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Social Platforms and PayFacs Now Power the Creator Economy

social media, influencer, content creator

Whether it’s a viral Instagram post, an informative YouTube video, or a thought-provoking blog article, content creators are playing a pivotal role in shaping online narratives, engaging audiences and driving business outcomes in the connected economy. 

In response to this growing trend, there has been a notable rise in the market for tools and services catered specifically to this booming economy. Adobes recent introduction of an AI-powered mobile app serves as a prime example.

Powered by Adobe Firefly, a generative artificial intelligence (GenAI) tool, the new Adobe Express mobile app offers a suite of features aimed at streamlining the creative process, from social media posts to videos, flyers, and logos. 

Govind Balakrishnan, senior vice president of Adobe Express and Digital Media Services, emphasized the app’s popularity among customers seeking “to promote their ideas, passions and businesses through digital content and on TikTok, Instagram, X, Facebook and other social platforms” in a Thursday (April 18) press release.

Adobe’s initiative mirrors a broader trend in the content creation landscape, where technology is increasingly democratizing access to creative tools and resources. Content creation is no longer confined to professional designers and marketers. Today, anyone with a smartphone and a creative spark can produce high-quality content and share it with a worldwide audience.

Monetization innovations have further empowered content creators, with payment facilitators (PayFacs) emerging as key enablers. 

Casey Porter, vice president of Merchant Sales and Acquiring at VisaGlobal Acceptance Fast Track, discussed this evolving trend in an interview with PYMNTS last July, emphasizing the transformative potential of the growing creator economy and the pivotal role PayFacs can play in helping creators monetize their content. 

“The creators are now the new entrepreneurs,” Porter said. “If you think about it from the ‘traditional’ sense of a small merchant business, that’s what they are trying to become.”

He added that this transition presents a significant opportunity for merchants to tap into the vast amount of time consumers spend on social media platforms, redirecting both consumers and commerce to their eCommerce sites or third-party platforms for transactions.

This is where PayFacs come in, Porter explained, bridging the gap between merchants, content creators and their platforms, effectively addressing the payment challenge that platforms have yet to resolve. With PayFacs providing secure and seamless payment solutions, creators can optimize their monetization strategies, granting them greater flexibility and control over their revenue streams. 

Social media platforms have also stepped up to provide monetization opportunities for creators. Take TikToks recently launched Creator Rewards Program, for instance, which compensates creators for engaging original content. This move to monetize user-generated content is expected to foster a culture of creativity and innovation within the platform’s ecosystem.

However, indications suggest that not all platforms have mastered their approach. Elon Musk’s efforts to attract creators to X — formerly Twitter — seem to be encountering hurdles, with creators uncertain about X’s monetization strategy, unlike YouTube, which offers an established system for creators to generate revenue through ad placements.

“They [X] have to start showing us the path to building a business on the platform,” podcaster Samir Chaudry said, per a March 24 Wall Street Journal (WSJ) report. 

The report highlighted that while X has an ad revenue-sharing feature for creators, it still lags behind platforms like YouTube, TikTok and Instagram in terms of creator support. Some creators interviewed by WSJ mentioned that X’s struggles with advertisers have diminished the platform’s appeal, while others cited inconsistency with payments as a concern.

“We all still use it every day,” Chaudry said about X, but “if we’re going to post original content there, I think we need to understand the path to success.”