Understanding TikTok : How Your Favourite TikTokers Earn

Photo Collage
Photo Collage of Alvan Gatitu and Azziad Nasenya.

It is a well-known fact that social media has changed our lives. Focusing on TikTok specifically, the older generation considers the app, which is making waves, a pass time for the youth who enjoy dancing.

Well, TikTok has proved that it is here to stay and can be a source of income for many unemployed youths.

The Chinese app, otherwise known as Douyin, started out as Musical.ly before being purchased by ByteDance in 2017.

Previous notions held against it have been demystified during the pandemic phase, with some individuals becoming household names. Some of the content creators using the platform such as Khaby lame, have gained international recognition.

Khaby Lame
Khaby Lame, the TikToker on the red carpet of the Venice Film Festival on September 11.
Venice Film Festival

The question that lingers in the minds of many Kenyans is how the so-called generation Z can sustain their livelihoods by making funny videos. The platform's monetization was able to generate an estimated Ksh211 billion in revenue as of 2020.

 Kenyans.co.ke has been able to find out the means through which Kenyan TikTokers earn and how it has changed their lives.

According to one TikTok expert, the platform's steady rise to global recognition began in 2019. This is when Kenyans started to take notice as well as they were shifting to video consumption.

The pandemic became a blessing to those who seized the opportunity to start or continue to create content like Azziad Nasenya, Ajib Gathoni, Mr. Mbilimbili, Mark Mwangi, and Alvan Love.

This led to most of the content creators having brands reach out to them as corporates took notice of their massive followers. Creators, such as Ajib Gathoni, have narrated how posting a brand video earns them money through the TikTok creator marketplace.

Ajib Gathoni
Ajib Gathoni Posing for a Photo with Influencer Award in October 15.
Ajib Gathoni

To confirm this, take a look at Azziad Nasenya, who is the most sought after Kenyan TikToker with close to two million followers. She first gained celebrity status after participating in the #utawezana dance challenge and has maintained relevant up to date. 

It is through brands that many of your favorite TikTokers stopped being financially dependent on either work or parents. 

However, corporate brands are not the only means used by users to make money. TikTok rolled out monetization of individual channels with content creators earning from live streams. 

According to TikTok, for one to earn through live streams, they ought to amass 1000 followers. The viewers then donate coins in the name of gifts before they can be converted into diamonds.

It is upon reaching 10,000 diamonds that the content creators convert into cash. Another medium is through Creator Fund where one is paid by the platform itself for engagements.

However, it is yet to be implemented in Kenya and is currently only applicable in countries such as the United Kingdom. The content creation space on TikTok  is still huge for those interested to join in and make a living out of it.

Tiktok Logo: Twitter