TikTok continues to develop new ways to help creators develop, with a view to increased monetization, this time via a new program called ‘Agency Center’, which, when activated, will signal to talent agencies that they're open to additional guidance and support, where available.
As you can see in these screenshots, shared by social media expert Matt Navarra, the new option, which is now available to some users within their TikTok LIVE settings, enables creators to tap through to the ‘Agency Center’ menu. There you can activate the 'Agency invitation' option, which, when switched on, will enable your TikTok profile to be ‘searched and invited by any agency’. You can also withdraw your interest whenever you choose.
TikTok provided this explanation to SMT:
“LIVE agency is a function that allows creators to be discoverable by LIVE Talent Agencies to help develop/coach growth within LIVE (i.e. tips and tricks, best practices, etc).”
TikTok says that LIVE Agencies will eventually be able to invite creators to join their network, where they will train, coach, and connect them with their community of experienced LIVE Creators, in order to improve their broadcasting approaches.
The program is still in development, but the idea is that it will enable creators to refine their live broadcasting strategy, which will then better enable them to build audience, and likely incorporate additional tools, like live shopping and promotions, into their streams.
Ultimately, the program is another element in TikTok’s broader effort to facilitate more monetization opportunities for its top creators, by helping them both improve their growth strategies and make connections within the app that can then help link them to new partnerships.
TikTok’s hoping to create a more organic, simplified brand partnership ecosystem, in order to facilitate more monetization opportunities – because right now, top stars can earn a lot more money by posting to YouTube or Instagram instead. If TikTok wants to maintain its growth momentum, it needs to keep these popular users active – because if they stop uploading their content, and TikTok loses their engaged audiences, that, eventually, could be a disastrous blow for the app.
Because that’s what happened to Vine. Vine had hundreds of millions of users at one stage, and was the trending app of the moment among younger audiences, until Vine’s top creators, including King Bach, Logan Paul and others, called for a meeting with parent company Twitter to demand more money for their contributions, or else they’d take their content elsewhere. Twitter refused, mostly because it didn’t have an adequate monetization process in place for Vine clips, and thus, no money to give them, at least in a sustainable process. And eventually, those creators did move on to other apps, which then saw Vine usage plummet.
TikTok knows that this could also happen to its platform, and even though it’s now far bigger than Vine ever was, the vultures are circling, with both Meta and YouTube now offering bigger, more sustainable, more reliable monetization processes. And creators are indeed starting to question whether it’s worth them sticking around on TikTok at all.
It’s not at critical levels yet, of course, with TikTok still the trending app of the moment. But it will become a bigger question, especially as TikTok’s audience continues to grow, and that, inevitably, reduces payments from its static Creator Fund.
For smaller creators, that probably won’t matter, but if you rely on your uploads for income, and your TikTok payouts vary significantly each month, based on the whims of the Creator Fund program, that will become a problem at some stage.
Would that be enough of a problem to stop users from posting? Maybe. Reports have suggested that some big-name stars are now looking to meet with TikTok execs to address the situation.
Which sounds familiar.
That’s why TikTok is working hard to add in new monetization avenues and tools, and this new ‘Agency Center’ option could provide another pathway to establishing a more sustainable income stream for creators in the app.