Influencers, eh? Young, rich and spoilt. Or are they? Well, they’re mostly young, but the ‘rich’ part is up for debate in many cases.
Vice has an interesting (if bleak) article on the challenges facing young TikTok creators. One who’s profiled, Keondra.K, has nearly 775,000 followers and 50.6m likes for her videos, but “has earned almost no money through her content… with the exception of a few donations that she’s received from fans while doing TikTok live streams, and the few product promo gifts she’s received from brands”. In the case of this creator, she lives at home with her mother, who pays the rent, and works in a hardware store to earn money to pay for the “cosplay costumes, makeup, and dozens of wigs” used in her videos. “I feel like I’m brokest when I have to pay my phone bill,” is her comment. “At some point, I’d like to make videos and be paid for it.”
This is just one case study, and there are undoubtedly higher-level creators (those with millions or tens of millions of followers) making decent money on TikTok. But it’s a useful reminder that the lower levels of the influencer ladder are far from glamorous.