YouTube will open a $100 million fund to pay Shorts creators

It could be looking to lure creators away from TikTok and Snapchat.

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Kris Holt
May 11, 2021 5:26 PM
BRAZIL - 2020/09/21: In this photo illustration a YouTube Shorts logo is seen displayed on a smartphone. (Photo Illustration by Rafael Henrique/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)
SOPA Images via Getty Images

YouTube has announced a $100 million fund to pay people who post videos on its TikTok competitor, Shorts. The fund will launch in the coming months and the money will be distributed to creators over the next year or so.

This is the "first step in our journey to build a long-term monetization model for Shorts on YouTube," Amy Singer, director of global partnership enablement for YouTube Shorts, wrote in a blog post. "This is a top priority for us, and will take us some time to get it right. We are actively working on this, and will take the feedback gathered from our community to help develop a long-term program specifically designed for YouTube Shorts."

Anyone who creates Shorts can participate in the fund, not just those who are enrolled in the YouTube Partner Program. As long as you stick to the community guidelines and create original content, you'll be eligible. YouTube will "reach out to thousands of creators whose Shorts received the most engagement and views to reward them for their contributions."

Shorts has only been available to creators in the US since March (and before that in India). Anyone can watch the videos, and Shorts are already garnering more than 6.5 billion daily views, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said last month. YouTube could be using the fund to lure away top creators from the likes of TikTok and Snapchat.

The service will soon add an option that allows creators to pull audio from other YouTube videos into their Shorts. The feature sounds similar to TikTok Duets, but users will have access to a massive number of videos from across YouTube. The Shorts team has also been working on adding automatic captions, the ability to record up to 60 seconds of footage through the Shorts camera, color-correction filters and a way to add clips from your phone's gallery.

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