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Instagram will now pay creators $35,000 to use Reels in challenge to Tik-Tok

Instagram is now offering creators money to post Reels on their platform, with some users getting as much as $35,000. The offer comes as rival TikTok continues to monopolize the short-form video market.

The Meta-owned company announced the change earlier this year, but TechCrunch reported that it has finally begun to roll out, with multiple creators reporting that they had been approached with offers ranging from as low as $800 for their posts, while others have been offered as much as $35,000 for a combined 58.31 million views in a month.

Buying social media creators for your fledgling platform might seem like a smart idea — especially when the market leader has such a huge lead. It’s unlikely to be a good long-term solution, though. Throwing money down a hole to woo creators won’t work if the users don’t organically come in enough numbers to justify the expense.

Instagram reels screenshots.

Instagram is not the only one to attempt this tactic. Snapchat, Pinterest, and YouTube are paying creators to share short videos on their respective platforms as well — but there are only so many people who are interested in watching short video content to make it viable. The cracks in this strategy have already begun to show as Snapchat, the earliest to launch a paid program, stopped paying creators consistently after the company changed its payout protocol in June — presenting the new structure as a more robust package.

In practice, payouts either stopped or became random and sporadic at best for many. “I simply just want to know why I’m not getting paid for my videos,” complained Caren Babaknia, a participant of the Snapchat Spotlight to CNBC this year, with multiple other creators reportedly leaving the platform for greener pastures.

According to TechCrunch, an Instagram spokesperson shared the following: “We’re continuing to test payments as we roll out to more creators, and expect them to fluctuate while we’re still getting started. We’ve designed bonuses so that we can help as many creators as we can in a way that is achievable and drives meaningful earnings. Our goal is for bonuses to become more personalized over time.” Much like with Snapchat, creators would do well not to be swayed by the promise of platform payouts as part of a long-term strategy.

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