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TikTok Launches ‘Creator Fund’ to Pay Platform Influencer for Their Efforts

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Amid rising speculation about the future of the app, with authorities in several regions calling for potential restrictions due to its links with the Chinese Government, TikTok is looking to deepen its economic roots, in order to make it harder to justify removing it from circulation.

Earlier this week, TikTok announced that it plans to hire 10,000 staff in the U.S. over the next three years, as it looks to maximize its growth opportunities. And today, TikTok has unveiled a new TikTok Creator Fund, which will pay prominent creators for their videos on the platform.

TikTok Creator Fund

As per TikTok:

“To further support our creators, we’re launching the TikTok Creator Fund to encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspirational careers. The US fund will start with $200 million to help support ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their innovative content. The fund will be distributed over the coming year and is expected to grow over that time.”

The program could help TikTok on two fronts – for one, monetizing short-form video is difficult.

Vine found this out hard way – after establishing itself as a key cultural reference point, and building a significant audience, Vine eventually collapsed because it wasn’t able to monetize effectively. With Vine’s main content offering being only six-seconds in length, that made it increasingly difficult for Vine to implement ads, as users would either skip by them or ignore them in-stream. And that made it impossible for Vine to adequately compensate its top creators. 

Vine did try to counter this, adding longer-form videos and pre-roll ads in its dying months, but with greater revenue opportunities elsewhere, Vine’s top creators gradually migrated away, taking their audiences with them. Many of them went on to become millionaires via YouTube and Facebook, while Vine was shut down, as usage continually declined.

That’s why Vine creator Dom Hoffman was so adamant that creators on his new short-form video app, Byte, get paid from the outset, even if that means dipping into its own funding to make it happen. 

Now TikTok is following a similar playbook. As TikTok creators build their followings, the lure of monetization on other platforms will become harder to ignore, and TikTok will be hoping that by ensuring they get paid, even without a comparable ad network, it can keep them around through this allocated funding.

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That could keep more creators posting more often, which keeps the audience engaged, which builds the platform, etc.

It doesn’t seem like a sustainable system, long-term, but with the economic impacts of COVID-19 looming, it could well be a key element in further solidifying TikTok’s place in the broader digital eco-system. Which brings us to the next key point.

As noted, TikTok has already announced that it’s willing to create local jobs if the US lets it remain in operation, and with this initiative, it will further embed itself into the American economic landscape by additionally becoming a payment stream for many creators. At a time when jobs are getting harder to come by, the US Government will need to find ways to ensure more people are getting paid. Can they really block TikTok when it could be a provider of so many opportunities?

That seems like a fairly clever play from TikTok – by becoming a bigger provider for more Americans, it will be able to put more pressure on US regulators to reconsider any moves to ban the app, if indeed the talks end up getting that far. US President Donald Trump has said that he’s considering banning TikTok as part of China’s punishment for the COVID-19 outbreak – but if doing so would also see the reduction of 10k jobs, as well as impacting many creators, that decision becomes more strategic than symbolic.

It’s certainly an interesting initiative, on both fronts, and while TikTok creators will be happy to have more opportunities to make money from their efforts, it’ll no doubt lead to additional scrutiny from US regulators. 

TikTok’s Creator Fund will open to applications from US creators beginning in August. Eligible creators need to be 18 years or older, meet a baseline for followers, and “consistently post original content in line with our Community Guidelines

Socialmediatoday.com

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LinkedIn tests New ‘Discover’ Feed, New Groups Elements in Order to Enhance Engagement

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LinkedIn tests New ‘Discover’ Feed, New Groups Elements in Order to Enhance Engagement

LinkedIn has announced some new updates to help facilitate more discovery and engagement in the app, including a new ‘Discover’ feed, more contextual info on job listings and updates for groups.

Each of these updates has some level of functional value, and it’ll be interesting to see how LinkedIn members take to the options, or not, over the coming months.

First off, LinkedIn’s currently testing a new ‘Discover’ feed, which, as is the trend of the moment in social media, aims to highlight algorithmically recommended content that you may be interested in, based on your in-app activity.

As you can see in these example screens, LinkedIn’s Discover feed will highlight newsletters, videos, events and more, matched to you, based on your interests. So it’s kind of like TikTok’s ‘For You’ feed, but for professional updates on LinkedIn.

Sounds weird? Yeah, it kind of seems it.

I mean, it could be good, but whether people really want to see an expanded set of updates from people and businesses that they don’t already follow, and aren’t already connected to, seems questionable, given established behaviors in the app.

Still, it’s worth an experiment, and it’ll be interesting to see whether it helps the platform build on its current ‘record levels’ of engagement. It could also provide more capacity for discovery among LinkedIn users that are interested in your sector – which could be another reason to keep your LinkedIn content flowing.

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LinkedIn’s been testing the new feed over the past month, with some users now seeing the new Discover tab in the app.

Here’s a video of how it works in practice:

On another front, LinkedIn’s also adding a new ‘Meet the team’ section on the details page in job listings, in order to help applicants get a better feel for who the team is, what they’re working towards, as well as links to their LinkedIn profiles, so candidates can get a better understanding of what they’re interested in, and passionate about.

LinkedIn Meet the Hiring team

As you can see in this example, the new display will feature both the job poster as well as members of the hiring team that shared the job.

“In addition, it will show the mutual connections (including 2nd-degree connections) between the applicant and the hiring team, to help facilitate a productive conversation.”

LinkedIn’s also testing a new ‘Celebrations’ display in your ‘Notifications’ stream, in order to better enable members to keep up with the latest job milestones, changes, work anniversaries, etc.

LinkedIn Celebrations

As you can see here, the new prompts will give you more ways to stay in touch with your connections, based on key changes and events. It could be a good way to stay front of mind with important connections – though it could also lead to more spam (like templated birthday messages from people who never engage with you otherwise).

Finally, LinkedIn’s also adding some new elements for LinkedIn Groups, the once thriving engagement element that, for a long time now, has been largely ignored, and has become so filled with spam in many groups that it’s just not worth joining.

Still, LinkedIn says that many people get significant value from Groups:

We often hear from members how much they cherish their LinkedIn Groups experience. For millions of professionals around the world, groups are the go-to for advice, support, and industry tips on LinkedIn.”

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‘Cherish’ seems like an exuberant descriptor here, but nonetheless, LinkedIn’s looking to foster more group engagement, with new features like additional acceptance criteria for joining a group, and personalized welcome notes for new members.

LinkedIn groups updates

Not sure they add much to the overall groups experience, but they do provide more ways for group admins to manage their communities, which could ensure more people do indeed ‘cherish’ their time in groups.

These new options don’t offer a heap of functional value, but they are enhancements to the current LinkedIn experience, which could have value in varying use cases and contexts.

The options also move LinkedIn more into line with other social apps, with algorithmic recommendations, improved group tools and more.

Which makes a lot of sense, and at the least, it’s worth LinkedIn trying these things out, in order to see what types of response it can get.



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