TikTok is known for short, snackable videos that you can endlessly scroll through. But now it wants longer videos more akin to YouTube.
The short-form video app is pushing its creators to create clips that are at least a minute long, and invited dozens of creators to its New York office in late October to kick off this initiative, according to The Information. The falls in line with the introduction of TikTok’s Creativity Program, which requires videos to be longer than a minute to earn money, and replaces the previous $2 billion Creator Fund in the U.S., U.K., France, and Germany.
“Our ultimate goal is to create the best experience possible on TikTok and provide a robust ecosystem of monetization offerings to creators,” TikTok posted on its news page in early November. “Part of our efforts and ongoing commitment to provide this requires us to evolve products and apply resources elsewhere to best support you and explore new offerings.”
It’s a surprising direction given TikTok found massive success with its 15-second video clips, allowing users to quickly watch it and scroll up for the next video. It’s been such a draw that both Instagram and YouTube have copied the format via Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts, respectively. YouTube parent Alphabet said that its YouTube Shorts average 70 billion daily views. It’s unclear how the longer videos will affect the experience of actually flicking through the feed, with users spending more time per clip.
But longer videos means more opportunities to insert ads and generate revenue. TikTok said its Creator Fund would end on December 16. In its place, the Creativity Program will help creators of any skill level generate more revenue by putting them in contact with resources and tools such as an updated dashboard, revenue estimates, video metrics, and analytics to help them build their following.
The program is available to eligible users by invite only for now but will expand to all U.S. creators in upcoming months.
All active members of the Creator Fund can upgrade to the Creativity Program, provided they are at least 18 years old and have an account in good standing.
The Creator Fund was established in 2020 as a way for short-form creators to generate revenue for their content. TikTok initially pledged to pay $1 billion to influencers netting thousands of views through the program over the first three years. The funds benefit micro-influencers, those with a minimum of 10,000 followers and at least 100,000 views within 30 days, to earn money from their content. However, Fortune notes many creators saying they made “mere pennies” for viral videos.
The Creativity Program requires videos to be longer than a minute to earn money, and TikTok users are already telling Fortune their earnings total “thousands of dollars.”
“The Creativity Program was developed based on the learnings and feedback we’ve gained from the previous Creator Fund,” said a spokesperson for TikTok. “As we continue developing new ways to reward creators and enrich the TikTok experience, we value the feedback and direct insights from our community to help inform our decisions.”
The program is active in the U.S., France, and Brazil, with more regions launching soon.