Column: TikTok’s Creator Fund has been insufficient

Destiny Blanchard

TikTok’s popularity over the past few months has grown tremendously. In February 2020, it was downloaded over 100 million times. Noting the timing of this and the boost in content in the following months, I think it’s fitting to call it the “Quarantine App.” Formerly known as Musical.ly, TikTok has the highest social media engagement per post of all time and it has been installed 1.9 billion times globally since its creation. Its success has concerned many other social media companies and the U.S. government. President Trump filed an executive order that would go into effect to ban TikTok in the U.S on Sept. 15th, and Instagram released their own rival product called Reels.

Either way, TikTok’s popularity is at an all-time high. The newest addition to their management, CEO Kevin Mayer, announced in July that there would be a Creator Fund that would go towards paying creators for their videos. This fund was said to start at $200 million and could grow to $1 billion over the next few years.

The criteria for being able to join the program are so specific, that it seems unclear as to why such high-performing people aren’t receiving much. In order to get into the program, a Creator has to be 18 years old,  have 10,000 followers, and have had 10,000 total video views in the previous 30 days.

The Creator Fund program was launched in the past few weeks, and many were disappointed, to say the least. Although millions were put into the program, creators have been getting pennies for their videos. One creator reported that they only got a few dollars a day when they had up to tens of thousands of views for the videos they made. Other creators noticed a drop in their views since joining the creator program.

It seems like the TikTok executive’s motivation to have this program is so that they can become the top platform for influencers, their main contenders being YouTube and Instagram. YouTube has the ability to pay influencers way more, but it takes longer to gain followers on the site compared to TikTok. Instagram also has the appeal of fame but TikTok is slowly on the way to overtake it in popularity. I don’t expect content creators to get much money from executives in the long run, but there is so much potential for them to gain fame and use that for their own benefit. There’s a perfect opportunity for creators to take advantage of a system that could make them a lot of money if they use their fame in combination with their own methods of turning a profit.

 

Destiny Blanchard is a junior management major. She can 581-2812 or [email protected]