Last week, alleged information was shared about TikTok’s creator fund.
During an SXSW panel, Sean Kim, former head of product for TikTok’s U.S. operations, made claims regarding the social media giant’s intentions behind initiatives for its creators, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
“Platforms don’t really care if you are successful at monetization. I’ll be completely honest,” Kim claimed, according to the outlet. “The reason why is because their metrics and north-star metrics are 100 percent focused on retention, [daily active users], publish rates, active days. Monetization of creators is not even on there. It’s like way, way, way down here. It’s like a little afterthought.”
As previously reported by AfroTech, TikTok announced its $200 million fund back in July 2020 to help the most popular “eligible” creators on the platform earn a livelihood. In the same year, the company shared its plans to give creators over $2 billion over three years, per CNBC.
“When we launched the TikTok creator fund, we didn’t launch it to help creators monetize,” Kim said. “I mean, that’s what we said everywhere publicly. ‘We’re doing this to help creators monetize.’ That was not why we launched it. We launched it as a reactive measure against other platforms launching their creator funds. We thought to ourselves, what happens if these creators then go monetize or create content on these other platforms? It hurts our metrics, our DAU, our retention. That was the reason why the creator fund was launched.”
According to the outlet, Kim also discussed TikTok’s alleged lack of transparency on whether or not the declared money is in the fund, not to mention if it’s actually being distributed to creators.
“TikTok’s product leaders are encouraged and expected to develop solutions that bring meaningful value to our community,” a TikTok spokesperson shared in a statement to the outlet. “We’re motivated by helping our creators earn livelihoods, and that commitment is best seen through the success of our creators and the continual evolution of our products.”