TIKTOK has started to directly pay its creators in the United Kingdom for the very first time, making TikToking a viable career for some.
Following in the footsteps of the likes of YouTube and Instagram, it has made a fund of €58 million available to share among its top content makers in Europe.
Previously, users only made money with live-streaming or by partnering with brands.
The news comes after the company said it would be suing US President Donald Trump’s administration over attempts to ban the app in America.
London based comedian, Sherice Banton, has been making videos on TikTok for four years and has over 1.7 million followers.
“The fund basically gives people the opportunity, when you’ve got ten thousand followers and ten thousand views in the last 30 days, to be part of it,” she said.
“The pay is performance-based so you have to be producing good quality content to receive any of the benefits.
“I think it’s good to have the incentive there to really put out our best work, a win-win situation for TikTok and its creators,” she added.
Florence Simpson, a body confidence creator with over 600,000 followers, is equally optimistic.
“I was spread so thin – it’s taken a bit of pressure off of me knowing that I might be able to leave my job at some point and do this full time”, she said.
TikTok wouldn’t say how much money each creator could expect to get as a member of the fund but it will be based on each individual creator’s video views, so will be performance-related.
American Youtuber Hank Green – who has almost 1 million followers on TikTok claims he’d earned 3.5 cents per thousand views. He explained that his month total of 20 million views was worth close to $700 (€590).
Up until now, creators on the app have made their money by working with big brands who pay them to advertise products.
One creator who is Cardiff based graphic designer, James Lewis, has three million followers on TikTok.
“The majority of content creators are already viewing it as a career,” explained James.
“I’ve been creating art on various platforms for the last seven years and it’s something I’d have continued to do whether or not this fund happened.”
“You can promote music and make a few hundred pounds that way. I’ve designed clothing ranges and artworks for product launches and earned ten times that amount,” he said.
Sherice agrees: “I’ve been lucky enough to leave my job and go full time as a TikTok creator thanks to my relationships and deals with brands.”
For Florence, it’s all about keeping her options open.
“If you have your heart set on becoming something like a doctor or a lawyer, I wouldn’t change that because of this.
“I still want to do my masters in law and I still really enjoy what I’m doing.
“I feel like this isn’t going to last forever and I need something to fall back on if it doesn’t,” she added.
So, could this be a new viable career path? With so many people looking to become ‘Digital Nomads’ and work remotely, this is another branch for a legitimate income. A new generation with non-traditional jobs and plenty of opportunities to travel the world and share and educate each other via social media platforms.