Some influencers are reporting that they’re leaving TikTok’s UK shopping program ‘TikTok shop,’ claiming they are receiving no or low pay, and that the products being sold are “low quality.”
TikTok is one of the biggest social media platforms out there right now, and there are several different ways that creators are able to make money from the platform.
For influencers in the UK, one of these methods is the TikTok shop. According to the platform: “TikTok Shop is an innovative new shopping feature which enables merchants, brands and creators to showcase and sell products directly on TikTok through in-feed videos, LIVEs, and product showcase tab.”
However, according to the Financial Times, influencers are now speaking out about the program, citing low or no payment, and low-quality products.
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Content creator Dr. Carolina Are, who used TikTok to promote the pole-dancing classes she teaches, and is an academic in the online moderation field, left TikTok shop after reportedly not receiving payment for her content.
“I started using TikTok because it helped me grow massively,” she said. “I was curious to see if the Shop platform would be more lucrative for creators showing nudity, so I tried it to see if I could advertise things that were relevant to my viewers.”
She described the products she was asked to sell as: “Cheap or low-quality stuff, or things that I would have struggled to sell while not looking like someone who would flog anything.”
“I do not think TikTok treats its creators well, particularly those who they see as on the “borderline” of their community guidelines, like me,” she went on to say. “Our views have massively fallen as a result of their TikTok moderation, so we don’t make money from the creator fund.”
TikTok tightened up its community guidelines earlier this year, particularly targeting things like dangerous acts and challenges, eating disorders, and hateful ideologies. Many TikTokers use terms like ‘fake body’ as a way of avoiding getting automatically flagged for violating the app’s policy on nudity.
A spokesperson for TikTok said: “The TikTok community is redefining shopping culture, and we’ve seen the positive impact on small businesses which have grown revenues, larger brands which have reached new audiences, and individuals who have launched careers.
“We are committed to learning, growing and improving as we build commerce solutions that bring value to merchants, creators, and our community across the UK.”
There are more videos promoting TikTok shop products being added to the app each day, but it appears as though more creators could be set to leave.