Snap is finally ready to compete with TikTok and will pay creators to post on the platform. The company officially announced a new section of Snapchat today called Spotlight, which will feature vertical video content from users that looks more like memes and jokes than the everyday content previously driven by Snap. Imagine, basically, TikTok but on Snapchat.
To attract people into posting photos regularly, the company said it would split $1 million between the app’s most popular creators per day by the end of 2020. It means if someone has a particularly viral video, they might earn a large chunk of the $1 million pot. It doesn’t matter whether that person has a massive number of subscribers; the amount people receive is primarily based on unique views compared to other snaps that day. Users can continue to earn from their video if it’s famous for multiple days at a time.
Spotlight, which will have its own dedicated tab in the app, is launching in 11 countries, including the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia. The videos you’ll see in the section can be up to 60 seconds long and, as of right now, cannot be watermarked. That means people can’t just download their (or others’) viral TikToks and upload them to Snapchat. Once you tap into Spotlight, you’ll see snaps programmed to what Snapchat’s algorithm thinks you might enjoy. It bases this decision mostly on what you’ve viewed in the past and how long you’ve watched. Anyone can submit a snap, they just need to tap “Spotlight” while posting to ensure it populates the section.
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While the format is familiar to anyone who has watched TikTok, Snap says that it makes custom decisions based on its user base. First, Spotlight photos won’t show the public comment section, and the profile itself is private by default, so Snapchatters can keep their accounts locked while still posting content.
The Spotlight section has been hinted at for months, considering Snapchat announced the music in snap-in August. However, the app doesn’t have a feed for these photos as of now. The company has allowed users to submit their photos as part of a location that can be visited by anyone to find out what is happening in a certain place at any time. They appear on the Snap Map. But unlike that feature, which is more of a documentary in nature, Spotlight is specially designed for the viral video format.
With Spotlight, Snap clearly acknowledges the success of TikTok’s viral short video, similar to Instagram’s acceptance with the launch of Reel in August. In the case of Instagram, however, it clearly allows people to bring their TikTok content to the platform. Snap instead tries to encourage people to use its own creation tools and prevent monetization scams by keeping people in the app. Stories used to be the format everyone wanted to copy, thanks to his success on Snapchat. Now, that’s a TikTok video.