TikTok launches new tips feature powered by Stripe

1 Dec 2021

Image: © gesrey/Stock.adobe.com

Creators who meet the minimum follower requirements can now receive tips from viewers, opening up a new way to make money.

TikTok is turning up the thermostat in the content monetising space with a new tips feature for creators. Users in some parts of the world will now be able to directly tip their favourite TikTok creators with payments handled by Stripe.

The tips feature is part of a new suite of tools called Creator Next launched by TikTok today (1 December), aimed at helping creators with substantial followers to monetise their content. Creators will receive 100pc of their tips, with a small fee charged to tippers by Stripe to process payments.

Users can choose $5, $10 and $15 tips, or enter a custom amount.

Video gifts, a second feature introduced as part of Creator Next, will allow creators to collect virtual diamonds – which have monetary value – through the comments section of their videos. This is in addition to the virtual gifts that creators can receive while live streaming on TikTok.

In order to be eligible, creators must be 18 years of age or older and meet a list of requirements including a minimum number of followers which can differ depending on their region.

Currently, creators are only eligible for tips if they are based in the US.

Powering these new forms of payment is Stripe Connect, which helps companies integrate payments into their platforms or marketplaces. Some of Stripe’s current clients include Clubhouse, Medium, Patreon, Substack and Twitter.

According to Stripe’s own research based on 50 platforms using its tools, 41pc more creators are now earning a living wage year on year, with more than $10bn generated in earnings to date.

“Stripe was built to arm upstart entrepreneurs and creators are some of the most important today,” said Alex Vogenthaler of Stripe. “Stripe’s tools are helping millions of creators and businesses around the world earn money online – exactly what we mean by ‘growing the GDP of the internet’.”

TikTok is also opening up its marketplace for more creators, where they can collaborate with brands to create sponsored content. Creators with at least 10,000 followers can now sign up for the marketplace to get in touch with brands of their choice and find news ways to make money.

Social media companies such as Facebook, YouTube, Snapchat and Instagram are trying hard to incentivise creators to make content on their platforms. Some, including TikTok, are even directly paying creators to make content.

In September, Twitter was the latest company to join the space with the roll-out of a new tipping feature called Tips, part of its plan to help users make money from tweets. Its tipping feature even accepts payments in bitcoin.

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Updated 6.56am, 2 December 2021: This article was amended to clarify that TikTok’s tips feature is currently only live in the US.

Vish Gain is a journalist with Silicon Republic