Short-video streaming platform TikTok is establishing a $200 million fund aimed at supporting its growing number of content creators, while at the same time attracting new users. The company, which is an independently operating subsidiary of Chinese tech giant ByteDance, announced that the funds will be distributed through a program aimed at cultivating more creative and ambitious content creators on its platform.
TikTok stated that the amount of money it has prepared should allow creators to make a decent living making innovative content on its platform. The company plans to launch the program later this year. Previously, content creators on TikTok could only make money on the app through sponsorships, brand partnerships, or via Livestreaming events. The program essentially adds another source of monetization.
According to the company, TikTok users in the United States that are of legal age, or those over 18 years old, and those that are consistently posting new content that complies with its guidelines will be eligible for its new monetization program. TikTok plans to distribute digital application forms to eligible users starting next month.
TikTok did not immediately elaborate on the details of its program, including how much money creators can make or how they will be paid. A company spokesperson did state that the $200 million budget is just the starting amount and that more will be added depending on the performance and the effectiveness of the program.
The launching of the new program comes as TikTok faces huge challenges that are threatening its ability to operate in the United States. Due to its affiliation with ByteDance, some lawmakers and politicians have accused TikTok of being a national security threat. At one point, lawmakers had even proposed to ban the use of the app in the country, similar to how India had banned the app.
TikTok had repeatedly denied the accusations and pointed out that it was operating entirely independent of its Chinese parent company and that none of its data centers were located in China. The company had made moves to further distance itself from China, including the hiring of an American CEO.
Last week, a group of American investors reportedly expressed interest in purchasing a controlling stake in the streaming platform, essentially ensuring that it operates under American control. The investors, which include Sequoia Capital and General Atlantic, had reportedly met with ByteDance's founder and chief executive officer, Zhang Yiming, to discuss the deal. As of the moment, no concrete decisions have been announced regarding the reported planned stake purchase.