TikTok has announced a £54 million fund for creators on its platform in Europe, in order to keep them on its app amidst tough competition from other apps.
In a blog post, the company said it wants to “give talented individuals the opportunity to turn their creativity into a career”. It expects that total to rise to approximately £231m over the next three years.
A similar fund of $200m was recently launched in the United States, with the intention to grow that fund to $1 billion in three years.
Previously, users were only able to make money through livestreams or brand partnerships. It will reveal more information about how creators can apply for the fund in the future.
To be eligible for the US fund, users will need to be over 18, reach a certain benchmark of followers, and post original content that does not violate TikTok’s rules. It is likely the European fund will have similar guidelines.
Such a move comes as Instagram, owned by Facebook, is rolling out products to challenge TikTok’s relative dominance in the short-form video space.
Instagram recently launched Reels in Brazil, a tool which allows users to create music videos for up to 15-seconds – the same length of time allowed on TikTok.
Similar to the ‘Duet’ feature in TikTok, Reels also allows users to take audio from other users and use it themselves in their own videos.
Should Reels perform well, it is likely to be rolled out globally.
TikTok has recently criticised Facebook for what it calls “copycat products”, arguing that Facebook is attacking the company but disguising that attack “as patriotism … to put an end to our very presence in the US.”
Facebook has also reportedly offered money to TikTok creators to encourage them to leave the platform.
TikTok’s presence in the United States is on a precipice. Donald Trump said his administration is “looking at” banning the app in the US.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also recently issued a warning for Americans who use TikTok saying that it would put “your private information in the hands of the Chinese Communist Party”.
The concerns come from TikTok’s parent company Bytedance, which operates in China. TikTok itself does not exist in China, but Douyin, its original version, does.
China’s National Intelligence Law from 2017 requires organisations and citizens to “support, assist and cooperate with the state intelligence work,”.
It is unclear why such concerns are being raised now, three years later, but experts believe a key factor is anti-China sentiment due to its economic developments, as well as its recent political actions against protestors and its social credit system.
TikTok has denied such allegations, and said it would leave Hong Kong if such were requests made.