Snapchat announced its first accelerator program for emerging Black creators, which will pay 25 selected applicants $10,000 a month to help launch their careers.
TechCrunch reports the program is part of Snapchat’s 523 initiative, which supports underrepresented creators. Snapchat is also partnering with Google Pixel, UNCMMN and Will Smith’s Westbrook Media for the initiative.
“Black creators face unique systemic barriers across the creator industry — from disparities in compensation and attribution to toxic experiences and more,” Snapchat wrote in a release according to TechCrunch. “We believe one of the ways we can help remove some of those barriers is to provide mentorship and financial resources to emerging Black creators in the early stages of their professional career.”
The program will be beneficial to Snapchat, which will make sure the 25 emerging creators get the funding and support they need to become successful, but will focus on creators’ efforts on Snapchat before Tik Tok, Twitter and other social media sites.
Snapchat’s announcement comes at a time when Black creators are finally starting to get their due. Charli D’Amelio’s multi-year reign as the most followed TikToker ended this week as Senegalese-born Khaby Lame took the throne with 142.7 million followers, compared to D’Amelio’s 142.3 million. Additionally, Black creatives are living and working together in Atlanta and California to create content and gain more followers.
However, OkayPlayer noted earlier this year that Black creatives were noticeably missing from Forbes‘ top-earning influencer list.
“The launch of this accelerator program is part of our broader, ongoing efforts to ensure that content on our platform reflects the diversity of Snapchatters and their interests,” Snapchat added.
Snapchat is one of the latest social media sites to launch programs for underrepresented groups, committing money and other resources while recognizing the barriers Black and minority groups might face in their work. In January, YouTube announced its grantees for its #YouTubeBlack Voices Fund — a 2020 pledge to spend $100 million to “amplify” Black creators through 2023.