Snapchat is a moneymaker for some creators who know how take advantage of the platform.
Successful creators post content frequently to Spotlight, sign brand deals, or create AR lenses.
Here's how creators make money on Snapchat and manage their schedules.
While Snapchat is largely known for its ephemeral messaging, the platform is also a bonafide moneymaker for some savvy creators who have learned how to take advantage of it.
There are several ways Snapchat creators are making money.
Since launching its TikTok competitor Spotlight in November 2020, Snapchat has financially incentivized creators to post short-form videos to the app feature. It's also testing sharing ad revenue with creators in its Snap Stars program, which includes prominent figures and top influencers on the platform, and it shares revenue with the creators of its shows, which are similar to stories but don't expire, among many other monetization programs.
So, how much does Snapchat pay influencers?
Two creators told Business Insider that Snapchat's ad-revenue-share beta program had been lucrative for them, adding that it didn't require much additional work outside their typical time spent making content for the app.
Snap Stars are some of the biggest earners on the platform because they're eligible for the most monetization features, including ad-revenue sharing, gifts, and a Shopify integration that allows creators to tie their own merch stores to their profiles.
Snap automatically considers creators to join its Snap Stars program, where they can start making more money, if they have at least 50,000 followers, 25 million monthly views, and post a minimum of 10 brand-safe stories a month with at least 20 snaps each.
At Nas Summit, an annual industry conference in LA, Snap exec Brooke Berry shared the platform's best practices for Snap Stars and her advice for posting. (Read more about Berry's presentation here.)
But there are other ways to make money on the platform regardless of Snap Star status.
Snapchat pays Spotlight creators on a curve, factoring in various engagement metrics, including the total number of unique video views and "favorites," as well as the number of daily users who view a Snap. And some of them have earned millions.
Content creator Katie Feeney has earned well over $1 million posting videos to Spotlight that have been a mix of repurposed TikToks and funny, new clips.
She's not the only Snapchat millionaire.
The money Snapchat is paying out through its Spotlight fund has, however, dwindled. It now pays millions of dollars per year, down from millions per week in June 2021 and $1 million per day in November 2020, a company spokesperson told Business Insider.
Another way to make a living off Snapchat is by designing augmented reality lenses.
Cyrene Quiamco is a former Verizon web designer who joined Snapchat in January 2014. She soon began publishing several branded stories a month before striking gold in late 2017, when Snapchat announced Lens Studio, which lets Snapchat creators develop AR lenses for free.
Since then, Quiamco has created Snapchat AR lenses for brands like Hulu, Marriott, Ulta, and her former employer, Verizon, and carved out a lucrative business. In one year, Quiamco earned about $750,000.
Like Quiamco, it's not unusual for some creators to sign lucrative brand deals in exchange for promoting products and services in their posted content.
Snapchat has also made it easier for businesses to find creators to work with through its Creator Marketplace, launched in 2021, which helps brands to find creators based on criteria such as location, specialties, lens category, and budget. (Read more about how creators use Snap to land paid deals here.)
Here's our coverage of how Snapchat creators make money and manage their time.
How much Snapchat creators earn from Spotlight and how they do it:
Katie Feeney is a creator with more than 850,000 Snapchat subscribers. Feeney, who started posting to Spotlight when she was a high school senior, shared how she earned $1 million in just two months.
Sarah Callahan is a creator with over 10 million TikTok followers. The actor, model, and fitness influencer explained how she made over $1 million through Spotlight.
Joey Rogoff is a creator with more than 80,000 Snapchat subscribers. Rogoff earned at least $1.2 million through Spotlight.
Kevin Parry is a stop-motion animator and visual effects artist with over 100,000 Snapchat subscribers. He earns thousands per Snapchat video.
How to make money from Snapchat lenses:
Cyrene Quiamco is a prolific AR lens creator for brands on Snapchat. Quiamco shared how she made about $750,000 in a year.
Serial entrepreneur Hart Woolery specializes in creating — or recreating — visual effects from movies with his AR lenses. Woolery was on track to earn nearly $500,000 in a year from his work.
Philip Walton, a former aircraft communication and navigation systems technician, is an AR lens creator whose potato lens went viral in a big way. Walton shared how he earned more than $230,000 in a year.
Cofounded by Frank Shi and Xuan Buddhavong, the studio Paper Triangles pivoted away from VR to develop Snapchat AR lenses for brands. Paper Triangles made nearly $4 million in a year designing for brands like Adidas and Spotify.
How Snapchat creators juggle the demands of their busy schedules:
Jack Settleman is a sports influencer with over 180,000 Snapchat subscribers. Settleman, who runs the account SnapBack Sports, broke down his daily routine and earnings.
Here's a breakdown of the various ways Snapchat pays influencers:
Spotlight: Snap rewards eligible Spotlight creators who create the top Spotlight Snaps, so long as they comply with the platform's community and other guidelines. Creators are paid in "crystal awards" that can be redeemed for real money.
Spotlight Challenges: Creators can win cash prizes for creating top-performing Spotlight snaps using specific lenses, sounds, or topics.
Shows: Snapchat syndicates some shows from established creators on its stories page and offers them a cut of the revenue. Influencer manager Cameron Ajdari, who has landed four shows for his clients, shared his advice for pitching them.
Stories revenue-share program (beta): Snapchat is testing sharing with Snap Stars a cut of the ad revenue generated from ads within their public stories. Here's how the revenue-share program works.
Gifting: Snap Stars get a cut of the revenue from the virtual gifts they receive from fans through replies to their public stories. The gifts come in the form of those "crystal awards" that can be cashed out for real money.
Shopify Integration: Snap Stars can integrate their own Shopify stores into their profiles and keep 100% of the transactions they drive through the app.
Sounds Creator Fund: Snap works with music distributors UnitedMasters and DistroKid to distribute up to $100,000 worth of grants per month to US-based independent artists ages 16 or older whose music is available through Snapchat sounds. That feature enables users to add licensed song clips to their snaps and stories.
Ghost: An augmented-reality studio that offers funding and other support to creators using AR to innovate in areas like education, accessibility, gaming, health, and more.
Creator Marketplace: Snap, like other social platforms, has a creator marketplace that connects brands with lens creators, developers, and partners, as well as Snap Stars. The company has said it won't take a cut of transactions on the platform.
Collab Studio: Snap announced in May 2023 a feature that allows brands to directly reach out to and partner with Snap Stars. It's currently available in the US. Here's how the Collab Studio works for influencers and brands.
JP Mangalindan contributed to an earlier version of this post.
Read the original article on Business Insider