TikTok’s $1 billion creator fund is shutting down

TikTok’s billion-dollar creator fund will end on December 16, 2023, the company announced to users today.

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 said. TikTokers in Italy and Spain are not affected by the change.

The creator fund was initially introduced in 2020, with the company promising to pay out $1 billion over three years to people creating the app’s viral content. Along the way, influencers and other content creators noticed the low payouts – sometimes just a few dollars for millions of views – do it impossible to earn a living thanks to the creators’ funds alone. TikTok did not respond to questions about whether it had paid the full $1 billion.

Now creator payments are based on views and other engagement metrics

In February this year, the platform introduces a new monetization method which he 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 a minute — a marked difference for an app that first exploded on the back of short clips. And instead of publishing a pool of money from which payments are made, TikTok said revenue would be based on views and other engagement metrics. Since the launch of the new system, TikTok has been inviting eligible creators to upgrade to the creativity program; Jung claims that creators can earn 20 times the amount they made with the initial fund.

It’s no surprise that TikTok’s initial fund is about to disappear: the program was limited to a three-year commitment with a fixed amount to distribute. American, British, German and French creators who are part of the fund will be able to benefit from the creativity program.

Making money on TikTok has always been more unpredictable than on other platforms like YouTube or Twitch. YouTube has notably addressed the issue of low payments by offering sharing of advertising revenue on Shortsits competitor TikTok.

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