Snapchat is decreasing the reward money creators can get when they make content for the platform’s TikTok competitor — again.
Business Insider reports that the pot of cash up for grabs for users making Spotlight videos now sits at millions of dollars per year. In February, Snap said it was offering up millions a month to creators making high-performing short-form videos for Spotlight. Even that was a dip from when Spotlight first launched in the fall of 2020, and Snap made splashy promises of paying out $1 million a day for a period of time to people making TikTok-style videos.
Snap spokesperson Farrin Jay confirmed the fund sits at “millions of dollars throughout the year” and said the company is focused on rewarding Spotlight creators in more markets.
As the Business Insider story details, making Spotlight videos was lucrative for content creators — at least for a while. One creator was able to make between $20,000 and $50,000 a month at one point until Snap began decreasing payments. Another said they were making around $15,000 for 150,000 views on their videos in 2021 but are now getting $15 for hitting the same number. Snap has also introduced Spotlight Challenges, which pay users when they make hit videos using certain Lenses or sounds or doing certain activities.
Though creator payments are decreasing, Spotlight still appears to be a priority for the company: in a leaked internal memo from September, CEO Evan Spiegel told staff he wanted 30 percent of users on Spotlight every day next year.
Plenty of other platforms have tried to throw money at their TikTok-sized problems. In order to get users to make Instagram Reels, the company was at one point shelling out $35,000 a pop as part of a “bonus” program last year. But like Snapchat’s Spotlight fund, creators told the Financial Times those payments were slashed this spring. In 2020, TikTok itself announced a $1 billion creator fund and later added ad revenue sharing with some creators.
Times are tough right now, even for the still-very-rich tech platforms, and many are going all in on trying to take on TikTok’s dominance. Snap laid off around 20 percent of its employees this summer, and though it’s far from alone in reducing headcount, the cuts were deep compared to other tech companies.