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TikTok is overhauling how it pays creators of viral filters and effects

TikTok is overhauling how it pays creators of viral filters and effects


The company announced in May it had dedicated $6 million to pay the creators of filters. Now, TikTok is lowering eligibility requirements and changing the payment structure.

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Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

TikTok is making major changes to its creator fund for the people who make the app’s viral filters and effects.

The fund sets aside $6 million to pay creators of effects on TikTok — aesthetic filters, mini-games, and more — that regularly go viral on the platform and become trends in their own right. The Effect Creator Rewards program, first announced in May, has a lower set of eligibility requirements and updated payment structure and will be open to more regions, TikTok announced today in a blog post.

First, the fund is opening up to creators in more than a dozen new regions, including Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, and the Philippines. The requirements to join are also changing: previously, creators needed to have 500,000 videos published that use their effects. Now, TikTok requires effects creators to have five published filters, with at least three of them being used in 1,000 videos. This could help budding effects creators with moderate success join without needing a hugely popular footprint.

The program is the first pool of money TikTok has created to pay effects designers — previously, creators were making filters essentially for free. But the payment structure left a lot to be desired: an effect used in 500,000 videos in the first 90 days after being published would only net the creator $700, plus an additional $140 for every 100,000 videos beyond that in the same timeframe. That comes out to $1,400 for a filter used in a million videos (TikTok limits earnings to $14,000 for a single effect and $50,000 a month per creator).

More creators will likely be able to monetize under the new program rules — TikTok is lowering the initial baseline for monetization, requiring 200,000 videos to start making money. The pay rate will also change to be variable rather than a flat fee — TikTok says the amount will depend on “certain factors, such as the region where the video was created.” Whether that will end up giving creators more or less money remains to be seen.