Is Instagram Copying TikToks Creator Fund?


Have you ever wondered how TikTok creators or Instagram Influencers get paid for posting? In this article we will be discussing the different ways that social media monetizes their creator’s content, as well discussing how Instagram has enabled very similar features to TikTok. While a lot of creators also engage in brand partnerships in exchange for products and money, some social media platforms themselves have been paying top performing creators to incentivize posting. Both TikTok and Instagram platforms have their own ways of distributing money, whether it is from their creator fund or gifts that influencers receive from their followers, let’s get into it!

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Photo by cottonbro on


TikTok has a wide variety of tools for its creators to use in order to keep incentivizing their users to post. When TikTok first started, the only way for creators to receive money was through live streams they conducted. Users watching the live can purchase different gifts and coins through the app and send them to creators during the live stream, where later the creator can convert the gift back to real money. Also, for creators to have access to live streams and accept gifts, they must have more than 1,000 followers. While most users still take advantage of this feature, TikTok has added plenty more components for their creators to be compensated.

TikTok Creator Fund

TikTok gained a massive audience during mid 2020 when the coronavirus pandemic had started. In response to this, TikTok added their creator fund feature. The creator fund is a program that users can apply to to make money from video views. Although, there is a list of requirements in order to join the fund, these requirements are:

  • Are based in the US, UK, France, Germany, Spain or Italy.
  • Are at least 18 years old.
  • Have at least 10,000 followers.
  • Have at least 100,000 views in the last 30 days.
  • Have an account that fits with our TikTok Community Guidelines and terms or service.

TikTok has put aside $200 million dollars to distribute to its highest performing creators who qualify for the fund. The platform also announced shortly after that they plan for the fund to grow to over $1 billion in the next 3 years for the US alone. Although the creator fund makes it seem easy to make a lot of money from views, it can be very uncertain how much can be made. The factors that go into the creator fund include number of views, authenticity of those views, and the level of engagement. If likes or interaction with users’ posts are not consistently high, it will be a lot more difficult to make money. The interesting part about TikTok is that there is more to engagement than just likes and comments. Users can also share posts with other users or with other social media accounts; and TikTok videos can be duetted or stitched with users to create more engagement with a single video. With that being said, TikTok can be a great way for influencers to receive compensation for their content with little to no extra effort.


As for Instagram, although the platform has been around a lot longer than TikTok, they have seen the success that has come from their creator fund and decided to make their own rendition. Within the last couple of years Instagram introduced their “Reels” feature. Reels are 30-second entertaining video clips that users can post, and unlike stories, they do not get deleted after 24 hours; created to compete with TikTok. After Instagram had seen the effect TikTok’s creator fund had on its users to incentivize creating more videos, they incorporated a creator fund into their Reels feature.

Reels Play Bonus Program

Instagram has not yet initiated a creator fund for all its users and content, so they are starting off by making a Reels Play Bonus Program. Since Instagram has just recently introduced its Reels Play Bonus Program, it is only available to a certain number of users in the US. For a creator to first be eligible to participate in the Bonus Program, they must be considered a business or creator account. If you are considered an eligible creator by Instagram, they will send you a notification inviting you to set up your bonuses through your professional dashboard. Once the bonus option is enabled, the creator has 30 days to earn the bonus. During those 30 days, you can post as many reels as you want to be counted towards the bonus. Creators will earn money based on how well their reels perform, Instagram takes into account how many times it was played and engaged with.

Even though this feature where creators can monetize their content is in its early stages, they have designated $1 billion to be distributed to creators throughout 2022. Users with access to this feature are said to be able to make as much as $35,000 in bonuses throughout the 30 day period. Although, to make that much money from the program, tens of millions of views on your reels are needed, but smaller creators with 20,000 views are still making decent wages using the program. Granted that Instagram has just started utilizing its creator fund feature, the more user friendly it becomes, it will gain more popularity with the influencer community.

Published by lbgendron

Senior marketing major at CCU.

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