TikTok on Monday said it will start letting some popular accounts at the video-snippet streaming star charge subscriptions for live streams.
Similar money-making tools have been added to rivals such as Instagram and Facebook as the social media platforms compete for online personalities that attract audiences.
“LIVE Subscription is an extension of our efforts to build diversified creator monetization opportunities that suit a range of creator needs,” TikTok said in a blog post.
TikTok said the subscription feature being introduced this week will only be available to creators by invitation for now but will be expanded globally in coming months. The company did not disclose pricing.
Creators will be able to switch into a chat mode exclusive to subscribers, “enhancing an even more personal connection between creator and viewer,” the company said.
To access the LIVE Subscription feature, creators will need to be at least 18 years old, while users will have to be at least the same age to subscribe, TikTok said in the post.
Subscriber perks will include digital badges and, in some cases, the ability to control camera angles during streamed sessions, according to video clips posts by TikTok creators invited to take part.
TikTok early this month announced an ad revenue-sharing programme with the social media platform’s most prominent creators, moving closer to a model already used by its competitors.
The short-video format app has become wildly popular in recent years with more than a billion active users globally, but has been criticized for not providing a way for creators to effectively monetise content.
Under a TikTok Pulse programme to be rolled out in the United States next month, companies can place their ads next to user content in specific categories and creators will get a cut.
“We will begin exploring our first advertising revenue share program with creators, public figures and media publishers,” the company, a subsidiary of Chinese tech firm ByteDance, said in a statement.
Other major social networks that focus on video, such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, have already implemented revenue-sharing systems.