TikTok’s $1 billion creator fund will come to an end on December 16, 2023, the company told users today.
Creators in the US, UK, Germany and France will no longer be able to monetize their content through the original fund, says TikTok spokesperson Maria Jung. TikTokers in Italy and Spain are not affected by the change.
The creator fund was originally introduced in 2020, with the company promising to pay $1 billion over the course of three years to people who create the app’s viral content. Along the way, influencers and other content creators have noticed the low payouts, sometimes just a few dollars per million views – making it impossible to make a living solely from the creator fund. TikTok did not respond to questions about whether it had paid the full $1 billion.
Payments to creators are now based on views and other engagement metrics.
In February this year, the platform introduced a new monetization method that it said would lead to higher payouts for popular creators: the Creativity Program. Unlike the original fund, the Creativity Program requires creators to make videos longer than one minute, a stark difference for an app that first exploded with short clips. And instead of posting a pool of money from which payments come, TikTok said earnings would be based on views and other engagement metrics. Since the launch of the new system, TikTok has been inviting eligible creators to switch to the Creativity Program; Jung says creators can earn 20 times the amount they earned with the original fund.
It’s no surprise that TikTok’s original fund is on the verge of disappearing: the program was limited to a three-year commitment with a fixed amount to distribute. Creators from the US, UK, Germany and France who are part of the fund will be able to transfer to the Creativity Programme.
Making money on TikTok has always been more unpredictable than on other platforms like YouTube or Twitch. YouTube has especially taken advantage of the low payout issue by offering advertising revenue sharing on Shorts, its TikTok competitor.