YouTube announced Tuesday a $100 million fund that will pay the most popular creators on its nascent TikTok competitor, Shorts.
Exactly how much creators can earn is still up in the air. YouTube says that it’ll reach out to creators on a monthly basis, looking for people with the most engagement and views.
The fund for Shorts creators is the latest entry in a social media bidding war for online personalities spurred by the success of ByteDance Ltd.’s TikTok.
Snap Inc. launched a new fund last fall for top performers of its video product.
Similarly, Facebook Inc. has tried to attract stars — and copied features — from TikTok, and introduced more ads on its shorter videos.
The fund comes as Google-owned YouTube tries to grow its user and creator base for its short-form video product, which is the company’s answer to mobile-first social media competitors like TikTok, Snap and Instagram’s Reels. YouTube is the latest to use a designated creator fund to try and court influencers on its mobile platform.
“Thousands” of creators could get paid each month, YouTube says, and basically anyone who posts to Shorts is eligible. The one caveat is that their videos have to be original content, and, of course, abide by YouTube’s community guidelines.
YouTube started launching Shorts in the US in March. The short videos appear in YouTube’s mobile app and, just like TikTok (or Instagram Reels or Snapchat Spotlight), you can swipe from one to the next in an endless full-screen feed.
Payments will be available in the US and India — the two regions Shorts has launched — to start, but YouTube plans to expand its availability as it rolls out the service to more regions. There’s no specific date yet for when YouTube will start offering payments. YouTube says the fund will last from its start this year through some point in 2022.