Gone are the days of 2020-2021 lockdown TikTok where a lofi bedroom video could blow to 1 million views overnight and promised consistent engagement from there on out. Despite the pandemic having launched a plethora of new creators, complaints are that engagement is down. The ability for creators to monetize on the social-media platform has gotten a lot more precarious. Low payouts from the creator fund have caused several TikTokers to quit the app entirely. Meanwhile, the threat of a potential TikTok ban in the UShas led some creators to question the app’s longevity.
Many creators, including myself, are shifting to YouTube for the first time this year, primarily to access the platform’s new revenue-sharing model, which incorporated Shorts into the YouTube Partner Program in February. The way we are experimenting with YouTube is often both with longer-form content, leaning into YouTube’s SEO-friendly platform, and repurposing their TikTok videos for Shorts.
Nevertheless, it must be noted that most creators aren’t giving up on TikTok. Some are focusing their efforts on making their content more discoverable and SEO-friendly, to help surface their videos in searches.
Email newsletters are another alternative creators are turning to in order to monetise content. When education creator Carlynn Greene saw her views plummet on TikTok, she spoke to her contact at Teachable, an online platform where she was selling paid courses. They advised her to start a free email newsletter where followers could access all her linked resources in one place, and regularly get updates from Greene in their inbox instead of perusing social media. So far, she’s amassed 25,000 subscribers in four months.
“It helps centralize the process of engaging with your community,” she said. “That in turn helps your content evolve, because you’re more on top of what your audience wants to see from you and what resources they need.”
From a creator perspective, it can be frustrating to feel like you have to hop from platform to platform in order to re-generative a dedicated audience. This period has showcased why engagement over following counts for so much. If those followers turn up to every TikTok, for example, it’s likely a large percentage will also follow your YouTube.
Furthermore, the TikTok algorithm can overwhelm users. The content is literally thrust into our gaze whereas on YouTube, we deliberately click onto a video therefore regaining a sense of control over the algorithm.