A spokesperson for TikTok confirmed on Monday that the platform is discontinuing its $2 billion Creator Fund, a 2020 initiative aimed at financially assisting eligible users generating content on the app.
The fund, launched in July 2020, was designed to “help support ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their innovative content.” It involved distributing money through the fund over three years, with allocations based on creators’ shares of the platform’s overall views. However, following the fund’s launch, numerous creators expressed their concerns, asserting that it was complicating monetization on TikTok.
Hank Green, an early YouTube star and an authority on internet culture, was one of the prominent figures who publicly criticized the fund last year, stating that it was outdated. He contended that instead of serving the best interests of its creators, TikTok’s monetization tool favored the platform’s financial interests.
Other creators swiftly echoed Green’s criticism, revealing their meager earnings from the platform despite amassing significant viewership. During that period, Green, with 8 million followers on TikTok, disclosed that he was making approximately 2.5 cents per 1,000 views.
The fund is set to be terminated on December 16 in the U.S., the U.K., France and Germany. A TikTok spokesperson confirmed the fund’s closure to NBC News but did not disclose the end date or provide additional details.
The announcement follows closely on the heels of TikTok’s introduction of its Creativity Program.
TikTok’s billion-dollar Creator Fund, which had long been criticized for low payout amounts, will end next month for U.S. users. It will be replaced by the new Creativity Program. https://t.co/V5AQzjvizc
— Fast Company (@FastCompany) November 7, 2023
In a statement, a spokesperson for TikTok said, “The Creativity Program was developed based on the learnings and feedback we’ve gained from the previous Creator Fund. As we continue developing new ways to reward creators and enrich the TikTok experience, we value the feedback and direct insights from our community to help inform our decisions.”
A TikTok blog post detailing the Creativity Program highlighted the potential for creators to “earn up to 20 times the amount previously offered by the Creator Fund.” Eligible videos for the program must be over a minute long, accumulate a minimum of 1,000 views, and adhere to the platform’s community guidelines, among other criteria.
To enroll in the ongoing beta version of the Creativity Fund, creators need to be based in the U.S., at least 18 years of age, and have garnered over 10,000 followers with at least 100,000 video views in the last 30 days.