calculates RPM, and many creators have vocalised their concern on this. 

The platform claims RPM will be based on a variety of factors such as authenticity, engagement and how the video sticks to community guidelines. However, so far creators are reporting that they can’t find rhyme nor reason on how their RPMs have been calculated. 

@yourbestfriendjoshua

The $2 Billion TikTok Creator Fund is DEAD.??? #tiktok #creatorfund #money

♬ The TikTok Creator Fund is officially OVER – Joshua Pingley

How is the new TikTok Creativity Program going to change the platform? 

Ultimately, the end of the TikTok Creator Fund is a positive move forward for content creators. 

As previously mentioned, the vast majority of creators were extremely dissatisfied with the fund. Due to its static payment structure, creators were unable to make any kind of substantial profit through the fund. On top of this, TikTok has not confirmed if the full amount of the fund was handed out to creators; so there is no way of knowing how much they earned. 

Thus, the new TikTok Creativity Program is a beacon of hope for the future of content creation on TikTok. If it follows through on its promises, the program has the potential to turn TikTok into a legitimate source of income for content creators. However, if the program fails to deliver, it is likely that many creators will be inclined to move on to other platforms, due to their pent-up frustration at the original fund. 

It is highly unlikely that TikTok would lose all its content creators, but a future where their numbers severely diminish is not out of the question. 

Moreover, given the time limit that the new TikTok Creativity Program places on videos, we are about to enter a new era of long-form content on the platform. Longer videos means users spending more time on the app as a whole; an important detail to note for marketers. 

Finally, a highly successful payment program on TikTok could lead to a decline in its creators working with brands. As the old TikTok Creator Fund did not provide financial stability, many creators turned to brand partnerships in an attempt to make up for lost revenue. There is the possibility that creators become so satisfied with the new program, that they no longer feel the need to partner up with brands. 

Yet, this future, where creators solely rely on the TikTok Creativity Program to fund their careers, seems far-fetched at best.  It is incredibly unlikely that the TikTok Creativity Program will be able to match the thousands of dollars that brands pay creators. Whilst we may see a slight decline in creators relying so heavily on brand deals, it will not be great enough to be of note. 

All in all, the end of the TikTok Creator Fund is, hopefully, a positive leap forward for content creators. Given its failure, many creators are hesitant to believe in the new TikTok Creativity Program. Only time will tell if it is able to fulfil its promises.

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Author

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Ella Proctor

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