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Creators report extremely low earnings from TikTok’s ad revenue sharing initiative

When TikTok approached Azure MacCannell in September she was ecstatic.

MacCannell had sold her Warwick, Rhode Island dog kennel business a few years earlier and relocated to Deerfield, New Hampshire to enroll her four kids in top public schools. With the idea of starting a home organizing business at some point, MacCannell began posting her organizational and cleaning hacks to social media. The videos, which features things like gutter scrubbing and fridge cleansing, went totally viral. Today MacCannell’s home hacks TikTok, @livecomposed, has over 713,000 followers and attracted 11 million views last month. 

After relying on brand partnerships and her organizational consultancy to support her family, TikTok told MacCannell they’d begin to pay her for LiveComposed content. All she had to do was join Pulse, the company’s new program to share advertising revenue with top creators.

In the five months since then, McCannell says she has earned $1.85 from TikTok Pulse.

“It’s grossly underpaid,” says McCannell. “It would be great to get compensated.”

MacCannell is not alone in her experience with TikTok Pulse. In interviews Fortune conducted with seven TikTok influencers, all of whom had followings of at least 100,000, all shared confusion about their enrollment in the program and none reported earnings exceeding $5. 

The company announced TikTok Pulse in May 2022 as its first ever advertising revenue share program with creators, public figures and publishers. Pulse competes with historically lucrative advertising revenue share programs that YouTube and Facebook have long used to lure creators with compensation. 

Creators with at least 100,000 followers are eligible to opt-in to Pulse as part of the platform’s desire to make “creators feel valued and rewarded on TikTok,” the…

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