TikTok rolls out new premium ad programme that lets top creators take a cut

By Alma Fabiani

Published May 8, 2022 at 09:00 AM

Reading time: 2 minutes

On Wednesday 4 May 2022, the video-sharing app launched TikTok Pulse, a new advertising programme that lets brands put ads next to the top 4 per cent of videos on the platform. But what’s really interesting about this news is that, for once, creators will be able to get a cut too.

The feature allows creators with at least 100,000 followers to participate in a revenue-share programme, the first ad product of its kind to do so, though it’s still unclear how many creators it will approve in its initial stages.

“TikTok Pulse is designed to give brands the tools and controls to be a part of these everyday moments and trends that engage the community,” the company said in its announcement.

For its launch’s early stage, only advertisers that have been invited to the programme will have access to it, as reported by TechCrunch, but TikTok has said it plans to roll it out to more brands in the near future.

In short, TikTok Pulse gives brands the option to place their ads in 12 different categories of content, including topics like beauty, fashion, cooking, pets and gaming. The feature will fully launch to US advertisers in June and will open to more markets in autumn.

It is the latest of several monetisation features that TikTok has created. In early December, TikTok announced the Creator Next programme, which allows viewers to send gifts and tips to their favourite creators. The app also has its Creator Fund, which pays users who meet minimum follower and view thresholds. However, the fund has been criticised in the past for the low payout it offers creators. Instead, it is known that most of them make their living from sponsored content.

TikTok Pulse could represent the app’s recognition of the fact that its full-time creators make most of their cash from brand deals. And obviously, the ByteDance-owned platform wants a piece of it. In fact, there will be a fifty-fifty split of the ad revenue with creators, TikTok told TechCrunch.

“We’re focused on developing monetization solutions and available markets so that creators feel valued and rewarded on TikTok,” the company said in its statement. “From the very beginning, we’ve committed to working with our community to bring new features that enrich the TikTok experience.”

But the new feature isn’t only about helping content creators—or getting a cut of their bread and butter, as we’ve seen. It’s also a way for TikTok to ensure advertisers a more ‘brand-safe’ environment for their content—to help brands control their ads’ placement so they don’t accidentally end up posted alongside hate speech or misinformation.

That idea has almost been confirmed by the app itself after it wrote in the announcement post of its new programme that it would be focused on making sure the creator content is “suitable” for advertisements.

“Our proprietary inventory filter ensures that TikTok Pulse ads are running adjacent to verified content with our highest level of brand suitability applied on the platform,” the announcement states. “Additional post-campaign measurement tools such as third-party brand suitability and viewability verification provide advertisers the opportunity and transparency to analyze and understand the impact of their campaigns,” it further notes.

As of now, TikTok declined to share other specific details about the new programme, like ad pricing or information about how soon someone browsing their FYP will see Pulse ads appear among videos.

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