How gifting supports the creator ecosystem on TikTok

Mobile Marketing

Felicity Harfin  lives in Edinburgh, and is one of TikTok’s most successful creators, with over 47m likes on her videos. She enjoys creating content that is fun and entertaining. Felicity is best known for her family prank video which have granted her a celebrity status within the TikTok community and beyond. 

Besides sharing videos regularly, some of the top creators around the globe use the TikTok live-streaming feature to engage with their audience. While live-streaming, fans can reward them with virtual gifts, usually known as gifting.

Gifting makes an important contribution to the creator ecosystem, ultimately benefiting brands and advertisers. Here, Felicity explains how it works.

Creators use live-streaming to connect and establish a closer relationship with their fans. This is an opportunity to give their biggest fans some special attention by sharing unique moments from their everyday life.
On each occasion, there can be thousands of users tuning in simultaneously to watch a creator live-stream. During this period, users can interact with creators, ask questions or share ideas, creating strong bonds between users and creators and above all, a true community spirit.

An important part of this process is gifting. This is a feature that allows TikTok users to buy in-app coins, via the App Store or Google Play, enabling them to send virtual gifts to creators during a live-stream. This is one way users can show their support for and reward their favourite creators. Gifts earned by creators can be converted into ‘diamonds’. Creators can then exchange diamonds for cash, which is withdrawn from TikTok through verified payment systems like PayPal.

Creators over 16 can host a live-stream but, following a recent update, only users aged 18 and over are allowed to buy and receive virtual gifts.
By allowing over 18s only to send a receive gifts, TikTok offers a much safer environment, particularly in comparison to other apps that offer in-app gaming purchases, as only an adult can authorise and engage with any aspect of monetisation. This assures creators and helps to create an environment where all users can enjoy a live-stream without encountering misuse, such as any pressure to send virtual gifts.

As with any other app, users should check the Community Guidelines and the Terms of Service which the platform makes available to everyone in order to promote trust, respect and an overall positive environment for everyone using the app.

How do creators benefit from gifting?
The most valuable thing for creators is to be able to connect with users who are true supporters and who appreciate the video content they produce on a regular basis. However, the revenue stream generated directly from viewers watching the videos is crucial to support their role as content creators.

Creators have to invest in making quality content. Similar to TV shows, videos can be time- and budget-consuming, particularly if they produce content daily. Creating and improving content daily requires a lot of kit, including mobile phones, cameras and light and sound equipment. But that’s not all – creators also need to take care of their image and get hold of all sorts of costumes or props required for their videos, and often they have to travel, sometimes abroad. The revenue brought in from followers, who support creators, is therefore of major importance to them. The income generated from gifting can be reinvested into content production, allowing creators to continue to make quality content that keeps their fans entertained and happy.

Overall, gifting helps to strengthen the relationship between users and creators, creating a strong and positive community. Gifting fosters the in-app creator community, keeping creators satisfied and motivated to do what they do best, which is to create high-quality compelling video content to entertain and amuse TikTok’s growing global community with their unique 15-second videos.