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TikTok begins testing support for paid subscriptions – TechCrunch

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TikTok is testing support for paid subscriptions, the company confirmed to TechCrunch on Thursday. As first reported by The Information, the popular short-form video app is exploring the ability for creators to charge subscriptions for their content. The feature is part of a limited test at this time and not widely available. TikTok declined to elaborate on the feature or share any additional details.

“We are always thinking of new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience,” a TikTok spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email, when contacted for a comment.

It is unclear how the paid subscription model will be implemented in the app. For context, TikTok’s popular “For You” algorithmic page features videos from creators that users aren’t following. If a creator chooses to charge a subscription for their content, their videos may not appear on users’ For You Pages. However, it’s also possible that the subscription applies to additional content exclusive to paid users, instead of being applied to a creator’s entire account.

News of the test comes a day after Instagram launched subscriptions in the United States. The feature is currently in pre-testing with a small group of creators who can offer their subscribers paid access to exclusive Instagram Live videos and stories. Creators can choose their own price to access their exclusive content. Paid subscribers will be marked with a special badge, differentiating them from unpaid users in the sea of ​​comments.

The test of TikTok’s paid subscriptions follows recent confirmation that it is testing an in-app tipping feature on its platform that allows creators to accept money from fans outside of TikTok LIVE streams. , where gifts are already supported. Creators who are part of the limited test can apply for the feature if they have at least 100,000 subscribers and are in good standing. Those who have been approved receive a Tips button on their profiles, which their followers can use to send them direct payments.

The company’s latest test is its latest push towards monetization and helping creators earn a living through its platform. Last year, the company launched a $200 million fund aimed at helping American creators supplement their income. TikTok also helps creators sign brand partnerships and sponsorship deals and also provides monetization for live streams. Given TikTok’s focus on monetization efforts, it’s no surprise the company is experimenting with a way for creators to offer paid subscriptions for their content.

The TikTok and Instagram tests follow Twitter’s launch of “Super Follows”, a paid subscription offer launched in September 2021. The feature allows users to follow the accounts they like for a fee. monthly subscription in exchange for exclusive content. Eligible accounts can set the price for Super Follow subscriptions, with the option to charge $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 per month. Similar to Instagram’s model, followers are branded with a special Super Follower badge, differentiating them from unpaid followers.

Paid subscription offerings from TikTok, Instagram and Twitter outline companies’ efforts to woo communities of creators. The deals are also a way for companies to compete with each other, as well as other digital platforms such as YouTube, which offers creators lucrative ways to make money.


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