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TikTok is reportedly working on paywalled videos and a revamped creator fund

TikTok is reportedly working on paywalled videos and a revamped creator fund


Amid stalling growth in the US, the shortform video app is working on new initiatives to boost creation, according to a report from The Information.

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Illustration by Nick Barclay / The Verge

TikTok is working on several new features to boost usage and expand its older audiences in the US, according to a new report by The Information.

Among the features in the works is a paywall, allowing creators to set a price on their content. Viewers would pay $1 — or some other fee chosen by the creator — to watch videos, according to the report. Exclusive content only for paying fans is a tactic other companies like Instagram have tried in an effort to entice creators to use the platform. On Instagram, for example, creators can share subscriber-only posts, Reels, stories, and other content not available to other followers.

TikTok is also testing a revamped creator fund that’s already underway in France and Brazil and could begin to roll out in the US next month, according to The Information. Launched in 2020, the original fund is a three-year, $1 billion pool of money that pays creators for popular videos. But some have criticized the fund model broadly, saying it limits how much content creators can earn. Some TikTokers say they earn a few dollars for videos viewed millions of times and just pennies a day when their content isn’t going viral.

With the new fund, according to The Information, the idea is to pay out more to creators than the original version. TikTok leadership has considered raising the requirements for being eligible to participate in the fund to 100,000 followers and giving payouts to users who make longer videos — currently, TikToks can be up to 10 minutes in length.

“We’re committed to exploring new ways to create a valuable and rewarding experience for the TikTok creator community,” TikTok spokesperson Zachary Kizer said in an email. “On TikTok, anyone can be a creator and everyone can enjoy entertainment from our inspiring creators, and we aim to continue innovating this experience so people can express themselves, find their community, and be rewarded for their creativity.”

The features reportedly in development are meant to incentivize — and expand — the pool of content creators that fueled TikTok’s rise in the first place. The company has gradually introduced more ways for influencers, celebrities, and creators to make money on the platform, including sharing ad revenue, but users so far have expressed disappointment with payouts coming from the company itself.

Meanwhile, TikTok’s biggest competitors have ramped up their offerings, hoping to lure creators away with better monetization methods. YouTube announced last year it would share ad revenue 45/55 with creators, a generous cut by platforms standards. And perhaps to encourage Shorts creators to wade into making longform videos, YouTube also introduced a way for users to monetize videos with licensed music — an option that didn’t exist previously.