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Instagram offers creators up to $35,000 to post videos to its TikTok clone

Instagram offers creators up to $35,000 to post videos to its TikTok clone


It launched its bonus program for Reels in July

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Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

Instagram is offering massive sums of money to creators to post videos on its TikTok competitor Reels, as highlighted in a pair of reports from TechCrunch and Business Insider. Instagram announced its bonus program for Reels in July when Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg said the company would be paying $1 billion to creators through 2022

These reports shed new light on exactly how much individual creators are being offered for their Reels, and how many views they need to get in order to receive the maximum bonus payout. On the high end, TechCrunch points to one Reddit post where someone has been offered as much as $35,000 if their Reels get 58.31 million views in a month. That’s in line with what Business Insider reports was offered to Sam and Cori Werrell make Reels content for their 283,000 Instagram followers. 

Users are shown a screen outlining the bonus scheme.
Users are shown a screen outlining the bonus scheme.
Screenshot: Instagram

Meanwhile, smaller creators have reportedly been offered much more modest sums. Maddy Corbin, a creator with around 52,000 Instagram followers, was reportedly offered up to $1,000, but says that she knows of others being offered $600 or $800. TechCrunch reports that these bonuses appear to be increasing over time — another creator with 24,000 Instagram followers was recently offered $8,500 for 9.28 million views. The same payout was offered to a Verge staff member with 15,000 followers.

There don’t seem to be any firm rules about how payment amounts correspond to follower counts. Instagram tells TechCrunch that the program is in its early stages, and that it’s still experimenting with the format. “We’re continuing to test payments as we roll out to more creators, and expect them to fluctuate while we’re still getting started,” the company said.

YouTube and Snapchat are offering their own incentives to creators. In August, YouTube announced it would pay up to $10,000 a month for popular videos. Meanwhile, last month Snapchat announced Spotlight Challenges, which offers various rewards to incentivise making videos. Snapchat says its prize pools typically range from $1,000 to $25,000.

There are two possible interpretations of these platforms’ bonus schemes. The generous version is that Meta-owned Instagram wants to share the wealth with the creators at the foundation of its platform. But it’s no secret that Instagram, YouTube, and Snapchat are warily eying up TikTok’s explosion in popularity, and it doesn’t seem like a coincidence that many of the bonus schemes are focussed around short-form video services that each bear an uncanny resemblance to TikTok.

For its part, TikTok appears to be unfazed by the amount of money being thrown around by its competitors. In late September it announced it had passed the 1 billion monthly active users mark.