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You Will Soon Be Required To Pay To Watch TikTok Videos

Chinese video-sharing platform TikTok is working on a feature to enable creators put their videos behind a paywall, a new report says.

According to American technology outlet The Information, the platform is looking to boost growth of its audience in the US with new initiatives, among them subscriptions of about Ksh. 125 ($1) or another fee chosen by the creator.

The video-sharing site, which had more than 1 billion monthly active users as of the last quarter of 2022, reportedly wants to grow its user base by attracting older users.

Its rival Instagram currently enables creators to share content exclusive to subscribers.

At the same time, TikTok is also working on an improved Creator Fund that will pay creators with more than 100,000 followers in a bid to encourage them to stay the platform.

Launched in 2020, the fund is a three-year, $1 billion pool of money that pays creators for popular videos.

However, some TikTokers have raised issue with how the platform compensates them, saying it limits how much content creators can earn.

There have been concerns of creators earning a few dollars for videos viewed millions of times, making creators rely on advertising to raise substantial income rather than relying on payouts from the company.

According to social media management platform Hootsuite, under the Creator Fund, TikTokers currently earn between 2 and 4 cents for every 1,000 views after reaching a million views, which translates to about Ksh.2,500 to Ksh.5,000 ($20 to $40).

With the Creator Fund 2.0, insiders told The Information that TikTok plans to pay out more to creators by raising the requirements for being eligible to participate in the fund to 100,000 followers and giving payouts to users who make longer videos.

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The sources said the new fund is coming as early as March.

Since its release six years ago in September 2016, TikTok has seen tremendous growth compared to its rivals, and as such been a huge influence as the competitors try to catch up.

Its signature short vertical videos influenced Meta-owned photo and video-sharing platform Instagram to adopt the same through its Reels feature, while video-hosting site YouTube, which originally favoured landscape video, introduced Shorts.

At the start of last year, TikTok temporarily dethroned Google as the most visited website on the internet.

However, the platform started recording a slowdown in the growth of its audience in the U.S., which is the world’s biggest market for online advertising.

Numbers from Data.ai, a firm tracking consumer data and market estimates, show that the number of active monthly U.S. users over 18 years old had declined in December by 3.5% lower than it had been in January.

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