YouTube Will Pay Creators $100 Million to Use TikTok Copycat ‘Shorts’

The video giant will make payments between now and the end of 2022 for “unique” short-form clips

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YouTube on Tuesday said it will pay creators $100 million to use “Shorts,” its new quick-hit video feature that resembles TikTok.

The payouts will start in the coming months, according to a YouTube spokesperson, and last through the end of 2022. Shorts just came out of beta testing and rolled out to all U.S. users over the last week (it’s also available in India right now, with more markets to follow). The feature lets users create short-form vertical videos that last up to 60 seconds, just like on TikTok.

The $100 million earmarked for Shorts will be distributed via YouTube’s new “Shorts Fund,” which is dedicated to rewarding the best Shorts clips on the site. Details are sparse right now on how YouTube will go about selecting creators who are rewarded, and it’s also unclear what the maximum payout is for one Short clip. Here’s what YouTube had to say in a blog post on the matter:

“Anyone is eligible to participate in the fund simply by creating unique Shorts that delight the YouTube community,” the Google-owned company said. “Each month, we’ll reach out to thousands of creators whose Shorts received the most engagement and views to reward them for their contributions.”

YouTube added that users don’t need to be part of its Partner Program to earn money for their Shorts.

The big bucks set aside for Shorts shows YouTube is serious about making the feature a key component of its app moving forward. And its not the only company betting on a TikTok clone to help drive more content — and to help keep users on its app longer. Most notably, Instagram rolled out its own short video feature, Reels, last year.

At the same time, the YouTube Short Fund looks to have followed in Snapchat’s footsteps, which has been paying users $1 million per day to showcase their posts on Spotlight, a tab on the app dedicated to user-generated content. Snapchat started the $1 million payouts late last year, and company executives recently said it has no plans of stopping anytime soon.

In its announcement on Tuesday, YouTube said users will have new editing features to use while creating their Shorts, including “basic filters” to help color correct videos and the ability to add captions.


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