Messaging app Snapchat is giving TikTok a run for its money as it offers its users a share of £750,000 in prize money in its new Spotlight feature. The prize money will be given to videos that get the most views in a 24-hour time frame. In a bid to compete with TikTok on viral video production, the new feature will run until the end of the year but if proven to be a success, it could continue into 2021.

The US based company, Snap Inc., said that they are lowering their threshold to enable people to fully monetise their videos. This feature was previously a luxury only afforded to influencers who have millions of followers. With the new Spotlight feature, it will use an algorithm that recommends the "most engaging posts" based on what a user is interested in and will include people with "private, personal accounts as well as its most popular stars."

According to the BBC, Snapchat has not yet clarified how many people will split the £ 750,000 prize money and how much is the maximum individual payout. All videos need to be submitted to be eligible for the payout and users have to be 16 and over to get paid. A host of rules on copyright, sponsorship, drugs and alcohol shall be implemented as well. The company emphasised its full moderation of the feed for violators and anyone who will attempt to cheat the algorithm.

"We actively monitor for fraud to ensure that we only account for authentic engagement with Snaps," the company warned.

While the payment system reflects the competitive market for the latest viral videos, Snapchat admitted that Spotlight was "inspired by other platforms." including TikToK.

By distributing cash prizes per day to worthy video creatives who make entertaining Snaps on Spotlight, the company said this is their way to make the app more fair and fun without having to prioritise celebrities or public figures. Spotlight allows its users to post a public Snap, and enables other users to see and share the Spotlight Snap while still keeping profiles private.

Although TikTok has recently emerged as a favourite platform for original viral content, Snapchat announced that its daily user numbers had surged close to 250 million during the pandemic.

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