Social video-sharing app TikTok will test whether users are interested in paying for their video clips. An employee of the company confirmed this to The Information website. TikTok did not reveal details about how the payment solution will work, when exactly it will be introduced or which users will be affected.
In any case, the solution is likely intended to make it more attractive to the many content creators on the platform who currently post videos for free. This latest move comes after the service introduced in December the ability to give content creators a small tip if you liked their video.
Not too long ago, the service also increased the number of ads, which are now often the first thing you see when you open the app. So it seems clear that TikTok is looking for new revenue streams. Speaking to The Verge, a spokesperson for the company, Zachary Kizer, writes in his best corporate jargon that subscriptions are a “concept that is in the testing phase” and that they are “always thinking about new ways to add value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience.”
The Verge points out that TikTok faces a dilemma when it comes to limiting content to a small group of payers. The secret to why the service is so popular, even addictive, is that its algorithm analyzes the content you watch and then delivers more of what you and others with the same tastes like. That depends on, among other things, whether you like the video, share it, spend time watching it, or just keep scrolling.
The news that TikTok will test users’ willingness to pay also comes on the same day as it became known that Instagram also plans for content creators to charge up to 100 dollars for exclusive content.
Instagram has given a small number of creators the ability to charge between $0.99 and $99.99 for exclusive content. The payment solution was rolled out last Wednesday for selected American users. They will now be able to charge for content on “Instagram Live” and “Stories,” respectively.
In the future, or 2023 to be more exact, Meta (formerly Facebook, the owner of Instagram) plans to take a cut of the revenue, but according to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s post on Facebook it will be less than the 30% cut Apple charges on their platform.