Today, we hear the word “creator” tossed around more than ever. But…what is a creator? What does a creator do? How are they different from influencers? We’re here to give you a quick rundown of it all.

What is a creator?

The term creator is thought to come from “content creator.” A creator is anyone that puts time and effort into creating online content for platforms such as YouTube, Twitch, Facebook and other various platforms. The term is typically associated with those who create video content. They put time and effort into coming up with ideas for content and in turn film, edit and publish these ideas to share with their audiences. Their content usually sticks with a particular niche or genre, which builds them a following.

The early days of the creator

The original idea of the creator came from the days of YouTube, although they weren’t referred to that early on. A multichannel network on YouTube known as Next New Networks is believed to be the first to use the term “content creators.” The phrase was used in reference to a group of up-and-coming YouTubers.

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From there, the phrase grew into what we know it as today. Although YouTube is the original star and platform for creators, other platforms continue to make their way into the limelight. In recent years, giant platforms such as YouTube and Facebook — and even more recently, TikTok — provide a home for creators beyond the YouTube format.

Is a creator different from an influencer?

Creator

Within the past couple of years, a new word has made its way to prominence in the world of social media — influencer. Is there a difference, though, between a creator and an influencer? This is a topic of debate for most. Many argue that the two are on in the same. While both creators and influencers garner a large online presence, there is a clear distinction between the two.

Put simply, creators spend their time creating, editing and publishing their content for their audiences. This is typically done on platforms such as YouTube, Twitch and Facebook. Influencers are more common on platforms such as Instagram, where marketing and advertising have a stronger presence. The influencer is focused on marketing and building a “brand” around themselves.

The pros and cons of being a creator

The pros

Being a creator has a good number of upsides. Most people become creators because they have a passion or interest they want to share with the world. There is nothing more rewarding than creating content around something you truly enjoy. Take Bernadette Banner, for example, who creates content around her interest in historical fashion. She garners tons of views on her videos, which range from how to create historical pieces to ranking films in their accuracy of historical fashion.

Another benefit is having the creative freedom to express yourself in any way that you see fit, and it can be a great creative outlet.

It takes time to reach the status of full-time creator. Regardless, if you are creating full-time or part-time, you are your own boss and you call the shots.

The cons

The biggest con of being a content creator, or starting on the path to becoming one, is the time commitment. Becoming a creator takes time. It takes time to build a significant following. It takes time to make any money doing it.

While being a creator can be creatively fulfilling, it is often difficult to make a consistent and steady income. Not to say that it isn’t possible, but it takes quite a bit of work and dedication to reach monetization on various platforms. On YouTube, you need at least 1,000 subscribers to be eligible for the YouTube Partner Program. Twitch has a couple of different options for its creators to make money as well.

The journey will not offer instant gratification but will take a lot of time, effort and commitment.

Where is the path of the creator headed?

Since the days of YouTube, the umbrella of the creator has expanded to cover and accommodate more territory. What was once the title for YouTubers is now a fitting title for those publishing on platforms like Facebook, Twitch and TikTok. The largest and most notable change within the last year or two is the emergence of TikTok.

TikTok has made resounding waves in the world of online video, and it’s clear that it is here to stay. Its short-form content appeals greatly to audiences across the world. People get bite-sized clips that serve a variety of needs. TikTok creators offer everything from entertainment to informational content on cooking and how to invest your money.

Long-form content on platforms such as YouTube still has a place online, but it’s evident that short, bite-sized content is what people enjoy these days.

Heading into the future, it’s clear that the need for creators isn’t going anywhere. More and more people tune in to watch content online, leaving traditional TV behind.