TikTok is rolling out new features to help creators make money, according to a company blog post published Wednesday. The newly announced Creator Next program expands the way creators can be compensated for their work, allowing viewers to send gifts and tips to their favorite creators.
TikTok is introducing live gifts, video gifts and tips. Live gifts allow viewers to send virtual goods called "Diamonds" to creators during live videos. These Diamonds can then be redeemed for money. In order to send Diamonds, viewers have to first purchase virtual coins. Video gifts operate in the same way, but are only for videos that aren't live. TikTok's new tips feature will allow viewers to directly give cash, processed via fintech company Stripe.
In the announcement, TikTok also noted that the number of live gifts sent to a creator will be used as a metric to assess popularity. These features build on existing programs, including TikTok's Creator Fund, which pays creators who meet minimum follower and view thresholds, as well as the Creator Marketplace, which is the hub for brand collaborations.
TikTok's Creator Next program is part of a wave of social media platforms building new features to help creators monetize their work. YouTube's Partner Program, for example, includes "Super Chat & Super Stickers," through which viewers can pay to have their messages at the top of chat feeds. And Twitch lets viewers send Bits, virtual goods that reflect support or approval and are worth $0.01 each. Facebook, meanwhile, offers subscription features for pages and lets fans buy "stars," which creators exchange for money. All of it is a way for platforms to compete with one another for top creators, who, in turn, help those platforms grow.
Correction: 12/1/21 3:52 pm ET An earlier version of this story reported that the Creator Fund and Creator Marketplace were part of Wednesday's announcement. They were already active prior to Wednesday's announcement.