Which Social Media Platform Pays the Most? – A Brief Guide

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Jan 17, 2024

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Did you know Cristiano Ronaldo has the most followers on Instagram and makes $3.2 million per sponsored post on Instagram? Narrowing down to not-so-famous individuals, local influencers also make fortunes via social media platforms. 

But which social media platform pays the most? You might think it’s Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, but all these compete in the race. This article will provide you with the right answers. 

You can earn more on social media today than in many real-world jobs. Nearly five billion people use social media, offering a vast audience for your content. Whether it’s a unique video or a clever story, you can reach thousands of people with just one post.

However, choosing the platform that pays the most is important to maximize your earnings from exclusive content. Even a small difference in commission can significantly impact your social media income, whether passive or main source.

A woman filming her boyfriend's dance reel. 

Which Social Media Platform Pays the Most?

In the real world, pay rates in specific industries are often similar. For instance, a senior accountant at Firm A might earn $100,000 annually, similar to one at Firm B. The salary might be $110,000 at Firm C, but the gap is small.

However, pay rates can vary in the social media world. Initially, these differences seem small. But once you start earning for your original content across various platforms, you’ll see that some pay more than others.

So, let’s compare the highest-paying social media platforms. Understanding these differences lets you strategically choose where to post your content for maximum earnings.

A social media influencer selling clothes online.

Who Pays More – Youtube, Tiktok or Instagram?

Social media influencers always wonder, who pays more, YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram? It is not easy to name one because the competition is tough. 

The income potential on these platforms depends on factors like audience size, engagement, and the type of content. Influencers strategize and diversify their presence across multiple platforms to maximize their earnings. 

Let’s explore what YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram offer influencers looking to earn an income from creating content. 

Two girls are dancing for a YouTube Short. 


YouTube shines as a vibrant and popular social media platform. It offers a unique opportunity to share videos and YouTube Shorts to earn a living. You can call it a gateway to potentially lucrative earnings for creators. 

With over 2 billion active users, YouTube is the second-largest social media platform behind Facebook. Its reputation for high payout rates makes it an especially attractive option for content creators.

How does YouTube reward its creators? Through the YouTube Partner Program (YPP). It creates a world where views, engagement, and ad formats turn into real earnings. Imagine earning every time an ad plays before, during, or after your video—that’s the reality on YouTube. The payments depend on how often ads get views or clicks.

A mix of factors influences the journey to earning on YouTube. These include: 

  • The number of views and subscribers.
  • The type of content you create.
  • Where is your audience from?
  • How much do they engage?

The more viewers and engagement you have, the higher your potential earnings. The type of ads you choose, like skippable or non-skippable, also impacts your income. Even the location of your audience matters, as advertisers often pay a premium for specific regions or countries.

To increase your YouTube earnings, here are a few key practices you can adopt: 

  1. Pour your heart into creating content that truly resonates with your audience. 
  2. Spread the word about your videos across other social media platforms and websites to boost views and engagement. 
  3. Use keywords and tags to make your videos more discoverable on search engines. 
  4. Check your analytics regularly to enhance your content.

By following these tips and embracing the platform’s potential, creators can increase their earnings.


Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms where people can share videos and photos. Many people want to know which social media platform pays better. Unquestionably, Instagram is a strong contender. 

Kylie Jenner, one of the top earners on Instagram, makes about $1.2 M per post. But, the average pay-per-post can vary depending on how many followers someone has and how engaged their audience is.

Are you wondering how to make money on Instagram and how Instagram pays its creators? 

Well, creators get paid using sponsored posts, where companies pay them to promote services or products. Additionally, they can earn money using affiliate marketing. Instagram also provides options like badges and IGTV ads for monetization.

Earnings on IG depend on a few key factors. The follower count and engagement rate are crucial. 

The more followers and engagement, the more money a creator can make via sponsored posts and other ways to earn. The industry or niche a creator is in also matters because certain sectors pay more than others.

On Instagram, there are various kinds of sponsored posts, such as sponsored stories or sponsored giveaways. Brands and Influencers can also promote their products using IGTV and Instagram Live. 

For people looking to boost their earnings, it’s important to focus on scaling both followers and engagement. You should also create quality content and build a robust personal brand. 

Engaging with followers and working with other content creators can also increase earnings.

Remember, on Instagram, authenticity is crucial. Being genuine in content not only resonates with your audience but also helps you distinguish from your competitors.


If you want to make money on a social media platform, TikTok is your go-to platform. With its huge user base and captivating content, TikTok is a popular income source for creators worldwide.

But how do TikTok creators get paid? Unlike other social platforms, TikTok doesn’t offer a revenue-sharing program. 

Instead, content creators can make money using sponsored content, live streaming, and brand partnerships. Companies pay creators/influencers to promote services or products via sponsored posts.

In addition, content producers can also gather coins while live streaming, and these coins can be exchanged for actual cash.

Earnings on TikTok depend on engagement, followers, and content type. The algorithm favors engaging and shareable content, giving creators who make viral content the chance to make more.

TikTok has various sponsored posts, like hashtag challenges, branded effects, and in-feed ads. 

In-feed ads show up between usual content, and people can engage with them like any other video. In contrast, hashtag challenges prompt users to make content based on a theme, which often goes viral. 

Branded effects refer to augmented reality (AR) effects or personalized filters utilized by businesses for the purpose of promoting their products.

If you want to make more money on TikTok, here are some simple tips to follow. First, be consistent by posting regularly and interacting with your followers. 

Working with other content creators can help expand your reach and attract new followers. Lastly, create content that’s interesting, easy to share, and fits your brand and audience preferences.

You can boost your TikTok engagement if you start using trending hashtags and sounds in videos. This will provide better discoverability for users searching for those specific trends. 

Is It Easier To Make Money on TikTok or Instagram?

Instagram’s influencer market—worth a staggering $1.7 billionfaced a new challenger during lockdown restrictions: TikTok. This ‘new kid on the block’ quickly gained popularity, becoming the most downloaded app globally by June 2021. 

In terms of social media earnings between TikTok vs Instagram, the competition is fierce. What do you think—is it easier to make money on TikTok or Instagram? Well, both platforms have their unique requirements. Let’s dive into this to learn the details. 

Both TikTok and Instagram provide diverse earning opportunities for creators. The Creator Fund, brand partnerships, and live streams are key income sources on TikTok. On the other hand, Instagram offers earnings through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, and direct product sales on the platform.

So, who pays more? TikTok’s average earnings per post range from $0.01 to $0.02, while Instagram’s range from $0.10 to $0.20. However, TikTok’s relatively recent emergence means its earning potential could grow over time.

When weighing TikTok against Instagram for earnings, consider several factors. 

  • Your niche and audience size. 
  • A large TikTok following might mean more benefits from the Creator Fund.
  • A strong Instagram presence could make sponsored posts more lucrative.

The content type also matters. TikTok could be your ideal platform if short-form, entertaining videos are your forte. For more in-depth, educational content, Instagram might suit you better.

Remember, it’s not just about the platform; it’s about how you connect with your audience. Your unique voice and content style are what attract followers and potential earnings. Whether it’s TikTok’s dynamic, short-form videos or Instagram’s visually rich posts, your creativity is the key.

A girl is posing for her short video to post on TikTok. 

Is Instagram or TikTok Better for Marketing?

Marketers usually wonder, ” Is Instagram or TikTok Better for Marketing?” Each time, they get a different answer depending on different factors. Let’s discuss this while focusing on each platform’s audience, content type and format, and marketing opportunities.


TikTok and Instagram share similarities in their user base, with both platforms having a young, ready-to-buy audience. However, TikTok’s audience is predominantly under 35, with the majority of users being female.

TikTok users are responsive to advertising, especially for products aimed at younger demographics. Instagram’s audience includes Millennials and Gen Z, with a more even gender split. Instagram users are interested in slightly older millennial products and respond well to ads and influencer partnerships.

Content Formats 

Instagram offers a variety of content formats, including photos, short feed videos, Reels, Stories, live streaming, and IGTV. However, managing ads with these formats can be complex.

TikTok specializes in vertical videos up to 10 minutes long. It provides a simpler approach with a higher return on ad spend.

Content Types 

On Instagram, users often heavily edit their content. On the other hand, TikTok typically presents video content in a more raw and unfiltered form.

This difference makes Instagram ideal for carefully designed ads and TikTok better for influencer partnerships and native-looking ads.


Both platforms allow brand advertising, but TikTok ads, which look almost identical to organic posts, are very effective. Instagram Reel ads have outperformed TikTok in reach, cost-per-click (CPC), and cost-per-mille (CPM).

Organic Content

TikTok favors organic content targeting a young audience and rewards frequent content production. However, Instagram favors high-quality content with more engagement.

Influencer Partnerships 

Instagram suits polished marketing, and influencers make good money. Meanwhile, TikTok is ideal for more authentic, raw content and brand challenges.

Both platforms offer unique marketing opportunities. The choice depends on the type of content, target audience, and marketing strategy. Testing each platform is essential to determine which works best for a specific business.

A person is opening TikTok on their phone. 

Which Social Media Platform Pays Influencers the Most?

The answer varies when it comes to which social media platform pays influencers the most. 

A study by Epidemic Sound involving 1,500 monetizing creators reveals TikTok as the top income generator. YouTube follows closely, with 25.8% of creators finding it lucrative. Meanwhile, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram trail at 16.5%, 13.1%, and 7.1%, respectively. 

Despite Facebook and Instagram’s higher earnings, creators are making more on TikTok and YouTube.

For those looking to earn big, YouTube is the primary income source for creators making over $200,000 annually. Surprisingly, for creators earning below this threshold, TikTok takes the lead. Despite joining the monetization race later, the platform has significantly compensated for its late start.

This data paints a dynamic picture of social media earnings. It highlights TikTok’s rapid ascent in creator income, challenging the dominance of established platforms like YouTube and Instagram. 

A couple is dancing for a TikTok Live. 

Which Social Media Platform Pays the Most for Views?

Social media earnings have evolved beyond just counting views. Now, gifts, sponsorships, and subscription models play a role. This shift means there’s no clear-cut answer to Which Social Media Platform Pays the Most for Views. 

Let’s dive into the payment structures of four major platforms: TikTok. 

TikTok’s payment system is dynamic—relying on the TikTok Creator Fund—soon to become the TikTok Creativity Program. Currently, creators can earn between 2 and 4 cents per 1,000 views. Although lower than other platforms, TikTok’s focus on viral, bite-sized content offers unique earning opportunities.


YouTube offers monetization for established creators at about $0.018 per ad view. This rate translates to roughly $18 for every 1,000 ad views, averaging $3 to $5 per 1,000 video views.


Instagram doesn’t have a pay-per-view. Instead, creators can earn by enabling ads on their videos, receiving 55% of the ad revenue monthly.


Facebook’s payment for 1,000 views varies widely. Some creators report earning as little as $1, while others make up to $10.

From TikTok’s viral content to YouTube’s ad-based model, each offers unique paths to earnings. Understanding these differences is key for creators looking to maximize their social media income.

Social media influencers are promoting TikTok. 

Monetize Your Social Media Content With Path Social

Remember, to understand how to make money on social media, it’s important to understand how each forum works. Different platforms provide different options, as we have discussed in this guide. Whether YouTube, TikTok, or Instagram, all platforms demand you to invest your time and effort smartly for the best return. 

Use strategies like increasing your followers through Instagram bio instead of buying them and posting at the right time. This will help you gain more engagement and, in turn, maximize your monetization. 

Besides knowing which social media platform pays the most, monetization of social media content depends on the quality of the content. If you are searching for a helping hand to improve your Instagram game – Path Social is always ready to serve. Our advanced AI-targeting algorithm ensures your content stands out amongst the sea of posts.

The expertise of our team guarantees real, engaged followers to your page. Moreover, to enhance your Instagram sales, we offer innovative e-commerce apps. So, what are you waiting for? Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!