The new programme was announced yesterday. Entitled the Creativity Program, it is now in beta testing in the US, France, and Brazil and according to The Information, the decision is informed by TikTok’s need to boost lagging growth in the US. The new program is open on an invite-only basis for now but will expand to include all eligible users in the future. 

To be eligible for the program, users will need to be over 18, hit follower and video views benchmarks, and, most interestingly, make “high-quality, original videos that are longer than one minute.”  

Compared to a year ago, this is a drastic change. If anything, only six months ago, all creators, marketers and artists heard, it seemed, when it came to TikTOk engagement advice was the three-second-rule and the need to keep videos to under 15 seconds long in order to be prioritised by the TikTok algorithm. It even started to have a profound effect on the way music was being promoted and even written/produced. 

Nevertheless, the year so far, it seems that TikTok has signalled in more ways than one that longform content, including livestreams, will be increasingly important for the platform going forward.

Another potential motivation behind this launch is a key complaint creators have had with the company: users said they weren’t making enough money from the original creator fund. According to TikTok, the new program will “foster [creators’] creativity, generate higher revenue potential and unlock more exciting, real-world opportunities” but didn’t offer any clarity on the scope of the new program or how much participants can expect to make (or if it will be more than their Creator Fund earnings).

Having said that, TikTok spokesperson Zachary Kizer told The Verge the company wasn’t able to share how much money will go into the new program at this time. What we do know is that payouts will be calculated using qualified views and RPM, a figure that can, in turn, fluctuate based on metrics like video engagement and audience region.

To frame this with the original Creator programme, the original fund, announced in 2020, had a pool of $1 billion for participants, to be paid out over three years. Meta promised to spend $1 billion by the end of 2022 on creators; YouTube, meanwhile, is offering a sizable revenue-sharing program to content creators making Shorts, with YouTube keeping 55 percent and giving 45 percent to creators. Interestingly, creators who are part of the original fund will have the option to switch to the Creativity Program Beta but won’t be able to revert back. 

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