Creators criticize Instagram over its downgraded payment rate for content makers of short videos also known as "Reels" as the platform is struggling to compete with TikTok, the Financial Times (FT) has learned, citing several creators.

According to the report, payments for Reels — which is only available to some users in the US — have been down for the past several weeks by 70% per view.

At the same time, one creator who could be paid a maximum of $35,000 told FT their target for views was increased unilaterally from 58 million to 359 million. It is yet to be known why Instagram revised payouts as no official statement on the matter was made so far.

Here's how Ed East, CEO of creative agency Billion Dollar Boy, reacted to the changes:

Creators have had mixed experiences with these programmes, and there’s uncertainty around potential earnings due to a lack of transparency and information regarding payout calculations.

Creators interviewed by FT added they had seen engagement data on Reels drop on Instagram in the past month. In the meantime, the algorithm was favoring Carousels, a series of still images in one post, FT notes.

A Meta spokesperson said the company is currently "testing Reels Play on Instagram and Facebook," which means bonus payouts "may fluctuate" as Meta refines its pricing model.

Read also: Influencers disappointed with TikTok Creator Fund