How TikTok Makes Money

By Marcella Wilroy
September 7, 2022

How Tik Tok Makes Money
Image Courtesy Of Solen Feyissa On Unsplash

Over the last few decades, technology has been evolving in ways previously unimaginable, and at its fastest rate, yet. One of these technological innovations is TikTok. This social media platform now has about a billion active users. Today, TikTok is used for many different reasons and ventures. Users can teach, interact, play games, and sell literally any product, message, or idea to anybody. Because of TikTok’s vast audience, some users are even beginning to make insane amounts of money using this app. Although, what about TikTok? Where’s their piece of the pie?

TikTok was created in China, by Zhang Yiming and is now owned by the company ByteDance. Simply put: “TikTok is a short-form, video-sharing app that allows users to create and share 15-second videos, on any topic.” (Influencer Marketing Hub, 2022). Now, videos can be up to even 10 minutes long. This gives anyone who has a smartphone and internet, the ability to impact TikTok users on a global level. We are not in Kansas anymore. This is far more than just a social platform. TikTok’s clout gives anyone using this app the same amount of reach to use however they please. TikTok’s ease of use has inherently acquired a massive amount of users. Whether people with massive followings choose to educate, entertain, create or destroy reform, or make money, or not is completely up to them.

Considering TikTok’s massive online real estate, its market reach is limitless. During the pandemic, many people quit or lost their jobs. So what did they do? They turned to platforms like TikTok, of course. According to Forbes, the top five highest earners make well over millions of dollars. Making TikTok a full-time job can certainly have its financial benefits. Don’t think TikTok is a non-profit, they get their share too. According to “Like YouTube, TikTok offers paid advertisements for brands to promote their products and services.” On top of that, “Brands can use TikTok For Business to enhance their marketing solutions through features such as in-feed videos, brand takeovers, hashtag challenges, and branded effects”. (

Another avenue of income TikTok acquires is through in-app purchases. A Sensor Tower article explains: “TikTok users spend real money in the app to purchase coins. These can be exchanged for gifts that users can bestow on others during their live streams.” In-app purchases are quite popular and rapidly increasing. An article published by Bloomberg explains: “Focusing narrowly on in-app purchases, TikTok and Douyin’s [Chinese TikTok’s] numbers for the month showed a tenfold increase to $78 million…”. That being said, it only makes sense that TikTok makes a commission from each of its content creators. When users or content creators withdraw their funds: “TikTok takes a 50% cut of every dollar withdrawn from the app”, explains Entrepreneur 360. TikTok just skims a humble, subtle amount off the top—no big deal.

This seemingly innocent social media platform has become a rapid, money-making machine. Although, in 2022, are we surprised? With all of the technological advancements that have happened within the last 4 decades, it’s safe to say ‘We ain’t seen nothin’ yet.’ Stick around for next month’s article! We’ll be discussing flying houses and feature an interview with a new alien species running for the next presidential election.

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