In early 2022, Snap Inc., Snapchat’s owner, began sharing revenue from mid-roll ads on stories with users. This has inspired many Snapchat creators to upload more stories. One influencer, 23 year old Alyssa McKay, has said that since joining the program — available to verified users called Snap Stars — she’s earned “well over a million dollars,” a figure confirmed by a source familiar with the matter. 

Compared to YouTube videos, or even content for short-video platforms like TikTok, Snapchat stories require less effort to produce. Creators can skip laborious tasks like video editing or thumbnail creation. In exchange for the lower-lift work, they often trade their privacy.

Unlike many other social media platforms, the nature of Snapchat influencer is rather invasive with the majority posting several times a day, every single day. The privacy thing is kind of something you take with being a content creator,” Leilani Green, a beauty and makeup creator with 845,000 subscribers on Snapchat, told Insider. “You have to be built for not as much privacy as a typical person.”

For many creators, such as Eloise Head, who posts recipes as Fitwaffle on social media, the raw, “random” content she uploads on Snapchat provides a break from the constant curation required elsewhere. It doesn’t matter that she has to post over 100 times a day to maximise the views — to her, it feels like a more genuine way to connect with her audience.

Having said that, some creators have found ways to hack the stories program to avoid “live streaming” their lives all day. Take Rick Lox, a food creator with around 215,000 Snapchat subscribers. Lox said he sets dedicated times in the morning, afternoon, and evening to upload stories. “It might be like 30 in the morning, 40 in the afternoon, and then 30 at night,” he said. “Usually it adds up to roughly a hundred per day.”

From a user perspective, Snapchat stories provide a different taste inside the life of creators that followers don’t get on other platforms, where video content is often repurposed and repackaged ad nauseam.

Snapchat may be incentivizing creators to broadcast every minute of their lives, which isn’t for everyone. Still, Snapchat appears to have found a clear path to splitting ad revenue with its users for short-form content. As short-video content has gobbled up attention time, it’s also disrupted the ad-revenue model that YouTube popularised where pre, mid, and post-roll ads could be easily traced back to specific creators’ work.TikTok and YouTube’s attempts at sharing in-stream ad revenue with creators for short videos has produced measly payouts thus far. Snapchat’s stories program, which introduces mid-roll ads to short content streams tied to a specific creator, could offer the best of both worlds.

“If you do the maths, 16 hours a day awake is 960 minutes, so 200 photos works out to a little more than one photo every five minutes of your waking life. Very similar to livestreaming your life,” said creator-economy expert Jim Louderback. “Seems a bit excessive to me, but if a creator wants to do it and it makes money then why not?”

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