TikTok wants to dig its economic roots deeper as governments and security watchdogs worldwide plan to or have imposed restrictions for its Chinese links.
TikTok this week announced plans to hire 10,000 US employees over the next three years. The firm wants to tap on its growing opportunities.
The popular short-form video app has unveiled TikTok Creator Fund to pay influencers for their videos on the platform.
“To further support our creators, we’re launching the TikTok Creator Fund to encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspirational careers. The US fund will start with $200 million to help support ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their innovative content. The fund will be distributed over the coming year and is expected to grow over that time.”
The incentive might help TikTok, but monetizing short-form video is hard. Ask Vine.
In Vine’s case
After establishing and building itself a large following, Vine tumbled due to ineffective monetization.
Its main content offering was six-seconds in length. This made it difficult for Vine to use ads, as users would either skip or ignore them in-stream. So, top Vine creators had poor compensation.
Vine added long-form videos and pre-roll ads as a last hurrah. But top Vine creators started to migrate to more lucrative platforms. And their audiences followed.
Many of these influencers became millionaires on YouTube and Facebook. Vine shut down, as usage dropped.
Following the playbook
TikTok wants to follow the playbook. As influencers build followings, the lure of monetization from rivals will be harder to ignore.
TikTok owner ByteDance has to ensure they get paid, even without a similar ad network. And it can keep the top TikTok creators through this allocated funding.
It seems unsustainable. But the full breadth of economic impacts due to COVID-19 is uncertain. TikTok Creator Fund may secure its place further in the wider digital ecosystem.
Jobs are harder to come by these days. The US government must find ways to ensure more people continue to receive income.
Will they block TikTok from potentially hiring 10,000 US employees?
A clever play by TikTok indeed. If it becomes a bigger job provider for more Americans, it can put more pressure on US regulators to stop plans of a ban.
TikTok Creator Fund will launch to applications from US creators starting August.
Qualified creators must be 18 years or older, meet a baseline for followers, and post original content in line with their Community Guidelines.