Social media companies are always out to one-up each other for your screentime. When Snapchat invented “Stories” back in 2013, it feels like every other app followed their lead. And we certainly hope that the industry trend keeps up with Snapchat’s latest venture. The company is paying $1 million, every day, to real Snapchat users to incentivize creating engaging, interesting content.
Snapchat had launched the initiative, “Spotlight,” in November. Since then, the app has paid $1 million daily to hundreds of creators. The Verge reported that the program was expected to run until the end of 2020, but the money is still coming in January. Think you have a great snap idea just waiting to be filmed? Here’s how you could take home cash just for posting it.
If you’re on Snapchat often, you’ve probably seen at least one Spotlight story by now. On the app’s stories tab, you’ll be able to watch the top spotlight posts – and how much each was worth for the creator.
Some videos are scripted, polished, and come from high profile social media influencers. Others are casual or candid, and Snapchat accepts submissions from all of its users. For instance, on the last Spotlight that I watched, one user made more than $20,000 for a 10-second clip of some of his best parkour moves.
According to the New York Times, some creators have seriously cashed out. Cam Casey, a TikToker turned Snapchatter, told the Times he’s made nearly $3 million from posting spotlight videos. The Times spoke with one other freshly made Snap millionaire, plus another user who has earned $600,000.
What Makes Spotlight Unique?
Snapchat is taking a page out of TikTok’s playbook, allowing more users the chance to interact with other user-made content. Snapchat is one of the only social media platforms with limited ways of accessing users outside of your direct contacts, so the Spotlight feature certainly makes the app feel more “social.” Unlike other platforms, however, Snapchat still lacks a formal commenting or liking feature.
If you’ve ever used Vine or TikTok, the video styles on Spotlight will feel similar. Each day’s Spotlight features a grab bag of viral videos. You’ll see some jokes/pranks, dances, art, and more. Snapchat made an effort to draw content from all of its users, and that really shows in the variety of videos. Snapchat already has a universal story feature, but that’s intended as more of a “slice of life” feature than a viral content machine.
TikTok also has avenues for users to earn money, but it’s far more exclusive. Only TikTokers with 10,000 followers and 10,000 views in the last 30 days qualify for the platform’s $200 million creator fund.
Submitting and Earning
Now that you’ve heard about everyone else making money on Snap, why not you? Uploading a snap to Spotlight is super easy, and you’ll be contacted directly through the platform if your video goes viral. When you create a snap, simply choose to send it to “Spotlight,” and you’re all set.
You’ll get notified if your submitted snap goes live, meaning other Snapchat users will be able to see it on Spotlight. A few of the most successful Spotlighters told the Times that they posted some videos they had made months ago but had only saved onto their camera roll. That hysterical video you made with your friends last week or that daring feat of athleticism you recorded last year could land you cash!
The Bottom Line
Snapchat is bringing paid content creation to the masses, offering up money to any user with a viral video idea. With TikTok already paying users, this model seems like it could be the way of the future.
Snapchat users can still make major cash, but the $1 million pool gets divided further as more people try Spotlight. There might be fewer Snapchat millionaires, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about making a few thousand bucks for going viral.
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