Hannah Stocking is a creator who got her start as a Vine comedian. Stocking recently made $30,000 over the course of 72 hours by exclusively posting content to Snap. She then made $14,000 in another 24hr period. The money made is part of the platform’s advertising revenue share program—currently in beta testing—that’s turning Snap Stories into gold mines for top stars. 

The payouts are increasing the platforms likelihood to stand into a powerful equaliser in its competition against larger social media rivals such as TikTok, YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.

What’s so shocking is that Stocking has only been active on Snap for fewer than eight months making the revenue sharing program a real eye-opener. Although it should be noted that Stocking boasts 935,000 followers on Snap, 24 million on Instagram, 9 million on YouTube, and 28 million on TikTok so the monetisation abilities are high.
“Snapchat is mainly just having a good time with friends, and I think because there’s so much negativity in the world that kids go online to get away from that, and look to their favourite creator, and want to be part of their life as a source of happiness and laughter” Stocking told Fortune. 

Snap’s revenue program, entitled Snap Stars, while unveiled in 2022 and still in beta, has motivated some of the biggest creators on the planet like Stocking, David Dobrik, and Charli and Dixie D’Amelio to invest time and energy into making specialised content just for Snap. “All the big creators—everyone is talking about Snapchat; it’s literally the talk of the town because of the insane engagement and insane monetization,” says Adam Waheed, who has 362,000 Snap followers, 11 million on YouTube, 5.1 million on Instagram, and 18.8 million on TikTok. 

Snap Stars sits in a very popular wake of a bunch of revenue programs launched by social platforms. Instagram recently announced that it was ending its “bonus” payouts to Reels creators, as well as “winding down” its NFT program that allows users to mint and sell NFTs on Instagram to share across Meta platforms and TikTok’s advertising revenue-share program for top creators—TikTok Pulse—has struggled to prove its worth among creators, with some participants making less than $5 a month, as Fortune previously reported. The company also faces significant risk that the U.S. government could limit, or ban, its access in the country because of its Chinese ownership.

For Snap, whose 375 million daily active users and $17 billion market cap are dwarfed by its rivals —Meta has a $515 billion market value and boasts nearly 3 billion users in its family of apps for context —top creators are a valuable asset, which can help syphon audiences and brand advertising dollars from the competition.

“If Snap can stay focused and leverage what they have going on with creators, it’s a good opportunity for them,” says Paul Rodriguez, a managing director at Arthur W. Wood. “Meta has other focus areas—the Metaverse, WhatsApp, and Reels. I personally think TikTok is going to be under extreme pressure as to whether it’s going to exist here. That leaves YouTube and Snap, and the parent of YouTube has its own distractions as their core search business has come under pressure with the advent of ChatGPT.”

While Snap hasn’t always been top of mind when people think of the creator economy, the app acknowledges that. “It’s sometimes easy not to think about us when you’re thinking about opportunities in the creator economy because the content ecosystem on Snapchat is built on top of a camera-first communication tool,” says Jim Shepherd, director of global talent partnerships at Snap. “We run a bit under the radar, but I think over the last year to two years, we’ve been quietly building a very meaningful ecosystem for creators to build their businesses on our platform.” At the same time, in the last three months of 2022, the amount of time that users spent on creator stories increased 10% year over year. 

It should also be noted that ads appear in Snap Stories between every four to six posts; this equates to every 18 to 45 seconds. The ads are from large public companies like Amazon, Doordash, and Adobe. This cadence is far greater than in-feed or in-video ads on YouTube, TikTok, and Facebook where users can go minutes without seeing an ad. 

Also in the app’s favour is its preference from creators. Snap is liked by creators for the ease of creating Stories on the platform and the associated authenticity. “Snapchat stories are like the raw experience of someone’s day,” says David Dobrik, who has 7.3 million followers on Snap, 26.2 million on Youtube, 11.3 million on Instagram, and 26.3 million on TikTok. “It really takes the pressure off creating.”

In addition to the ease of use and high payouts, creators are also drawn to Snap by the support they receive from the platform. Adam Waheed, who has 5.1 million followers on Instagram, 11.6 million on YouTube, and 18.8 million on TikTok (and is rumoured to be dating Stocking) has only been investing in Snap content for about three weeks. Yet, he reports making around $1,500 per day from ad revenue-sharing and now considers it his favourite platform, in part because of his relationship to his Snap representative, Brooke Berry. “With certain platforms, you have to email them—but [Berry] is like, ‘Text me whenever,’” he says. “With Snap it feels very personal rather than like, ‘Hey, just go on there and post and make us money.’”

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