Hi, this is Amanda Perelli and welcome back to Insider Influencers, our weekly rundown on the influencer and creator economy. Sign up for the newsletter here.
The paywall-content platform OnlyFans has recently surged in popularity among influencers on YouTube, Instagram, and TikTok.
This week, I wrote about how many of these influencers have leaned into the messaging component of OnlyFans, rather than the explicit content that made the platform famous.
In short: fans pay to message their favorite creators.
Here's how it works:
Free-tier users are often told to add a tip to send a message (usually with a minimum tip of $5).
Or they can send a big up-front tip (usually between $100 and $200) to be added to VIP tier for "unlimited" chatting.
But the amount of messaging needed to run a successful OnlyFans has led some influencers to use ghostwriters to respond to messages on their behalf, industry insiders said.
It's a secret that no one wants to discuss openly, since if fans found out they might feel betrayed - and stop paying.
"The relationship with the audience is so temperamental," one manager said. "If anyone found out that was happening the audience would be pissed."
From what we know, the use of OnlyFans ghostwriters is a practice popular in the influencer community rather than among the sex workers who propelled the platform to prominence.
TikTok has continued to hire this year despite political pressure from the Trump administration and threats of a ban.
The ByteDance-owned company has already tripled its US headcount in 2020.
My colleagues Dan Whateley and Ashley Rodriguez analyzed disclosures on work visas to show how much the company pays for certain roles.
Based on the data, TikTok and ByteDance offered staffers on work visas in the US annual base salaries:
Product and engineering - $108,000 to $480,000 base salary.
Data science and research - $96,000 to $230,000 base salary.
Monetization-focused roles - $70,000 to $224,000 base salary.
A 59-year-old dad and his sons have gained over 2 million TikTok followers and built a family business
The TikTok hashtag #DadsofTikTok has racked up over 9 billion total views.
And one TikTok famous dad, 59-year-old Dan McFarland, is the star of his family's viral account.
The McFarlands are a family of five from Kentucky who now have over 2 million followers on TikTok.
My colleague Sydney Bradley wrote that this year they started regularly working with brands on sponsored content.
Their starting rates are between $5,000 and $8,000 for a sponsored TikTok video, and then an additional starting rate of $3,000 to $6,000 for that same footage to be posted on Instagram.
At a presentation last month, TikTok's North America product strategy lead Gabriel Nicolau spoke about the company's eight marketing products (including six ad products).
Dan wrote that TikTok's current ad solutions are more tailored to big brands looking for a splashy takeover than a local restaurant aiming to draw in new customers, despite the company's recent efforts to court smaller accounts.
Nicolau described one of TikTok's ad formats as "like having a mobile Times Square in your pocket."
More creator industry coverage from Business Insider:
14 YouTube stars break down how much they get paid per month (Amanda Perelli and Sydney Bradley)
How much money 9 TikTok stars make from brand deals (Sydney Bradley, Dan Whateley, and Amanda Perelli)
Facebook has been hit with two big antitrust lawsuits from the FTC and 46 states seeking to spin-off Instagram and WhatsApp.
TikTok chef Eitan Bernath is joining "The Drew Barrymore Show" as Principal Culinary Contributor.
It's really happening: "Ratatouille: The TikTok Musical" is coming to Broadway and will stream for one performance.
This week from Insider's digital culture team:
Jeffree Star's sexual-assault accuser was paid $45,000 by a Jeffree Star Cosmetics executive, leaked documents say
New documents appear to show that YouTuber Jeffree Star and his team attempted to stop Insider reporter Kat Tenbarge's October investigation into Star.
A blog devoted to online gossip published an image of a cashier's check that appears to show a $45,000 payment to Star's sexual-assault accuser Gage Arthur from a Jeffree Star Cosmetics executive days after Arthur retracted his allegations to Insider.
Previously, Insider reported that Gage Arthur (who goes by his middle name) accused Star of performing nonconsensual oral sex on him at Star's home in 2009 while Arthur was intoxicated.
Finally, the document indicates that Arthur would be paid an additional $20,000 for contacting two of Insider's other sources for the investigation.
More from Insider:
Why criticism of JoJo Siwa might harm her young fans (Amanda Krause)
Here's what else we're reading:
The blurred line between editors and influencers (Alexandra Mondalek, from The Business of Fashion)
Real estate agents turn to influencers to help sell (The Real Deal staff)
5 takeaways from Olivia Jade's "Red Table Talk" appearance (Jonah Engel Bromwich and Caity Weaver, from The New York Times)
YouTube Gaming had its best year ever with 100 billion hours of gaming content watched (Nick Statt, from The Verge)
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