Insider Influencers: TikTok expands tipping — Instagram's advice to emerging creators — what a TikToker earns with 1 million followers

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Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the business of influencers, creators, and social-media platforms. Sign up for the newsletter here.

In this week's edition:

Send tips to or DM me on Twitter at @arperelli.

Justin Antony, Instagram's head of creators smiles with his arms crossed.

Instagram's head of content shares the advice he gives to emerging creators

Every social app is trying to become a one-stop shop for creators.

For Instagram, its TikTok-like feature Reels is another category of content — like in-feed videos and stories — to add to its suite of offerings.

My colleague Sydney Bradley spoke with Justin Antony, Instagram's head of content and creator partnerships, about the year-old feature. 

"We're seeing that creators are more platform agnostic now," Antony said. "And the fact that we have short form on all the different competitors ... you don't have to pitch the importance of short form. They actually are demanding it."

Here are some key takeaways:

  • When Instagram advises individual creators on how to grow, it often emphasizes Reels for emerging influencers, Anthony said.

  • He also sees Instagram's new "Bonuses" program as a way to get users "on their path to being a full-time creator."

Check out the full story for more tips for emerging creators on Instagram.

Vi Luong

How much a TikToker with 1 million followers makes in a month

Vi Luong, 24, is a full-time TikTok creator who films how-to videos full of tips and tricks for aspiring influencers.

Her account has about 1 million followers, and her main sources of income are brand sponsorships and revenue from TikTok's Creator Fund.

Luong broke down how much she makes per month from partnerships with brands like Revolve and Nivea:

  • May: about $1,000 (Luong said May was an anomaly because some of her payments were delayed)

  • June: about $32,000

  • July: about $17,000

"Right now, I am actually scaling back on deals," Luong said. "But throughout this year, I'd say I've done, on average, about four to seven deals a month. Three of those are yearlong deals that I have to post about every month." 

Here's the full break down of her business.

Screenshot of TikTok's new gifting feature on videos.

TikTok has expanded its tipping feature and now lets users pay some creators with 'gifts' on the 'For You Page'

TikTok has rolled out a new way for users to pay tips to some creators.

Sydney Bradley reported that creators can now receive "gifts" on their videos and not just on livestreams.

The feature is not yet available to all creators — and those who do qualify shouldn't expect a huge payout.

"It's not like you're making millions of dollars," said Scott Hubbard, a TikTok creator with 7.2 million followers. "It's more of a sign of gratitude."

TikTok declined to comment on the feature's availability beyond saying that the company was "always thinking about new ways to bring value to our community and enrich the TikTok experience."

Two creators who recently got access told Insider that you had to have at least 1,000 followers to qualify.

The latest on the new feature and how it works.

Savannah Macy

Inside the earnings of a YouTuber with 50,000 subscribers 

Macy Schmidt is a YouTube creator who films videos about her life in Las Vegas. 

Her channel has about 50,000 subscribers, and she posts new videos every Monday, Thursday, and Saturday.

Schmidt cashes in on the platform through brand sponsorships and advertisements from YouTube's Partner Program.

Schmidt opened her books to share how much she's earned from ads on YouTube in 2021:

  • May: $2,087

  • June: $1,909

  • July: $1,366

"It never clicked for me that I wanted to do YouTube until I met my current boyfriend, and he had a YouTube channel," Schmidt told Insider, referring to the real-estate influencer Graham Stephan. 

Read more on her YouTube business and how much she earns.

Chart of the week 

Insider Intelligence

Check out the full report here.

More influencer industry news:

Creator Economy



TikTok hashtag of the week: 

Every week, we highlight a top trending hashtag on TikTok, according to data provided by Kyra IQ.

This week's hashtag: beatsaber

  • Percentage uptick: 4,170%

  • This uptick is centered around creators filming themselves playing a popular virtual reality game called Beat Saber.

A Spotify employee

Here's what else we're reading and watching:

Subscribe to the newsletter here.

And before you go, check out the top trending songs on TikTok this week to add to your playlist. The data was collected by UTA IQ, the research, analytics, and digital strategy division of United Talent Agency.


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