December 16, 2022

Creator Funds are failed experiments which disincentivise creators to create. Finite cash pools for pay-outs mean the more you, the less you earn.


In July 2021 Mark Zuckerberg announced a programme to pay $1 billion to creators until the end of 2022. Eligible creators were rewarded for hitting certain milestones when they used Meta’s creative and monetisation tools. But with the end of 2022 just a fortnight away what is to happen with the creator fund experiment? 

Anecdotally Kaya Yurieff writing in The Information suggests it’s ending with more of a whimper than a bang. One creator told Yurieff that during November Instagram told her she was eligible to earn up to $1,200 in incentives. This is an 85% reduction on the month before where the creator was eligible to earn up to $8,500 on the same platform.

Another creator tells Yurieff  that at the start of 2022 they were eligible to earn up to $5,500 for reaching 10 million views. By the start of Q4 the milestone had spiked to 84 million views for a maximum of $8,500.

Meta is not alone in shutting its creator fund programmes. Last month (newsletter #84), we reported that Pinterest had closed its creator rewards programme. The initiative had offered influencers cash incentives for reaching milestones including high engagement metrics.

In October Snapchat cut the financial incentives (again) that creators can earn from producing content for the app. 

By contrast YouTube shares its commercial success with its creators. When more money is generated from ads, more money is shared with creators. In August 2021 the video platform said it has paid out more than $30 billion to creators in the past three years from ads, merchandising and other service features. 

TikTok (and others) penalise success on their platforms. The more content uploaded to TikTok by more creators means that the financial pool has to be eeked out between more people reducing the payout pro-rata. This is because the quantum of the creator pool remains static. The result? Disincentivisation to rely on the creator funds.

Scott Guthrie is a professional adviser within the influencer marketing industry. He is an event speaker, university guest lecturer, media commentator on influencer marketing and active blogger. He works with brands, agencies and platforms to achieve meaningful results from influencer marketing. That tells you something about him but it's not giving you a lot of detail, is it? So, read more here.

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