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Here’s How TikTok Live Streamers Make Money

Plus how to send gifts to your fave creators.

Here's how TikTok Live streamers make money.
Pedro Merino/Moment/Getty Images

You might think you’re well-versed in all things TikTok, from how to make a video go viral to the latest trends taking the app by storm — but what about TikTok Live? IYDK, the live stream capabilities on the social media platform allow for some creators to chat directly with their audiences in real-time, as well as host trivia contests and so much more. Users can even send virtual gifts that have real-life value to their favorite TikTokers to show their appreciation. No, really. It’s a whole different ballgame on TikTok Live.

If you spend enough time scrolling through the FYP, you’ll probably stumble across a Live or two between videos of people showing off their girl dinners and vlogging their most recent alphabet date. And if you tune into one of these live streams, you’ll likely see the creator behind the Live showered with cowboy hats, mustaches, and funky sunglasses. These aren’t filters that the creators put on themselves — they’re effects that have been added by the viewers, aptly called “gifts.” Gifts can look like anything from ice cream cones and roses to soccer balls and crowns. Of course, because they’re virtual, the creators don’t exactly get to take home these presents at the end of their streams. But there is a monetary value associated with each gift, which means the creator gets to walk away with cash and coins instead of lollipops and chocolate.

Creators can earn anywhere between 1 cent on gifts like roses and tennis balls, to over $530 on various TikTok Live emblems. There are also plenty of gifts that fall within the $1 to $5 range, including the sunglasses (which cost $2.64), the donut (40 cents), the waving hand (12 cents), the fire emoji (7 cents), and the gold necklace ($2.66).

You won’t just see a lump sum of your earnings at the end of your Live, though. According to the TikTok Support website, gifts are rewarded via Diamonds, which are given out to creators “based on their popularity.” Once you’ve earned Diamonds, you can exchange them for a Reward Payment in either money or virtual items, though it’s unclear what’s included in the latter.

How To Send A Gift On TikTok Live

To send a gift on Live, the first thing you need to do is make sure you have Coins in your account. Gifts can be purchased with Coins, and Coins can be purchased with actual money. To buy Coins, navigate to your TikTok profile, then select “Settings and Privacy.” From there, select “Balance,” tap “Recharge,” and choose the amount of Coins you’d like to purchase. Options include snagging 70 Coins for 74 cents, 350 Coins for $3.70, 700 Coins for $7.40, and 17,500 Coins for $185. You can also opt to select a custom amount as well.

When it comes time to send a gift, all you have to do is tap the “Gift” button at the bottom of the live stream. Next, select the gift you’re looking for, tap the “Send” button, and watch as the TikToker receives your present in real-time. If you don’t see the option, then that means the creator is unable to receive gifts at this time (creators must have over 1,000 followers and be 18 years or older in order to go Live).

If you want to thank your favorite creators for all the laughs, smiles, stories, and dance trends, sending gifts on TikTok Live is a great start. And if you can’t send a gift, you can’t go wrong with simply liking and interacting with their content, either.