Make way, TikTok: Meta is also introducing cash bonuses for creators

Desperately trying to keep up with TikTok, Meta is now testing its own creator compensation scheme and might pay users if their posts on Instagram and Threads are boosting engagement.

At first, though, it was TikTok that launched its new Creator Rewards program in the hope that cash payments would incentivize users to produce search-optimized, high-quality, and original content.

Now, since another push by a direct competitor is not something Meta wants to see – especially because TikTok is reportedly building a new app to compete with Instagram’s photo feed – the tech firm is also taking action.

According to Business Insider, Instagram is offering cash bonuses to creators who post content to the Meta-owned app with new programs.

Previously, Meta paid creators who uploaded engaging videos, but now, cash is also given for engagement on reels, photo carousels, and single-image photo posts, a Meta spokesperson said.

The new “Spring Bonus” program is still being tested and is currently invite-only for lucky creators in the United States, Japan, and South Korea. Any posts with watermarks from a third-party platform are ineligible – Meta quite obviously means TikTok.

Cash bonuses are also being tested on Threads, another member of the Meta family, which is a direct rival to Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter. Engaging content is again the key metric, but creators might also earn money based on the number of posts.

Threads was introduced in July 2023 and quickly amassed more than 100 million users in its first week – mostly because they were transferred from Instagram en masse. The app has since seen a large drop off in active users but is now making a comeback.

It probably helped that Threads posts are now visible on the timelines of Facebook users, but the fact is that the text-based platform is currently the No. 1 app in the Apple App Store and had more than 130 million monthly active users in February. In December, Threads also launched in the European Union, too.

Bonuses are, of course, a common strategy to incentivize creators to use certain features that align with the app's business priorities.

There are other ways to make creators do what the platforms want, too. For instance, TikTok recently introduced a new Search Insights tool that provides data on trending search topics and helps users create content that meets TikTok’s requirements for “search value.”

Meta’s competition with TikTok has expanded well beyond video lately. TikTok has been encouraging users to post more photos and telling them that “photo posts get 1.9x more likes and 2.9x more comments on average than videos,” The Wall Street Journal reported.

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