Tipping a TikToker? Etiquette expert on TikTok’s $11 million ‘tip jar’

There’s yet another person who may expect a tip from you this holiday season: your favorite TikToker.

Even as tipping fatigue has turned many people off from giving a gratuity, especially as more places prompt you for one, it turns out that tipping on TikTok has gone up significantly.

In fact, “Consumers are spending over $11 million per day tipping their favorite content creators,” said Lexi Sydow, head of insights at, in a statement about her company’s TikTok consumer report. “TikTok is poised to become the highest earning mobile app ever — approaching the $15 billion milestone in 2024,” she added about TikTok’s entire consumer business.

Regarding that $11 million, told MarketWatch that’s the amount of daily TikTok revenue generated from TikTok’s in-app coins currency, which is then used for both tipping and gift giving within the app. Gifting mainly occurs when TikTokers are on a Live video, and users can send in virtual gifts like roses and hearts that are purchased with coins.

TikTok reached that $11 million milestone as its daily average in 2023, up 22% from $9 million in 2022, according to, an analytics and consumer insights brand that delivers insights to businesses.

TikTok first started testing its tipping feature for a select number of users in 2021. It allows creators who are approved for tipping accounts to receive tips from people who want to support their content. To be eligible to receive tips, a user needs to be over 17 years old, have at least 100,000 followers and be located in the U.S., Great Britain, France, Germany, Italy or Spain.

The “Tips” icon appears on a person’s TikTok profile page, and gives people the option to tip $5, $10, $15 or a custom amount, as well as to see what amounts other people tipped. TikTok’s website says the creator receives all of the tip, minus the payment provider (Stripe) transaction fees, which varies by location, according to the company’s terms of service.

Tipping on TikTok is just one of many potential revenue streams for TikTokers. Creators can also make money through separate brand deals, as well as the TikTok creator fund, which pays approved creators based on the number of views from their posts. 

TikTok did not respond to MarketWatch’s request for comment on this story.

So should you tip your favorite TikToker? And how much should you tip?

“It’s still a new phenomenon,” etiquette expert Diane Gottsman told MarketWatch, noting that deciding to tip your favorite creator is “discretionary and subjective,” as opposed to giving a gratuity to waitstaff or cab drivers, which is expected. For more advice on when and how much to tip, MarketWatch has compiled a modern-day tipping guide, outlining how much it’s recommended to tip delivery drivers, bartenders, coffee shop baristas and barbers, among many others.

“If you are enjoying their content, if you want to send them some love by supporting their platform, by all means — but it is not obligatory,” Gottsman said. “Everybody has choices, we shouldn’t be shamed for or against it.” 

Paying special attention to smaller creators could be a route some people explore, too. It’s similar to how some people may be more willing to tip their local mom-and-pop coffee shop over a large chain. “There is no one-size-fits-all in terms of who you want to support,” she said.

Gottsman stresses that people should in no way feel pressure to tip creators, unlike other services like waiters or delivery drivers, who rely on tips due to their typically lower wages.

You won’t find content creator tip advice in many tipping guides on the internet, so it’s up to the individual how much, if any, they’d like to give.

“I do like the reference to what you’d leave in a tip jar,” Gottsman said while not wanting to give an exact dollar amount. “Anything from extra change to five dollars.”

Read on: Here’s how much to tip everyone — and a list of people you should never tip

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