TikTok is reportedly developing a paywall feature and testing a revamped creator fund

After seeing its audience growth in the U.S. stall last year, TikTok is looking to spur growth with new initiatives, including paywalled videos and a revamped creator fund, according to a new report from The Information.

The report says the company is working on a paywalled video feature that would allow creators to charge users $1, or another amount of their choosing, to access a video. While it’s unclear how exactly this would work, the feature would be a way for the app’s creators to make money directly from their popular videos. The idea of exclusive content for paying users isn’t a new concept, as Instagram lets creators share subscriber-only content.

If released, the feature would allow TikTok to better reward creators, who are the driving factor of the app, as their viral videos have been vital to the app’s growth and popularity.

TikTok is also said to be testing a revamped creator fund that aims to give creators higher payouts than its earlier version that launched in 2020. The original fund, which includes a $1 billion pool of money over three years, rewards creators for popular videos. However, the fund has been criticized by creators who have complained about low payouts. Given the criticism of the current version, a revamped creator fund would be a welcome addition to the platform.

The company is also considering using the revamped fund to reward creators who post longer videos and take advantage of the app’s expanded video length from three minutes to 10 minutes. In addition, TikTok is considering raising the follower requirement to be eligible for the fund to 100,000, up from the 10,000 follower requirement for the current fund.

TikTok is reportedly testing the revamped fund in France and Brazil. The revamped creator fund could launch in the U.S. as soon as next month, the report says.

When reached for comment, TikTok didn’t directly address the claims about the revamped creator fund or paywalled video feature, but noted that the company is exploring new ways to create a rewarding experience for creators on its platform.

“We’re committed to exploring new ways to create a valuable and rewarding experience for the TikTok creator community,” a spokesperson for TikTok told TechCrunch in an email. “On TikTok, anyone can be a creator and everyone can enjoy entertainment from our inspiring creators, and we aim to continue innovating this experience so people can express themselves, find their community, and be rewarded for their creativity.”

The features would expand TikTok’s current payout offerings for creators, as its biggest competitors are ramping up their offerings. This month, YouTube began sharing ad revenue with Shorts creators. No short-form video platform has quite figured out how to share ad revenue up until now, which gives Shorts a notable leg up on the competition. However, TikTok’s reported upcoming changes indicate that it is looking for new ways to appease creators.