There’s been a long-running reaction on social media when people find their new favorite TikTok/Tweet/post that goes something along the lines of “How is this app still free?” A better question is probably, “Why do people give us such great content for free?” Of all social media platforms, TikTok is an especially great outlet for creators wanting to turn their content into a career — whether they’re on the app to boost their art, share their comedic voice, or become a professional influencer. But still, as the viral “Woah Dude” TikTok sound has reminded us, “Exposure doesn’t pay the bills.” Or, it didn’t pay the bills until now, with the release of TikTok Tips.
The video-sharing platform started quietly testing the feature in recent days. According to TechCrunch, TikTok user Jera Bean was the first creator to notably post about tipping on TikTok. In a frame of a green screen video, she shows the requirements for receiving tips on TikTok, which include having over 100,000 followers, meeting the age requirement of 18 years old, and being in “good standing.” You’ll also need a Stripe account, and your TikTok needs to be a personal account, not a business account. Users can apply to receive Tips, which, according to her video, go directly to the user with no money going to TikTok.
How To Tip Creators On TikTok
To send a Tip to your favorite TikToker, head to their profile. At the bottom of their bio, there will be a red coin icon with a heart on it. Next to it reads, “Tips.” Click this button, and choose from $5, $10, $15, or a custom amount. You can also choose to send the tip anonymously. You’ll need to be 18 years or older to Tip.
While Tip is the first feature of TikTok where users can pay creators directly, it is not the first time that TikTok has worked to help creators monetize their content. In July 2020, the platform announced the TikTok Creator Fund, a communal fund distributed amongst qualifying content creators based upon their content’s performance analytics. In order to qualify for the Creator Fund, TikTokers need 10,000 followers, and need to have received at least 100,000 views on a TikTok video in the last 30 days. Each day’s funding fluctuates depending upon the amount of content published that day.
TikTok is also not the first social media platform to allow users to tip their favorite creators. Twitter began offering a Tip Jar feature earlier this year, which allows users to tip directly through external payment platforms like Bandcamp, CashApp, Patreon, PayPal, and Venmo. Instagram also lets users tip creators during their Instagram livestreams through a feature called Badges. Fans can purchase a “Badge,” which will appear as an icon on the creator’s app as a way to show them that their fan has sent them a tip.
Whether a comedian’s hilarious TikToks got you through the darker days of lockdown or a TikTok foodie has given you meal recipes for the past week, you can now send them a tip as a small thank you. Not only will it show your gratitude, but it can directly support creators so they have more time to make the videos you’re obsessed with.