One of TikTok’s initiatives is coming to an end.
The Verge reports that the social media company’s $1 billion creator fund, created in 2020, is shutting down. As of Dec. 16, TikTok spokesperson Maria Jung shared that creators based in the U.S., UK, Germany, and France will no longer be able to monetize their videos through the fund, per the outlet.
However, Italy and Spain aren’t included in that list, and countries that are on it can “roll over to the Creativity Program.” According to Jung, the Creativity Program can make creators 20 times more than they made with the help of the fund.
The outlet also notes that before the upcoming shutdown, TikTok influencers and content creators voiced earning “low payouts — sometimes just a few dollars for millions of views — making it impossible to earn a living through the creator fund alone.”
The influencers and content creators haven’t been the only ones to be outspoken about the fund. As previously shared by AFROTECH, in March 2023, Sean Kim, former head of product for TikTok’s U.S. operations, claimed that TikTok didn’t create the fund to help creators monetize their content but rather to help with user retention for their metrics.
“When we launched the TikTok creator fund, we didn’t launch it to help creators monetize,” Kim said at SXSW during a panel. “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.”
TikTok has yet to confirm that it completely distributed the $1 billion to creators.