Instagram is offering huge bonuses for posting on Reels, its TikTok clone – TechCrunch

Instagram wants you to upload Reels. They'll even pay you up $10,000 if you're fortunate.
TikTok has surpassed the 1 billion monthly active users mark. Competitors platforms such as YouTube Shorts and Snapchat Spotlight are encouraging users to upload short-form content to their apps. YouTube has established a $100 million creator account for Shorts. Snapchat offers cash prizes for Spotlight challenges submissions. Instagram now offers a monthly Reels Play bonus.

However, creators remain confused as to what factors affect how much of an Instagram bonus they are eligible for. The platform is not helping them answer their questions. TechCrunch was told by Instagram that the program was still experimental and in its infancy. For creators using these platforms to earn a living, the lack of transparency can prove troubling. Even worse, the bonus program experienced a glitch last week. This meant that eligible creators were not eligible for the payout. TechCrunch was informed by Instagram that the glitch has been fixed.

Maddy Corbin, a woman with over 52,000 followers on Instagram, was offered $1,000 for her reels within a month. However, she noticed that other creators were getting different deals.

Corbin stated to TechCrunch that he had seen people with more followers than I and they could only make $600. Others with fewer followers were offered $800. "I wish I had more information about how this was generated. It could be based on past reels' performance.

TechCrunch spoke to a creator who has about 24,000 Instagram followers, less than Corbin. They were offered a $800 bonus if they had 1.7 million views for all their reels in a given month. It's not all or nothing. The creator posted only one reel per day during the bonus period. They managed to earn $689.90 in payouts and received 1.49 million plays. They were still disappointed that all Meta-owned apps, such as Instagram, went down for six hours last month due to server problems. This slowed down the spread of their Reels.

Instagram has increased the bonus to $8,500 this month for 9.28 Million views. This is a larger payout-per-view rate than last month and there's also the possibility to make more than 10x as much. According to the creator, this is a better payout-per-view than what they get on TikTok (where they have 32,000 followers).

It is difficult to understand how Instagram's bonus offer works. One Reddit user was offered $35,000 for more than 58 million views per month. Miguel Lozada was a Twitch streamer who has around 800 followers and 24,000 followers. He received the $8,500 offer along with the creator. TechCrunch received an $850 bonus from another user with 59,000 followers.

Instagram explained to TechCrunch that they are continuing to test payments and that they expect them to fluctuate as we get started. "We designed bonuses to help as many creators in a way that is feasible and generates meaningful earnings. We want to see bonuses become more personal over time.

Insta is offering $8.5K to reels posts in the next month. But look at the requirement views needed to make the full bag -- Miguel Lozada (@MLozada) October 29, 2021

Some creators felt that their reels didn't get as much attention after they joined the bonus program.

Corbin stated that the first three days I had access to bonuses, I made about $40 per day. It crashed about week one and went down to about cents and dollars per daily. It's been interesting because it hasn't changed much in the way I put my content out.

These bonuses are still being rolled out slowly, Instagram's support page says. They are not yet available to all users. These bonuses are not available outside the U.S.

TechCrunch was told by Instagram that users must be at least 18 years of age and comply with the platform's partner-monetization policies. The policy states that creators must have a sufficient following base. However, Instagram doesn't specify what constitutes "sufficient." TechCrunch talked to creators who were given the bonus with follower counts ranging from 800 to 59,000.

Instagram announced this week the Reels Surprise bonus program. This will award up to 150 U.S.-based artists with $10,000 each week for an especially inspiring or entertaining reel. U.S.-based creators must have at least one reel that has at least 1,000 views and meet Instagram's community guidelines. They also need to be 18 years or older.

In order to discourage people from reusing content from TikTok the Instagram algorithm removes watermarks from content on other social media platforms. YouTube Shorts is now more aggressive in its efforts to attract popular creators to its platform. Business Insider reported that TikTokers were offered $50,000 to create 100 YouTube Shorts in six months. The program was not open to the public and was separate from YouTube's $100m Shorts fund. Business Insider spoke with talent managers who said that creators had to wait seven working days after uploading a YouTube short before they could post it on another platform.

TikTok is growing rapidly, but it is also up against established giants like Google-owned YouTube or Meta-owned Instagram. For those companies, $10,000 to each user's short video doesn't seem like a large business expense.

Sarah Perez also reports