TikTok is shutting down the original way creators could make money on the social media platform.
In 2020, TikTok announced the Creator Fund. The company said that it would pay creators out from a pool of $1 billion for those who created popular content. While people flooded to the platform to make their millions, most people found that their earnings from the fund were quite small, equating to mere dollars for millions of views sometimes.
Then, in February of this year, the company announced the Creativity Program, a new way for creators to make money on the platform. The Creativity Program was obviously sold as a more reliable and long-term way to earn money on TikTok, spelling the end of the Creator Fund. As reported by The Verge, TikTok confirmed that plan today, announcing that it is shutting down the Creator Fund and moving all eligible creators to the Creativity Program.
According to TikTok spokesperson Maria Jung, the Creator Fund will shut down in multiple countries on December 16th. The company did not confirm how much of the $1 billion fund it has actually paid out since it launched a few years ago.
Creators in the US, UK, Germany, and France will no longer be able to monetize their content through the original fund, TikTok spokesperson Maria Jung says. TikTokers in Italy and Spain aren’t affected by the change.
Interestingly, the remaining Creativity Program pushes creators to make longer videos on the platform. The company notes that, in order to earn money as part of the Creativity Program, “creators must create and publish high-quality, original content longer than one minute.” That’s an interesting requirement for a platform that became popular over short-form videos.
Creators already enrolled in the TikTok Creator Fund can switch to the Creativity Program, and those that are not enrolled can apply to the new program once available. Creators currently enrolled in the TikTok Creator Fund can choose to switch to the Creativity Program Beta. To start earning, creators must create and publish high-quality, original content longer than one minute. Creators will have access to an updated dashboard to view video eligibility, estimated revenue, and video performance metrics and analytics. Keeping the safety of our community in mind, all videos for the Creativity Program must abide by our Community Guidelines.
TikTok’s announcement comes as competing platforms like Instagram’s Reels and YouTube’s Shorts products continue to gain in popularity as well. We’ll have to see how monetization shakes out between each platform for creators, but TikTok is certainly trying to catch YouTube’s industry-leading monetization capabilities here.