TikTok is shutting down its confusing Creator Fund and replacing it with the “Creativity Program Beta” — which seems to be designed to push longer form content and is only slightly less confusing. The video hosting platform shared in a press release on Monday that the $2 billion Creator Fund would be closing down on Dec. 16 in the United States, United Kingdom, France, and Germany. Instead, eligible creators are encouraged to apply to the newer TikTok Creativity Program.
According to a blog post on Monday, users at least 18 years old with at least 10,000 followers and 100,000 views in 30 days are eligible to join this new initiative. But unlike the old Creator Fund, where most videos adhering to the terms of service were eligible, this new fund has a bit more restrictions. The video needs to reach 1,000 views, not be a Duet/Stitch/Photo Mode, not be sponsored content, and adhere to the terms of service. A video can be denied monetization, though users can appeal the decision within 30 days of receiving a notice.
To improve your chances of getting a nice payout, TikTok recommends in the blog to make videos a minute or longer, going as high as “30-minutes long.” Uploads over 20 minutes currently seem to be impossible, and a TikTok spokesperson did not clarify whether that was a feature of the TikTok Creativity Program despite responding to some of our other questions about the program.
The highly criticized Creator Fund launched in the spring of 2021 with $200 million and eventually grew to $2 billion which every eligible creator could earn a piece of. That might seem like a lot of money, but when spread out over one million creators, payouts were incredibly small. Other platforms have paid out quite a bit more — YouTube claimed that over the past three years, it has given over $30 billion to creators. It was also unclear how the old Creator Fund calculated payouts, with TikTok only sharing in a blog that they are calculated from “video views, video engagement, as well as ensuring the videos adhere to the Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.”
The blog mentions that creators can earn “up to 20 times more” than they earned with a Creator Fund. When we asked for clarification on how that number was calculated, a TikTok spokesperson said that with longer-form content, they’ve seen creators earn an extra $2,000 each month.
The TikTok Creativity Program at least offers a bit more information on how rewards are calculated, but it is still uncomfortably vague. Rewards are calculated by your qualified views and RPM, or the average gross revenue per 1,000 qualified views. TikTok admits in the blog post that the RPM can “fluctuate” based on “video engagement, authenticity of content, region in which your video is viewed, as well as adherence to the Community Guidelines and Terms of Service.” That still leaves a lot of confusion as to how the payouts are calculated.
Longer videos mean more engagement and time spent on the platform, which TikTok knows is crucial to keeping their over a billion users from going somewhere else for their endless feed of content. But the rules on earning don’t give creators the confidence they need to commit full-time to the platform.
TikTok will always be a fantastic discoverability tool that creators should utilize to funnel audiences into their main sources of income like Twitch, YouTube, or Patreon. TikTok claims there are 14 ways to earn on their platform alongside funds like gifts from live streams, the creator marketplace, branded content, and paywalled Series content. But all of that functionality is still paltry when compared to the other monetizable alternatives.
The TikTok Creativity Program is a step in the right direction, but unfortunately, it’s not a full leap.
What do you think about the new TikTok Creativity Program and the death of TikTok’s infamous Creator Fund? Email [email protected] to share your thoughts.