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DUBAI: Short video creation app TikTok, which has more than a hundred thousand influencers worldwide in 2020, is increasingly positioning itself as a potentially lucrative social network for content creators, according to Statista.
Creators often describe the app’s editing capabilities and content style as particularly attractive, distinguishing it from other popular platforms like Instagram and Facebook.
Along with this evolution of social networks, the word “influencer” is also disappearing in favor of the term “creator”. The former conjures up images of lavish vacations, luxury, and sometimes a pretentious lifestyle that makes subscribers feel like their own lives are insignificant.
“The term ‘influencer’ is outdated and many social media stars prefer to use the term ‘creative,'” says Harry Hugo, co-founder of The Goat Agency. Drum. “Why? Because the best creators don’t just send aesthetic content, they do more.”
In other words, to be successful, a creator must publish original and useful content that does not simply aim to “influence” an audience.
Xzit Thamer, a creator in Saudi Arabia, focuses on games and publishes mostly game-related content. Grand Theft Auto. He quit his job in 2020 to focus on creating content on TikTok.
“I didn’t know then that I would have seven million subscribers and become one of the best game content creators in the Middle East,” he said. Arabic News.
Experts say TikTok is definitely having its moment of glory, but it’s nothing more than a fad. According to Natasha Hatherall-Shawe, founder and CEO of marketing agency TishTash, the platform’s popularity appears to be enduring.
“The simplicity of TikTok’s mission to capture the attention of viewers through short videos has replaced Meta’s other platforms like Instagram and Facebook. reals“he explains Arabic News.
According to Xzit Thamer, who has been creating content for nine years, “TikTok is the best platform for content creators.”
With top creators able to attract such large audiences, TikTok naturally invests in them through programs like the following. Creative Fund, directly rewarding selected designers. The platform also launched its program in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region CreatorHub September 2022 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Egypt to help identify talented creators and connect them with mentors and experts who can support their development and strengthen their skills.
But a number of high-profile creators have criticized TikTok for doing so Creative Fund. One of the main complaints is that while the number of creators continues to grow, the pool of money available has remained roughly the same.
Hank Green, a famous creator who has more than seven million subscribers on TikTok, criticizes the platform in a video posted on YouTube. He acknowledges that TikTok is an “extremely powerful and well-designed” network, but accuses it of “significantly underpaying creators.”
TikTok is neither the first nor the only platform to provide direct financial rewards to certain creators. Several social networks, including YouTube and Instagram, offer special initiatives for creators, but some experts say it’s not always a good idea and question their value.
“The YouTube network is very stingy with the revenue it shares with creators, and TikTok is no different,” says Ms Hatherall-Shawe.
“While creative apps are good for a small-scale platform,” he continues, “it’s especially hard to feel legitimate with the income you’re generating directly from the platform as a creator.”
That’s why it’s important for creators to consider other monetization opportunities based on TikTok fame, he adds.
One of these opportunities is cooperation with brands. The cost of hiring a creative to collaborate on a campaign or even share a single post on TikTok can vary greatly. While social media and influencer industries are heavily regulated in the Gulf, it’s an anarchic situation where a post by a popular creator can cost $4,000 ($1 = €0.94), supports Natasha Hatherall-Shawe.
For example, according to a BBC report, Mohammed Ghadour, who spends four hours a day creating TikTok videos, earns $1,000-$3,000 a month.
Hatherall-Shawe says that in addition to the potential for brand collaboration, TikTok also provides tools designed to help creators make more money directly from their content. For example, last year the platform introduced a new feature that allows fans to give advice to creators.
The platform also introduced “video gifts,” a mechanism for subscribers to send coins and virtual gifts to creators. These can be exchanged for ‘diamonds’, TikTok’s digital currency, which in turn can be converted into cash. And of course, famous creators can also use their TikTok fame to sell their products or business propositions to their followers.
“TikTok is extremely powerful as a search engine for retail,” says Natasha Hatherall-Shawe. “For many consumers, fashion, beauty, sports, food and homewares are the first point of contact they are influenced by and are then purchased through direct channels with content advertising.”
In May 2022, the platform announced a new feature, TikTok Pulse, allowing you to share ad revenue with key creators. To be eligible, a creator must have content in their top 4 videos, have at least one hundred thousand subscribers, be over 18 years old, and have posted at least five videos in the last thirty days. Creators who meet all of these criteria receive 50% of revenue from ads that appear alongside their content.
Looking at all these initiatives, it’s clear why creators prefer TikTok over other platforms, especially for “short video content, especially in the areas of entertainment, food and family” – the most popular type of content in the Arab world. moment,” he emphasizes.
He also points out that although social networks are very well funded, they are not always profitable, and quantity usually trumps quality.
“These platforms are built on a model of user acquisition at all costs and keep subscribers locked into original programs as much as possible – it’s a volume game,” he insists.
When top creators have enough followers on TikTok to partner directly with brands, they can potentially earn thousands of dollars per post. The platform that helps them get exposure does not get any percentage of this amount. But this does not mean that it loses its resources.
Natasha Hatherall-Shawe concludes: “If the creator as an individual surpasses the platform financially, TikTok remains ahead as an overall company.”
This text is a translation of an article published on Arabnews.com