On May 4, TikTok launched its Pulse program – a contextual advertising solution that allows brands to promote themselves by placing their name right next to the top content in the app. In return, TikTok rewards the content creator by giving them a share of the revenue.
TikTok Pulse implements a quite well-known monetization model on the platform. In spirit, it is very similar to the one already used by YouTube. TikTok’s ultimate goal is to consolidate a monetization model that makes “creators feel valued and rewarded” by the platform.
So, how does TikTok Pulse actually work? The program is very simple. Brands will be able to advertise through the top 4% of all videos in TikTok. They will also be able to choose from a number of categories to engage with the relevant communities.
During the initial phase of the program, only content creators with at least 100,000 followers can participate in TikTok Pulse. It is not yet known whether there are possibilities to change this requirement in the future.
The program essentially introduces a financial incentive for creators to continue producing and expanding content. If done correctly, content creators will be at the center of TikTok and TikTok can sustain its unbridled growth.
Many other social media platforms are making an effort to incentivize creators. For example, Instagram has implemented features that encourage the creation of original content by giving it more visibility.
This would be a good time for a warning. When YouTube introduced their affiliate program in 2018, the decision was labeled controversial and received heavy criticism from users and content creators alike. In part, this was because small-scale makers felt marginalized.
Only time will tell if TikTok Pulse will experience the same pitfall. For the time being, the new model does not look exactly fair, but it sounds, strangely enough, reasonable.