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The latest news on the monetization programs that creators rely on

Many content creators rely on monetization programs to keep their businesses running, pay their bills, and sometimes pay even to their employees. But keeping up with all the changes that social media platforms continue to make can be an exhausting task.

Social media platforms are constantly evolving and revising the user experience. Creators are all familiar with the ever-changing algorithm. But these changes can make it difficult for users to rely on those platforms to connect with their audience or as a way to monetize. TikTok, Meta, and YouTube have all adjusted their monetization policies in recent months. This has a significant impact on the financial compensation that creators can earn. While some of the changes were good, like new rewards for people with large platforms, some of them also came as a surprise for creators. 

The unpredictability of social platforms has prompted some creators to break away from social media. Some creators are explroing how they can take their audiences and finances into their own hands. But changes to the algorithm or modifications to the monetization fund of a particular platform can’t hurt creators who have audiences that thrive elsewhere. The same goes for creators with multiple income streams like online courses, digital products, or offer coaching.

Changes to creator monetization on various platforms

TikTok monetization updates

TikTok announced a Creativity Program earlier this year, and the initiative recently became available to all eligible creators. Creators must have at least 10,000 followers and a minimum of 100,000 views in the last 30 days. The program is intended to reward creators who share original content. Creators must have high-quality videos that are at least one minute long to be eligible.

Creators have the potential to earn more with this program. But it’s still in the early stages of its rollout so there hasn’t been much analysis of how it compares to TikTok’s Creativity Fund. Katliente, a content creator with 501,000 followers, posted on TikTok that she makes $0.76 per thousand views. In one month, she said in a video that she made about $574, more than she makes in four months on YouTube.

In May, TikTok also announced a new initiative to reward Effect House creators. The Effect Creator Rewards, a $6 million fund, rewards creators for engagement with their effects. For every effect that’s used in 500,000 videos within 90 days of being published, creators will receive $700. Content creators will make an additional $140 for every 100,000 views over that 500,000 view threshold.

Changes to monetization on Instagram and Facebook

In March, Meta announced that it would no longer pay bonuses to content creators for their Reels. Content creators reported making up to $35,000 with the bonus scheme, according to Business Insider. The end of that bonus program delivered what creators called a “monumental blow” to their income.

The monetization system evolved to what Meta is calling “Ads on Reels” and now the platform will pay for the number of views the Reels get. Meta is hoping the new program allows content creators to focus on their content and not penalize them for factors outside their control. This monetization change is still in the testing phase though, so it will take some time for creators to see how the new plans will actually translate to money.

Changes to monetization on YouTube

With the introduction of Shorts on YouTube also came a change in how YouTube creators could monetize their content. YouTube had a YouTube Shorts Fund of $100 million that it offered to creators over the course of 2021 and 2022. That program ended and the platform moved to a revenue-sharing system in early 2023.

Now users can apply for the YouTube Partner Program to be a part of the new revenue-sharing that YouTube set up. There are requirements that users must meet to be eligible for this program, however.

In addition to changing how revenue from Shorts works, YouTube made headlines with changes to its profanity policy. In November, YouTube announced that content creators making money off profanity would no longer be able to use profanity in their videos. But after significant backlash from users, the company relaxed the rules.

Now, content creators are able to profit from their videos if they’re only using moderate profanity at any point during the video after the first seven seconds. Videos using stronger profanity in the first seven seconds or multiple times in a video will receive only limited monetization.

Managing the monetization changes

It can be exhausting keeping up with the changes different platforms are implementing. But it’s vital that content creators stay up to date with these rewards because it might require a change in strategy. Creators should keep in mind, though, that regardless of how platforms change their monetization programs, the heart of their content doesn’t have to change.

One way to best manage these changes could be to avoid relying too heavily on any one social media platform. Instead, creating multiple income streams and working to make money from your audience’s engagement could help algorithm-proof your business.