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How influencers get paid and make money on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube

  • Influencers on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube get paid in many ways, from sponsorships to ad revenue.
  • How much creators earn depends on factors like the following size, engagement, and content category.

Influencers earn money in a number of ways, from sponsorships to selling merchandise. How much creators get paid on TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube depends on a variety of factors, from content category to what platform the influencer is prominent on. For many influencers, the best way to get paid is through brand deals. TikToker Naomi Melanie Leanage, for example, earned nearly $200,000 in a year from brand collaborations with about 500,000 followers. She said she gets paid a minimum of $6,000 for a TikTok post.

Besides brand deals, influencers can also get paid directly by the platforms. YouTube has the most developed program for this, called its Partner Program. Eight YouTubers who make long-form videos shared how much YouTube paid them per 1,000 views, and their answers ranged from $1.61 to $29.30. TikTok pays influencers directly through its Creator Fund and Creativity Program, and through Pulse, its ad-revenue-sharing program. Influencers have said the programs often leave much to be desired as far as payouts. Six influencers shared what TikTok paid them through its Creator Fund in a day. It ranged from $0.05 to $189. TikTok's Pulse program recently launched and is similar to YouTube's Partner Program. Influencers said that how much TikTok paid per 1,000 views ranged from pennies to $17.

The company is currently testing a new fund, dubbed its Creativity Program, where it pays creators "higher average gross revenue" tied to views for making videos that are longer than one minute. Influencers can only participate in either the creator fund or the creativity program, not both. 

According to findings by Insiders  read here

How to get paid on Instagram

In 2020, Instagram announced "Badges," which allow fans to tip creators who live stream on the app. Two years later, Instagram added "Gifts" on Instagram reels, which let fans send influencers "gifts" via the Instagram app using its own internal currency called Stars. Instagram has also rolled out a paid-content feature called Subscriptions. Subscriptions allow creators to share gated content, from exclusive stories to live streams, in a fashion similar to that of Patreon or OnlyFans. 

Meta, which owns Instagram, does not plan to take a cut from these transactions until 2024.

How to get paid by YouTube

Many YouTube creators earn money off the ads that play in their videos and receive a monthly payout. Creators who are part of the Partner Program can monetize their videos with Google-placed ads. Creators must have at least YouTube 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 watch hours in the past year to apply for the Partner Program and get paid. Google then pays creators 55% of the revenue their channels earn from the ads that run on them. Creators also recently became able to earn money from YouTube shorts. Creators who reach 10 million views in 90 days on shorts, as well as 1,000 subscribers, are able to apply to join the Partner Program.