In an attempt to catch up with social media trends and bounce back from a dip in popularity, Snapchat introduced a new feature called Spotlight back in November that would allow users to upload short videos like TikTok or Instagram Reels. As an incentive to draw in creators, Snapchat announced its plan to award users $1 million a day.
“Submit your best video Snaps to Spotlight for the opportunity to earn a share of more than $1 million that we’re distributing to creators every day,” a blog post Snapchat published at the time read.
It looks like the platform is definitely making good on that promise, as New York Times technology writer Taylor Lorenz reports. Professional and amateur Snapchatters are raking in hundreds of thousands to share random content similar to its competitors.
The biggest payouts have gone to people like 19-year-old Cam Casey, who has made nearly $3 million from Snapchat since November. Casey hopped over to the app after becoming a successful TikTok star with over seven million followers. Other TikTok creators are moving to the platform to cash in and escape the increasingly competitive TikTok environment.
“TikTok set that precedent of what kind of content people are looking for. Snapchat has done a really good job of recreating that in their own way, building that into their own app,” 21-year-old influencer Joey Rogoff told Lorenz. “They’re the highest paying platform right now. Hopefully other platforms see that and will follow their lead because ultimately that’s what’s going to make creators the happiest.”
But it’s not just professional influencers who are hitting the Snapchat jackpot. One 18-year-old has earned about $1 million from her comedic videos in the past two months—a life changing amount for the average teen.
“I think it’s going to take me a while to really process it,” Katie Feeney said. “I now have the opportunity to go to the school of my choice. For a lot of people Spotlight is going to change their life and it’s unbelievable.”
It’s unclear when Snapchat plans to sunset these payments. The company told the Times that it determines payment amounts based on unique video views and proprietary internal metrics.