Snapchat is rolling out additional features to help creators get noticed and make a living.
Over a year ago, the platform piloted a program that allowed select creators to earn a share of revenue from ads that appear between their Stories posts. Now, creators who have at least 50,000 followers and 25 million monthly Snap views are eligible to enroll in the program, so long as they post at least 10 Stories per month.
Ad revenue share has proven one of the most sustainable models for platforms to pay creators, since potential earnings are not limited by the bounds of a creator fund. But it has proven difficult to share ad revenue on short-form video platforms like TikTok; YouTube Shorts has begun trying to make this work, though it has so far proven difficult.
Short-form monetization is difficult for an obvious reason: the videos are, of course, short. You can’t embed an ad in the middle of a video — imagine watching a 30-second video with an eight-second ad in the middle — but if you place ads between two videos, who would get the revenue share? The creator whose video appeared directly before or after it? Or, would a creator whose video you watched earlier in the feed deserve a cut too, because their content encouraged you to keep scrolling?
Snapchat is side-stepping that problem by offering revenue share on Stories, where mid-roll ads will always appear between the same creators’ videos. This is a clever way to get creators more money while also encouraging them to use the platform more. According to Snapchat, users spent more than double the amount of time year-over-year watching Stories from creators in its pilot revenue share program.
According to a Snapchat spokesperson, the platform’s strategy for both Stories and Spotlight, its TikTok competitor, are closely linked. If a creator builds a large following on Spotlight, for example, then of course, they will end up with more Stories viewers. Spotlight now has 350 million monthly users, which still falls behind competitors like TikTok, which eclipsed 1 billion monthly users in 2021, and YouTube Shorts, which reports 1.5 billion logged-in monthly viewers.
This program could put more onus on the creator to regularly upload Stories, which disappear after a set amount of time — but that should be made easier with the introduction of Snapchat’s new feature for scheduling Stories.
Originally billed as a peer-to-peer, ephemeral messaging app, Snapchat has had to work to make itself a platform where creators will go to upload original content and monetize it. Now, any Snapchat user aged 18 or older can post Stories publicly, helping them to reach a wider audience (if that’s what they so desire). Snapchat is also making it easier for creators to get noticed by integrating their Spotlight content into Snap Map. And with an exclusive integration, users can add a Linktree to their bio on their public profile, allowing followers to easily find them on other platforms.