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TikTok beta-launches the “Creativity Program” creator fund

TikTok launched its “Creativity Program” beta today. The company claims the program will increase creator revenue and opportunities. Invite-only creators can join the program today, with all eligible creators joining soon.

TikTok didn’t disclose the program’s budget because it’s still in development. The company didn’t specify how many followers or views creators need for the program. However, TikTok stated that participants must be 18 years old and have a good account.

Creator feedback on its current earning opportunities, including its Creator Fund, inspired the new program, the company says. In 2020, the fund committed $1 billion over three years to reward creators of popular videos. Creators have complained about low payouts, earning a few dollars for videos with millions of views.

The new TikTok program addresses these concerns. A company spokesperson told TechCrunch that TikTok has reworked its formula to offer a higher average gross revenue for qualified video views with the new program, but did not specify creator payments.

The Information reported that creators must have 100,000 followers to participate in the new program, but TikTok did not specify. If this is the criteria, it’s a big jump from the Creator Fund’s 10,000 follower requirement.

Creators must make high-quality, original videos over one minute to earn with the program. TikTok’s Creator Fund doesn’t require videos to be longer than one minute. TikTok increased its maximum video length from three minutes to 10 minutes last year and now rewards creators for longer videos. Given TikTok’s growing competition with YouTube, its focus on longer content isn’t surprising.

Creators can use an updated dashboard to see estimated revenue, video performance metrics and analytics, and video eligibility requirements.

Creators in the Creator Fund can switch to the Creativity Program, and those not enrolled can apply when it becomes available. Creators cannot return to the Creator Fund after joining the new program. TikTok didn’t say if the Creativity Program would replace the Creator Fund, but it’s possible.

After months of testing in France and Brazil, TikTok launches the new program in the U.S. TikTok will expand the program soon.

“The Creativity Program Beta is the latest addition to our range of monetization tools that support creators of all levels in being rewarded,” the company wrote in a blog post.

As its biggest competitors increase their offerings, TikTok’s new program expands creator earnings. Shorts creators started receiving YouTube ad revenue this month. No short-form video platform had yet figured out ad revenue sharing. The change gives Shorts an advantage over TikTok because creators are incentivized to make original content for YouTube Shorts if they can make more money there.

TikTok’s new program shows its commitment to retaining creator talent by finding new ways to reward them.

TikTok is also addressing creator concerns beyond the revamped creator fund. Last week, The Information reported that TikTok is developing a paywalled video feature that would let creators charge $1 or more to view a video. Instagram creators can share subscriber-only content. The feature would allow TikTok to better reward creators, whose viral videos have driven the app’s popularity.

The Creativity Program is TikTok’s latest monetization tool, joining LIVE subscriptions and Pulse. The company monetizes tips and gifts.

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