“I have 1 million followers. The income is around 50 euros. This is how TikTok saturates the creators market | Technology

José Ángel’s popularity on TikTok palm, a 26-year-old man from Granada, started eating kebabs. It was April 2021 and Patika was with her cousin in Kassin city in the province. The video is barely 10 seconds long, but is characterized by the spontaneous and pretentious simplicity, typical of TikTok: “Potatoes with white sauce, whole double meat kebabs, Fanta, long live food!With each definition he puts what he says in his mouth, and opens it without any trouble speaking. Her cousin is laughing out loud from behind. The trick is to swallow with unbridled gluttony. “Live for food” has become one of his mottos.” A little bread” is another thing. His videos celebrate health, life, eating, and a natural lack of manners: he mixes a plate of spoonfuls, bread, and orange fanta in one bite. He also loves spoonfuls of Coca-Cola powder.

It all runs on TikTok, the viral video platform that is taking over the world. It was the most downloaded global app in 2021, the fastest app to reach 1 billion users since its inception, and the average number of hours spent by US users on TikTok grew by 67% between 2018 and 2021, while in YouTube and Facebook it rose less than 10% . The data comes from a report Information Who said TikTok is a “digital crack epidemic”, because its impact is immediate.

“TikTok has saturated the market,” says Maria Britton, Head of Innovation and New Business at investment firm Jaguar Path Ventures. “It makes it easy for anyone to create content that, even though it’s not high quality, no matter how little you like it, it spreads very quickly, which encourages you to keep creating and makes people spend more time on the platform,” he adds. It’s a utopia to achieve the Platforms Cup: more users, more time. Recent scientific article fifteen seconds of fame Confirms the centrality of TikTok’s viral videos, regardless of who creates them:

Patika is one of those creators who fell in love with viral magic. “When I woke up in the morning, there were half a million visits,” he told EL PAÍS by phone. Today Patika has 950,000 followers in just over a year. Devoting himself ceaselessly to his videos, he uploads at least one a day: “It’s about the food my mother makes for me and the work in the fields, and that’s what I do. Townspeople have no idea, and now I’m on the olive drive.” He looks to help: “Things are so bad. It is good that the children who see me, when they come home and have a plate of lentils or beans, eat it, because it will not be everything from potatoes, eggs, meat, steaks, or sausage“, He says.

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At the moment Patica only receives money from TikTok, which is rare: “It pays you for visits and I love it. You don’t earn a fool’s job, not to devote yourself to this, 50 euros or 100 if all goes well,” he says. With this money one night a month he goes to the city of Granada to distribute it to beggars. He serves them food: “I go to the supermarket, I buy bread and cold meats, we make a sandwich, fruit, juice, we put it in a bag and in a big water bottle. We give it to people on the street. You help 20-30 people. They tell you about their lives and the problems they face. And listen. to them”.

Patica has yet to make it to the chosen Millionaires Club on TikTok, although she will soon. It’s a big club and it never stops growing. Instagram, which was created six years before TikTok, has fewer accounts with more than a million followers: in Spain there are 257 compared to 853 on TikTok, according to data from 11posts.com. It’s a global trend: Mexico has 383 people on Instagram compared to 2,205 on TikTok. Worldwide, according to SocialBlade, TikTok has 39,000 accounts with more than 1 million followers, 16,000 more than Instagram and 9,000 more than YouTube.

This logically causes the prestige that a millionaire account entails less on TikTok. “One million followers are no longer seen as something so amazing,” says Alphonse Vidal, 18, author of Snoflaa, with 2.2 million followers counting tech tricks. “I have two million people and it stays the same. I thought having one million would be amazing, and it could be a job,” he adds. Now there are people who recognize him, but his influence has nothing to do with his followers.

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But the lack of correlation between followers and viral spread is actually one of the advantages of TikTok. EL PAÍS spoke with six creators totaling about a million or more. Everyone had their first spread on TikTok soon after starting. They remember the moment. Fonny, a 19-year-old who dances and sings on her account with 900,000 followers today, remembers this feeling: “It was a video I walked in and sang, no more. It had 12 million views. I didn’t know how it fit. For a month I was thinking “What’s going on here. It didn’t process the information. It spread in the US. It was reaching millions of people in another part of the world,” he says.

Christian Morales, author with his grandmother on Conbuenhumor channel, which has 7.2 million followers, has a similar memory for this initial sensation: “One of the things I remember from the first months, which went so viral, was my grandmother dancing dressed as a unicorn. We have videos of that. The time exceeded 30 million views. In the first weeks I saw that everything was different. The videos went viral very quickly, and our videos were very surprising,” he says.

Money is just an integral part of that sentiment, at least among creators who number less than 10 million followers. Voonniie has not even signed up for the TikTok creator pool to pay its most popular creators. Get some money through specific campaigns from companies that pay you to make a video on a product. This is what most creators do to capitalize on their audience.

The Creator Fund is only for very large accounts: “If you don’t have many viral videos, they pay you a pittance,” says Fatima Martinez, a marketing expert who has half a million followers on TikTok. “I didn’t have much of a difference. It’s now more difficult for the video to go viral so quickly. Before you see the development in 20 minutes,” he says. But despite these difficulties, advertisers are increasingly looking to TikTok: “They are contacting me more than ever to do campaigns. Brands know more, are advised better and focus less on follower count than on engagement,” he adds.

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Despite this common sense of saturation, TikTok has plenty of room. “There is more competition, but it is not a zero-sum game,” says Jesus San Roman, founder of Binfluencer. Marketing budgets for influencers They are growing at a rate of 50% per year.” Instagram continues to be the focus because its audience is larger, has more purchasing power, and allows you to better convert campaigns into revenue.” On Instagram, more money has moved in and of itself. San Roman says the industry is slow to move those budgets to other networks. TikTok’s viral power sometimes makes it difficult to match the needs of businesses: “In TikTok, the audience is more spread between countries. I found creators on Instagram with 70% of the Spanish audience; it’s hard to find creators who have the majority of followers in the same country on TikTok” .

The weak relationship between followers and the spread sparks theories among some creators about what could happen. “It’s outrageous that super viral videos are being made random [aleatorios] And not others who take hours of effort,” says Pablo Brutons, a dancer with 1.8 million followers. “Yes, the videos random They are more than happy for me. Really once you have followers, it’s hard to get more. It’s easy to get famous on TikTok, but it’s hard to keep climbing. For this reason, he explains tiktoker“People with millions of followers have a tenth of the views on their videos, because they will have viral videos and they follow them, but then they are not followers of their content.”

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