Is creator monetisation a game-changer for influencer marketing?

We're seeing more and more monetisation options becoming available on social media platforms to support creators to earn money and build a meaningful business. This change reveals that these platforms really value high-quality content and are taking steps to woo the best creators - but how will it change the industry?

What’s currently available?

YouTube is still considered the leader in creator monetisation, but as more platforms offer revenue opportunities, this is beginning to shift. 

Instagram: 'Live badges' is a feature that allows audiences to support creators during a live video. When you purchase a badge, a heart icon appears next to your name in the comments. As it currently stands, the creator receives 100% of their revenue from badges purchased during an Instagram live, minus any relevant taxes and fees. They're also reportedly working on a 'Bonuses' scheme for Reels creators.

Facebook: 'Stars' is a similar feature to Instagram’s live badges; they allow viewers to send stars to creators while streaming. However, viewers can also send animated, virtual gifts attached to different Star amounts that will appear in the stream. At the moment, Facebook pays creators $0.01 for every Star received.

Clubhouse: 'Payments' is the first step the social-audio app has taken to allow creators to monetise their efforts on the platform. This feature will soon allow creators to accept payments from their audience, with the creator retaining 100% of their earnings. It has only been rolled out to 60,000+ users in the US at the moment but is expected to become available to all creators shortly.

Twitch: 'Bits' are a tipping feature that allows users to show support to their favourite creator. Each time a Bit is received, the creator gets $0.01. Users can also sign up for a subscription to their channel and pay to access a subscriber badge, ad-free viewing, and other perks.

Twitter: ‘Tip jar’ is a does-what-it-says-on-the-tin monetisation program still in the early phases. Not yet widely rolled out, the new Tip Jar option — accessible via a cash icon at the top of eligible profiles — enables followers to make payments to a creator by connecting to the payment provider of their choice. They've also announced Ticked Spaces and testing a 'Super Follower' Display to further help creators grow and monetise their audience.

Snapchat: Last year, Snap announced it would pay $1 million per day to the creators in top-performing videos in its new TikTok-like 'Spotlight' feed. Just this month, they announced a creator marketplace to help connect creators and brands for collaborations. The marketplace will be open to brands that want to partner with AR Lens developers later this month and to creators in 2022.

What effect will this have on the influencer marketing landscape?

Now that more people are online more than ever, social commerce is on the rise! People spent a record $32 billion in apps in Q1 this year, making this the perfect time for creators and brands alike to access revenue directly from their audience. Creators that successful monetise their content will be an invaluable asset to brands. They will have organically grown a network of engaged audiences who are emotionally and financially invested in the creator, their lives, opinions, and the content they produce. First-mover brands will realise the great opportunity this offers and pay to access these premium audiences.

It seems almost certain that creator monetisation will go from strength to strength. The big social media players are battling each other for the best creators and the myriad of up-and-coming platforms who are snapping at their heels by placing monetisation at the heart of their offer to influencers. This will almost certainly work in brands' favour: any income from in-app will be supplementary rather than primary for a long time to come. Meanwhile, creators with more money will be motivated to keep innovating and improving their content. This will create a snowball effect: the more financial rewards gained, the better the content will be. As a result, the influencer marketing landscape will see an increase in the quality of content produced: it’s a win-win situation for the influencers and brands.