How much TikTok pays for views, according to creators
Victoria Paris is making longer videos on TikTok to earn more via its Creativity Program.Courtesy of Victoria Paris
Here's how much TikTok pays for views through its platform. TikTok is paying creators out of its own pocket for its Cre...

How much TikTok pays for views, according to creators

Here's how much TikTok pays for views through its platform. TikTok is paying creators out of its own pocket for its Cre...
  • TikTok has released a variety of tools to help creators make money through its app.
  • It's paying users directly via its Creator Fund, Creativity Program, and TikTok Pulse.

TikTok can be a powerful platform for creators looking to build an audience. But can its users actually make money?

That question has been top of mind for many influencers who have taken off on the app. Some turn to brand deals as a way to earn a living. Others grab revenue from TikTok's livestream gifting or subscription features, or its new e-commerce affiliate program within TikTok Shop. Creators whose content doesn't make sense for those formats sometimes look outside TikTok, joining platforms like YouTube, or launching newsletters or other business lines.

The most straightforward way for creators to earn from social media, outside of brand deals, is getting a cut of revenue based on video performance and views generated, an approach pioneered by other social entertainment apps like YouTube and Facebook.

TikTok has introduced several payment programs over the last few years tied to creator video performance, including its Creator Fund, Pulse ad-revenue sharing program, and its Creativity Program beta.

Both the Creator Fund, which pays influencers out of an opaque pool of money, and Pulse, which ties creator payments to ad revenue, have led to relatively small paydays for users so far.

Vi Luong, a TikToker with around 1 million followers on the platform, previously told Insider she had been earning $150 to $300 a month from the Creator Fund depending on how often she posts content and how well it performs.

Read more about how much the TikToker earns in a month, from brand deals to the Creator Fund

Because most creators can't live off of a few hundred dollars a month, the Creator Fund has served more as pocket money rather than a sustainable income source.

Like the Creator Fund, TikTok's ad-revenue sharing program, Pulse, has also been a relatively small piece of the pie when it comes to influencer earnings. Eight creators who shared their monthly earnings, view counts, and revenue for every 1,000 video views (RPM) from the program in 2022 earned anywhere from a few pennies to $17.

Read more about how much TikTokers are earning from the Pulse ads program

The company's Creativity Program, which launched in beta in February 2023, has proven to be far more lucrative.

TikToker couple Devin and Hunter Cordle earned a five-figure payout from the program in a single month, for example.

"Honestly, it made us think about how TikTok should be our primary focus and to maybe not get distracted by what we could be posting on other apps, even though it's really important to diversify," Cordle told Insider.

Here is more information on the three TikTok programs that pay creators based on video views and other performance metrics:

1. Creator Fund

TikTok launched its Creator Fund in 2020, pledging to pay its users a total of $1 billion over a three-year period. The company has not publicly shared how much it's paid out so far from that original commitment.

The fund is essentially a big pot of money TikTok uses to pay a subset of creators with at least 10,000 followers who have generated 100,000 video views in the previous 30-day period. TikTok told Insider it considers factors like video view counts, video engagement, and the location in which a video was seen, when determining Creator Fund payouts.

Read how much six creators have earned through the Creator Fund

TikTok's $1 billion target is small compared to YouTube's overall creator payouts. YouTube's CEO wrote in 2021 that the company had paid $30 billion to creators, artists, and media companies over a three-year time frame. It also set up a $100 million fund in 2021, meant to last through 2022, specifically for its TikTok-like feature, shorts.

Other platforms like Snapchat have paid influencers hundreds of millions of dollars to incentivize them to create short videos. Instagram also previously paid some creators based on the number of views their reels generate, offering "bonuses" for hitting certain short-video view thresholds, though it paused that initiative in early 2023.

Influencers who have revealed their Creator Fund payments publicly or with Insider over the last few years have reported earning just a few cents for every 1,000 views their videos generate.

For creators with millions of views on videos, a lower RPM can still add up to more than $1,000 in earnings. Personal-finance influencer Preston Seo, who now has 2.4 million TikTok followers, earned a total of about $1,664 from the Creator Fund between January 2021 and May 2021, according to documentation he shared with Insider.

Other top creators, such as MrBeast and Hank Green, have reported low Creator Fund payouts despite generating huge view counts.

"When [TikTok] established their Creator Fund, it was a good step forward, but it remains on the weaker side of platform monetization," Eamon Brennan, the vice president of creator partnerships at creator agency and management firm Collab, told Insider in 2022. "I think regulating and expanding the actual monetization system of the platform itself would help everyone out."

When asked about creators' concerns around low fund payouts, a TikTok spokesperson said in July 2022 that the company understood "how important it is that our creators are appreciated for their work and look to our creator community for valuable feedback to better serve their needs." They pointed to other monetization features like live subscriptions that are available to users.

Read more about how much creators have earned through the Creator Fund:

2. Creativity Program

In early 2023, TikTok began testing a new creator funding option it's calling the Creativity Program. The new program is designed to pay creators "higher average gross revenue" for videos that are longer than one minute. Like the Creator Fund, users must have at least 10,000 followers and have achieved 100,000 video views in the past 30 days to join. Creators can only participate in one of the two programs at a time.

Initial earnings from the program have been far more lucrative, inspiring some creators to post longer videos more often.

Read how much seven creators say TikTok's Creativity Program is paying per month

3. TikTok Pulse

In May 2022, TikTok announced it was launching a new contextual-advertising product in which brands could buy ads alongside "the top 4%" of content in different categories like fashion, cooking, and beauty. It agreed to split half of the revenue with the creator whose video appeared before the in-feed ad. Only creators with at least 100,000 followers qualify for the program.

Read more about how TikTok Pulse compares to other ad revenue-sharing programs for creators

The company announced in May 2023 it was also testing a version of the Pulse program for traditional media publishers called Pulse Premiere.

As with the Creator Fund, initial payments from TikTok Pulse have been underwhelming, creators told Insider.

Read how much gaming and lifestyle creators have earned from Pulse

While most of the creators who shared payment data with Insider saw Pulse RPMs in the $7 to $8 range, one creator reported an RPM closer to $3. The creator RPMs were competitive on TikTok Pulse when compared to other ad-revenue solutions like YouTube's partner program for long-form video, but the revenue-generating views were comparatively low, often dipping below 1,000 views.

"I was super excited to join it, but I'm six cents richer today," Betts Waller, a gaming creator who has around 390,000 followers on his TikTok account Forrest Dump, told Insider.

Waller only had eight video views qualify for Pulse earnings over the pay period between September 30 and October 30 2022, despite posting videos that garnered tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands, and even millions of views.

Other creators saw a similar pattern of Pulse-monetized views falling far below total video-view counts for a payment period.

A company spokesperson told Insider that even if a user's video generates millions of views, it doesn't mean that each video view is followed by a Pulse ad. Due to the nature of the TikTok algorithm, some videos will contribute to more ad impressions than others, they said.

"We're continuing to work on improving Pulse so that we can better support our creators and advertisers, and look forward to expanding our monetization opportunities," they said.

YouTube rolled out a similar ad revenue-sharing program for its shorts feature in early 2023. Six creators who shared their February 2023 payouts with Insider reported earning hundreds of dollars for videos that garnered millions of views, amounting to effective RPMs of around 4 to 5 cents.

Read more about how YouTube shorts' ad-revenue sharing compares to TikTok Pulse