TikTok’s parent company tests paid influencer videos

2023-11-18 10:03:37

Douyin is the equivalent of TikTok in China. A social network also owned by the ByteDance group. FLORENCE LO / REUTERS

On the Chinese version of the TikTok application, Douyin, content creators followed by more than 100,000 subscribers can charge their subscribers to watch long videos.

What if videos on TikTok one day became paid? For the moment all content on the social network owned by the Chinese group ByteDance is free. But, in the future, the question could arise. Indeed, the group also owns the social network Douyin, the Chinese equivalent of TikTok, which has nearly 800 million users. On this site, influencers followed by at least 100,000 people can recently offer paid videos.

According to information from several Chinese media, the content creators concerned set the price of their videos themselves, without ByteDance intervening. Thus, some influencers have started charging 12 yuan (the equivalent of 1.6 dollars) for 44-minute videos, reports Chinese media Jiupai News. On the gain obtained by the influencer from the monetization of his video, ByteDance has the right to recover 30%.

The group has already integrated new options to monetize content published on the platform. For example, Reuters points out, users may also be required to pay to watch shows created by professionals. Influencers also have the opportunity to receive monetary donations from their subscribers when they go live.

Douyin and TikTok, two sister platforms

It’s not uncommon for features intended for monetization to be tested on Douyin first before being integrated into TikTok. Indeed, the two platforms were both developed at the end of 2016 and present a similar interface with a thread of successive videos broadcast in full screen. If TikTok is intended for a Western audience and therefore less controlled than Douyin, most of its options remain similar.

For example, just like Douyin, TikTok allows its American influencers to promote products sold on the “Shop” tab, directly on their account. A feature tested since September in the United States with the launch of this new tab. TikTok intends to establish itself as an essential e-commerce platform in the West and is gradually expanding the possibilities for purchases and sales on the platform.

A role that Douyin already occupies in China. Last May, ByteDance revealed that the total revenue earned from Douyin’s e-commerce activities increased by 80% in 2022 compared to the previous year. According to The Information, Chinese consumers spent 1.41 trillion yuan on Douyin, or $208 billion.


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