YouTube Shorts $100 million fund arrives: What creators should know

YouTube has officially launched its Shorts Fund, which it first announced back in mid-May. The $100 million fund will distribute payments to creators through 2021 and 2022, assuming they create short videos for the platform's TikTok alternative. Following the Shorts platform beta period, the Shorts Fund is now live for thousands of eligible creators.

With the Shorts Fund, some creators will get payments that range from $100/month to $10,000/month. The payment amounts will be based on things like engagement with the creator's short videos and their viewership numbers, though YouTube hasn't provided any hard figures or thresholds.

Creators must create original content for their YouTube Shorts, which means reposting previously made videos from, for example, TikTok won't make the creator eligible for the funds. The investment into its own short-form platform may help YouTube avoid the same pitfall as other TikTok competitors that have popped up, namely that they ended up full of reposted TikTok videos featuring the competitor's watermarks and brands.

The Shorts Fund is open to creators ages 13 and older for those in the US, though the minimum age requirement varies based on the user's region or country. Minors will require a guardian or parent to set up their AdSense account and link it to the YouTube channel.

Of note, YouTube doesn't require creators hoping to get a piece of the new fund to have monetized content on YouTube — though if you're in the Partner Program, you can also still participate in the Shorts Fund.

The first payments under the Shorts Fund will be sent to eligible creators this month, kicking off the start of the program. YouTube notes that eligibility for the bonus program refreshes monthly, meaning those who aren't eligible initially may qualify in a future month. With that said, the company also points out that bonuses aren't guaranteed; those who receive them will get a notification on YouTube and an email telling to claim their bonus around the middle of the month.