In 2021, the head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, stated that Instagram will “no longer merely [be] a photo-sharing service.” Instead, Mosseri mentioned that the app was developing video and commerce capabilities, unveiling the plan to invest over $1 billion in creator programs by the end of 2022.
The social media giant also listed some ways creators can access this fund through high-performing reels, bonus programs, and even different badges and stars challenges. These updates highlight one obvious thing: Instagram has moved from focusing on its user base to concentrating on creators—and that’s why creator funds are now on the rise.
Keep reading to discover more details about this game-changing project!
One thing’s for sure, the line between user and creator has become very thin, with the popular video streaming platform TikTok leading this phenomenon. While the app was already multiplying in usage (now topping 1 billion users), they announced their $200 million creator fund in July 2020.
Currently, the fund is only available in the US, UK, Germany, Italy, France, and Spain. By having a monetary incentive to create content, we’ve seen more and more people make the shift from just a user to a creator, in hopes of making a living on the social media platform. TikTok plans to increase its fund to over $1 billion in the US in the next three years — and more globally.
Snap Inc. (AKA Snapchat) entered the game with Snapchat Spotlight in 2020, where users submit short viral videos to the Spotlight tab. They also announced a $1 million per day prize money for creator videos that went the most viral on the app. People flocked to Spotlight, and many made hundreds of thousands of dollars. However, by mid-2021, Snap announced that they would be moving from paying $1 million per day to “millions per month.”
They also changed their payout structure and creators could no longer predict why they would get paid. Many creators were frustrated by this update. Content creator, Neda Anvar, stated, “is it worth making content anymore? Because it seems like it’s a random raffle who gets paid and who doesn’t.”
This confusion is not unique to Snapchat — TikTok creators state a lack of transparency, minimal payout, and even rumours that being in the creator fund affects the performance of your videos (which TikTok denies).
While some may wonder why these companies are shelling out billions of dollars, it makes sense. Music Video app, Triller, mentioned that having a good monetization platform for creators of any size made it a content machine. Accessible monetization opens a world of opportunity for people who weren’t traditionally “influencers” to create content — which is what TikTok did so well and what Instagram is trying to do.
It doesn’t look like the rise of the creator is going anywhere, so who will win the creator fund battles? We predict it’ll be companies that can support creators, be transparent, and provide a consistent stream of income in the long run, but we’ll have to stay tuned to find out.
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