Snap Inc.’s Spotlight Challenges Will Offer Creators Payouts Of Up To $25K

A new venture by Snap Inc. will pay creators for coming up with popular responses to Spotlight Challenges, a new addition to the social network’s user-generated platform.

Challenges will involve using specific lenses or sounds as well as addressing certain topics. “Whether it be your best trick shot or your funniest impression, these challenges champion Snapchatters to create Snaps that highlight their unique voice, perspective, personality and creativity,” the company said in a blog post.

Spotlight Challenges will begin next month for users aged 16 and older in the U.S. Additional markets will follow.

Prize amounts for those meeting challenges most successfully will range from $1,000 to $25,000, the company says, though “occasionally we may make available a larger sum for a particular challenge.” The minimum payday is $250.

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Snap launched Spotlight, a TikTok-esque extension of its service, in November 2020. It uses an algorithm to serve users a series of short videos in a feed, which is separate from the main areas of the Snapchat interface.

Speaking last month at a Goldman Sachs conference, Snap CEO Evan Spiegel said the company decided to overhaul its initial compensation plan for Spotlight. When it first went live, it featured a $1 million-a-day fund designed to reward creators of popular content. But Spiegel said the setup led to too “a lot of copycat content,” prompting a rethink.

“People would see the winning content that was making the most money and then make content just like it, instead of making content that was more diverse,” he said.

Snap will report its next quarterly financial results and other metrics on October 21. It has been on a hot streak, reporting a 23% jump in daily active users as of June 30, to 293 million.

The idea of challenges has been a digital staple over the past couple of years, but, like many aspects of social media, it has a dark side. The “Tide pod challenge” is one of many with obvious harmful effects. On TikTok, challenges conducted outside the auspices of the company have alarmed school officials and police in various communities around the country. Teens have been prodded to vandalize school property or slap teachers.

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