TikTok launches new Creator Rewards Program to pay creators who make trending search content

tikTok
(Image credit: Getty Images)

What started as a short-form video platform is quickly becoming the search engine to beat. This week, Tiktok debuted its Creator Rewards Program, the platform's new creator monetization program that could give Google a run for its money. 

Here's how it works: Creators making money on the platform can now receive payouts determined in part by how well their content meets what other users are searching for. The program uses an optimized rewards formula that takes into consideration four major criteria: originality, play duration, audience engagement and search value. 

TikTok says the new formula will also automatically reward creators for their account’s ad value based on their community’s ad watch time. In short, it's Tiktok's version of the kind of search engine optimization tactics companies use to improve their ranking in Google's search results. 

The emphasis on "search value" as a metric underlines this and suggests that Tiktok is leaning hard into its app being used like a search engine. A January Adobe report found that over two in five people in the U.S. have used Tiktok for that purpose, and nearly 1 in 10 Gen Z users prefer TikTok over Google as their go-to search engine. 

How to qualify for the Creator Rewards Program

Formerly called the Creativity Program, the Creator Rewards Program has been in beta for the last year. Now Tiktok is opening up the program to all qualifying creators on the platform. To qualify, you must be 18 years old or older and have at least 10,000 followers with a minimum of 100,000 views over the past 30 days. You must also have a personal account in "good standing," Tiktok said.

"As we officially introduce Creator Rewards Program, we look forward to continuing to partner with our creators and helping them realize their full potential," the company said in a Monday blog post.

As part of the program, content creators now have access to a dashboard to keep track of their videos' analytics. There they can find more in-depth ways to analyze the performance of their videos, including a breakdown of RPM and qualified video views. They'll also be able to research search trends, get ideas for videos based on both personalized and general data, keep track of your earnings, and build their content strategy from the dashboard.

“With these insights, creators can source inspiration for their content, tailor their creative strategies to meet audience interests, and create content that people want to see more of,” Tiktok explained in a recent company blog post.

TikTok also announced a Creator Academy learning hub with courses, articles, and other resources on making money from TikTok videos. The Creator Academy will replace the Creator Portal and will be available through the Creator Center web app in the coming weeks, TikTok said.

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Alyse Stanley is a news editor at Tom’s Guide overseeing weekend coverage and writing about the latest in tech, gaming and entertainment.

Prior to joining Tom’s Guide, Alyse worked as an editor for the Washington Post’s sunsetted video game section, Launcher. She previously led Gizmodo’s weekend news desk, where she covered breaking tech news — everything from the latest spec rumors and gadget launches to social media policy and cybersecurity threats.  She has also written game reviews and features as a freelance reporter for outlets like Polygon, Unwinnable, and Rock, Paper, Shotgun. She’s a big fan of horror movies, cartoons, and miniature painting.