TikTok Shutters Billion-Dollar Creator Fund 💰

The platform doubles down on its Creativity Program

Good morning. Have you tried Adobe Premiere Pro’s new text-based editing tools yet? Some highlights: Auto-transcribe a video’s audio, cut clips by deleting specific text, and use an AI-powered feature to recognize unwanted speech patterns (like “ums”) and remove the corresponding shots in bulk.

“It’s much easier for me to just look at the words and delete like that, especially if I already have [an] outline…then I can put more time into things I prefer to work on like sound and music,” Chisom Okeke, a lifestyle creator and Press reader, told us.

TikTok Shuts Down Creator Fund

TikTok lets go of its billion-dollar creator fund / Illustration by Moy Zhong

TikTok is shutting down its original creator fund and pointing users towards its Creativity Program (which rewards creators who make longer videos with higher payouts), the company announced on Monday.

Context: First introduced in 2020, the creator fund paid qualifying TikTok creators from a fixed $200 million pool (a figure that increased to $1 billion, and eventually $2 billion) over the course of three years.

However, as participants like Hank Green and Safwan AhmedMia have pointed out, creators started making less as an increasing number of users qualified for the fund (and the $2 billion pool started to dwindle).

TikTok’s solution? The Creativity Program, a revenue-sharing initiative that set a higher barrier by requiring creators to have larger audiences and make videos longer than a minute in order to participate.

TikTok began rolling out the new Creativity Program in February with a focus on engagement metrics like views and watchtime. Nine months later, the company claims that creators are earning “20 times the amount” of what they previously made with the creator fund.

The creator POV: Jack Coyne, the host of NYC-based TikTok show Public Opinion, told us that their average monthly payout has increased from less than $10 to four figures since joining the Creativity Program in June. And while Public Opinion’s business still revolves around more reliable, higher-revenue brand partnerships, Coyne sees the end of the creator fund as “a positive for people who are very serious about being a [professional] creator.”

“It means that TikTok cares more about people who are repeat creators…as opposed to someone who just randomly posts a video that goes viral, and they make some money from it,” he said.

Shelby Church is Finished With Airbnb

Shelby Church announces the end of the Airbnb rental she’s operated and created content about for the past two years / Shelby Church

Tech and lifestyle creator Shelby Church announced she’s shuttering her Racquet Club Resort, the Airbnb rental that she’s spent the last two years operating and vlogging about.

Quick background: Church has spent $100K renovating a home she bought in 2021 in Palm Springs, CA. She’s extensively documented her journey turning it into an Airbnb on YouTube.

Why change course now? A downtrending economy, unexpected costs, and a potential Californita state bill that would add a 15% tax on short-term rentals have hamstrung Church’s revenue potential, she told us.

“When I first started, everyone was so excited about short-term rentals. Then as I continued, people started to dislike it because the housing market got worse and everyone started to see how short-term rentals have contributed to the problem,” Church said. 

So she plans to turn her Airbnb into a long-term rental and focus her content on other, more successful verticals: female founders, home tours, and travel

Her advice for creators? Assess your risk tolerance. “Creators have this unique advantage where they can document if they’re doing a unique investment,” Church said. “But I wouldn’t do anything just for the videos. It would need to align with something that you want to do anyway, and then you can make videos about it too.”

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YouTube Limits Videos That Endanger Teen Wellbeing

YouTube hides some video recommendations that include sensitive information like eating disorders and body image issues from teens / Illustration by Moy Zhong

YouTube has started limiting the number of times teens receive video recommendations that include sensitive information about topics like eating disorders and body image issues.

The change to YouTube’s recommendation tool is part of a larger update to the platform’s teen safety efforts, which include “take a break” reminders that will appear as “full-screen takeovers” on long-form videos and Shorts.

Between the lines: These changes come two weeks after 41 U.S. states and Washington, D.C. filed a lawsuit against Meta alleging the company knew its products harmed children’s mental health and did nothing. YouTube appears to be attempting to avoid the same fate.

🔥 Press Worthy

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  • Spill, a Twitter alternative described as a safer place for Black Americans and the LGBTQ+ community, passes 200,000 users and closes a $2M seed extension on its one-year anniversary.

  • Rhett and Link debut a cereal line with two flavors, Sweet Mac N’ Mello and Peanut Butter N’ Honey Sandwich.

  • Logan Paul and KSI are hosting a contest to win a PRIME bottle worth $1 million.

  • OpenAI is launching a ChatGPT store, allowing users to build and sell custom chatbots on the platform. 

  • Stunt creator Danielle Labelle joins children's media company pocket.watch.

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