TikTok will pay creators of viral filters and effects


For the first time, TikTok is introducing a fund for creators making viral effects and filters — but based on the proposed payout structure, creators won’t be getting rich anytime soon.

TikTok’s Effect Creator Rewards program sets aside $6 million to pay the creators of the platform’s most viral effects and filters based on how many videos are shared using their work. Effects that have been used in 500,000 videos within 90 days of being created will earn the artist $700. Within those 90 days, creators earn an additional $140 for every 100,000 videos above the 500,000 baseline. That means that if your filter was used 1 million times in 90 days, you’d walk away with $1,400. Only one video per person per day is eligible — if a user posted a dozen clips with your filter in one day, it would count as one unique video toward the 500,000.

Effects creators have long been frustrated with their inability to directly monetize their filters, which often serve as the basis for trends or are used casually by millions of people a day on TikTok. Though the effects fund provides some reward for the creators making filters essentially for free, the bar to qualify for the baseline $700 is high, and the $6 million total pool of money is just a fraction of the $1 billion fund TikTok dedicated to popular content creators in the past.

The other element to effects is that individual creators are competing with filters created and published by TikTok itself. The viral Bold Glamour filter introduced earlier this year, for example, has been used in 58.6 million videos and is made by TikTok, as are other viral effects like Teenage Look, Old Face, and AI Manga filters. As of this writing, eight of the top 10 trending filters displayed on my TikTok are made by the company.

Before the fund, people making AR effects typically monetized their work by getting brand partnerships or commissions or selling their filters off-platform. Some effects creators also work with TikTok to test or develop products and releases.

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