Being TikTok famous is no joke. Thousands of creators have entered brand partnerships, sponsorships, and representation deals based on their mobile videos. Not everyone can earn celebrity status, though, which is why the social network is launching a multi-million-dollar grant for top users.
The TikTok Creator Fund, according to General Manager Vanessa Pappas, aims to “encourage those who dream of using their voices and creativity to spark inspirational careers.”
Starting with $200 million (and growing), the US-only endowment opens to applications in August, and will “help support ambitious creators who are seeking opportunities to foster a livelihood through their innovative content.” Eligible users must be 18 years or older, meet a baseline for followers, and “consistently post original content,” the blog explained. It remains unclear, though, how TikTok plans to distribute the money, or if there are any further criteria folks must fulfill to earn their share.
Owned by Chinese company ByteDance, TikTok has shot to the top of the global charts, acquiring 800 million active users—including Camila Cabello, Dwayne Johnson, Jason Derulo, Jennifer Lopez, Lilly Singh, Selena Gomez, and Will Smith—since its debut in 2016. Not everyone is a fan, though. The US government is considering banning the popular app over perceived national security threats.
“While the past few months have been challenging for many, we’ve been awed by the outpouring of empathy, humor, and truly uplifting content from our users,” Pappas wrote. “We love seeing community form on TikTok in uniquely expressive ways.” The company hopes to continue fostering that community with additional monetary support, including a $50 million Creative Learning Fund for teachers, profitable live streams, and the TikTok Creator Marketplace, which helps creators and brands collaborate on paid campaigns.
“Through the TikTok Creator Fund,” the blog said, “our creators will be able to realize additional earnings that help reward the care and dedication they put into creatively connecting with an audience that’s inspired by their ideas.”