Instagram has come a long way since the days of it simply allowing you to add fun, retro filters – only in square format. And this week, it’s about to change even more, with the platform testing out paid subscriptions for some creator content.
In a blog post this week, Instagram wrote that it was excited to announce its newest monetisation feature, Instagram Subscriptions. “With Instagram Subscriptions, creators can develop deeper connections with their most engaged followers and grow their recurring monthly income by giving subscribers access to exclusive content and benefits, all within the same platform where they interact with them already,” it wrote.
The service, which it’s testing with a handful of creators in the US this week and more in the coming weeks, works similarly to OnlyFans and Facebook Subscriptions, in that it lets creators set a monthly price of their choice. Once set up, creators will have a ‘subscribe’ button on their profile and have the opportunity to share with their subscribers special Instagram Lives and Stories. Subscribers will have a badge next to their handles so creators will be able to easily identify them.
Earlier this year, Meta, the company that owns Instagram, shared that it wouldn’t be collecting any fees from creators on Facebook Subscriptions until 2023 at the earliest – and now it’s said the same would be the case for Instagram Subscriptions.
“Additionally, we believe that creators should know their audience and have more control over their business,” reads a release by Meta. “We hope to build the tools to allow them to also directly connect with their audience off platform in the future.”
So, what do creators think about it? Would they use it?
Australian influencer @worthlesstwink is a fan, explaining that most people don’t realise creating good content is a time-consuming, full-time job, and that creators need a way to support themselves financially.
“It’s great to see Instagram supporting their creator base with these new features as it reduces the need for us to sell ad space on our pages,” he says. “The creators win by getting more creative freedom, Instagram wins with better content on their platform, and the following win by not being saturated with ads.”
Meanwhile, another Australian influencer @alishabhojwani_ is curious about how Meta will roll out the new service, as well as the expectations from creators around subscription-based content versus general paid partnerships.
“As long as creators are able to share what they love and continue building authentic connections with their audience then I think this is a great step for the creative industry,” she says.
One US creator trialling the service, @bunnymichael, says in the official release having subscriptions makes building a more intimate relationship with his followers and fans possible. “I am so excited to nurture those connections and make a lasting impact that will help keep my work sustainable,” he says.
If you’re keen to check out the subscription service, it’s currently being trialled on creators @alanchikinchow, @sedona._, @alizakelly, @kelseylynncook, @elliottnorris, @jordanchiles, @jackjerry, @bunnymichael, @donalleniii and @lonnieiiv.