Instagram Creators Have A New Way Of Making Money On The Platform

Instagram launched a pilot test of creator subscriptions in the United States

Instagram Creators Have A New Way Of Making Money On The Platform
Photo by Arielle Pardes on WIRED

With the launch of Instagram Subscriptions today, Instagram is providing creators with more options to make money. The feature, which was first seen on the App Store in November, is now officially in early testing with a small number of American producers who will be able to charge their followers for exclusive Instagram Live broadcasts and Stories. Subscribers will also get a special badge to help them stand out in the comments area and in the inboxes of the creators. Only ten creators are said to be part of the early test, including a basketball player, an olympian, an astrologer, and others. Users will be able to pay a monthly subscription to have access to subscriber-only content from the creators they follow on Instagram. Exclusive Lives and Stories from their favourite creators will be included in this "exclusive" content. Subscribers will receive a purple badge next to their username, indicating that they are a subscriber to the creator. Depending on how much a creator believes their content is worth, there are eight price tiers to choose from, ranging from $0.99 per month to $99.99 per month. Fans can pay a subscription to their favourite creators' material through the traditional in-app purchases on iOS and Android. For the time being, Instagram does not take a portion of the creators' earnings.

Instagram Co-head of Product, Ashley Yuki, said, “We are the same as all of Meta. We’re not taking any revenue share until at least 2023. Our main goal here is that we help creators make a living…We’re trying to think of all the ways that we can build monetization products where that’s possible.”

Adam Mosseri, Instagram CEO, stated that these subscriptions are ‘one of the finest ways’ for influencers to be able to make a consistent income from Instagram. According to an article in The Verge, several influencers are already charging followers to be joined to their "Close Friends" list "to receive exclusive stories that aren't available to all of their followers. Instagram isn't the first app to implement a system like this. Instagram's rival, ByteDance's TikTok, launched a similar tool in 2021, while Twitter unveiled a Super Follows feature last year that allows writers to provide additional subscription content on Patreon or Substack.