Image Credit: Instagram

Creators on Instagram are being offered thousands of dollars to create Reels, but there seems to be a lack of transparency.

TikTok recently announced they surpassed one billion monthly active users, so it’s no wonder that other social media companies like Instagram and YouTube want a piece of that action. Instagram launched Reels last year, their TikTok competitor with an endless feed of vertical short-form videos. TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts all have a creator fund offered to those making entertaining and original content.

Instagram launched Reels Play, their bonus program earlier this year. The program has slowly rolled out across the US to creators over 18, that meet Instagram’s Partner Monetisation Policies and have a “sufficient follower base” with no definitive number mentioned. TechCrunch spoke to a number of creators included in the program, with follower counts varying from 800 to 59,000.

These creators reported being confused by the program, unaware how bonus payouts are calculated, with some users experiencing a glitch that caused eligible creators to be told they were ineligible for the payout. Instagram told TechCrunch that the program is experimental and still in its early stages, but the glitch has now been fixes.

Maddy Corbin, a creator with over 50,000 followers on Instagram told TechCrunch she was offered up to $1,000 for her Reels in a month, however she noticed inconsistencies among other creators:

I saw some people that had more followers than me and they could only make $600. I wish I knew more on how that was generated. All I can think of is maybe it’s based off of past reels’ performance.

Maddy Corbin told TechCrunch

Another creators with around 24,000 followers, less than half Corbin, reported that last month they would be offered a bonus of up to $800 if they got 1.7 million views on all Reels posted that month. After posting a Reel a day during the bonus period, 1.49 million plays across Reels earned them $689.90. This month bonuses have been increased, with the above creator being offered up to $8,500 for 9.28 million views, which is a higher payout-per-view rate than last month. The creator said this was a higher payout-per-view rate than they get on TikTok with 32,000 followers.

A users on Reddit claims to have been offered up to $35,000 for over 58 million views in a month. Miguel Lozada, a Twitch streamer with around 800 Instagram followers was offered the same $8,500 that a creator with 24,000 followers received. Another user with 59,000 followers told TechCrunch they were offered a $850 bonus this month.

We’re continuing to test payments as we roll out to more creators, and expect them to fluctuate while we’re still getting started. We’ve designed bonuses so that we can help as many creators as we can in a way that is achievable and drives meaningful earnings. Our goal is for bonuses to become more personalized over time.

Instagram told TechCrunch

Some creators feel like their Reels weren’t getting as much attention once they joined the bonus program.

The first three days [I had access to bonuses], I was probably making about $40 a day, and it literally crashed after about week one, and it went down to like cents and dollars per day. So it’s been interesting because I really haven’t changed that much the way that I’m putting my content out.

Instagram also recently announced the Reels Surprise bonus program, rewarding up to 150 US-based creators per week up to $10,000 for an inspiring, entertaining Reel. Again, to be eligible creators must by 18+, meet Instagram’s Community Guidelines and Partner Monetisation Policies, have an existing Reel with at least 1,000 views, and have not yet received a bonus from Instagram.

According to talent managers who spoke to Business Insider, YouTube Shorts recently offered popular TikTokers $50,000 to post 100 YouTube Shorts over six months. The program is not public and separate from YouTube’s $100 million Shorts Fund. Creators must wait at least seven days after posting to YouTube before they can repost to other platforms.

Will TIkTok be able to hold their crown against huge tech companies offering thousands of dollars to entice creators away?

Beware, Instagram hides Reels with the TikTok watermark. Click here to learn how to remove the watermark before publishing to Instagram Reels or YouTube Shorts.

Artists can also make money on TikTok, Instagram Reels and YouTube Shorts with RouteNote’s free music distribution to all major stores, streaming services and social media platforms.