Instagram is one of the top social media platforms in the world. With an active user base of over 1.38 billion people, it has become an integral part of people’s life. Now, the platform has brought the subscription feature to the app in order to monetize its service.
In early 2021, Instagram released a statement where it said that the platform is currently exploring the idea of a creator subscription. They have been working on developing a feature that will create exclusive Stories visible only to subscriptions. Earlier this year, they launched creator subscriptions into testing. In-app purchase options were added to the app in the US.
Alessandro Paluzzi, the reverse engineer and tipster, released a bunch of tweets informing the public that Instagram is testing the subscribe button, which will appear on the profile of a creator. Fans will be able to subscribe and access exclusive content like live videos and stories. Whenever the subscribers send a direct message to the creator or make a comment on their posts, a special member badge will appear next to their username. Through this badge, the creator will know to make interactions with the subscriber a priority.
All the creators with the subscription service will be able to monitor their active members, expired membership, and approximate earnings. Instagram will also allow the creators to customize the price and subscription name. Fans can cancel their subscription anytime they want.
How would this work?
Fans who want access to the creator’s exclusive content will have to pay a subscription fee every month. This exclusive content will include Stories and Live videos. Once they have subscribed to the creator, they will receive a purple badge which will appear next to their username. Through this badge, they will be able to stand out from the non-subscribers on the list.
For now, the subscription fee will vary from $0.99 to $0.99 per month, depending on the creator. Every creator will be able to set the subscription fee for their content.
Currently, Instagram is also working on testing Stories redesign where they could be scrolled vertically in the app.
What does the Instagram subscription offer?
On Jan 19, Subscriptions were introduced by Instagram. While Instagram tests subscription service, a few selected content creators can create exclusive content and enable access to it through a monthly subscription fee to their fans. According to Instagram, there will be three forms of content that subscribers will be able to get through Subscriptions:
- Subscriber Badges – Every subscriber will get a badge. This badge will appear next to their messages and comments so that they can be identified easily by the creator.
- Subscriber Stories – All the content creators will be able to produce exclusive stories for all their subscribers. They will also be able to add interactive stickers to their stories.
- Subscriber Lives – Creators will be able to host exclusive lives, just for their subscribers.
Furthermore, Instagram has also stated that no fees will be collected from the creators until 2023. After that, the image and video sharing platform might introduce a revenue share. According to Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg, this revenue share is expected to be less than what Apple and others take, which is usually 30%. A similar payment structure was introduced for Facebook subscriptions as well.
Who has been included in the Subscription testing?
Only a small number of influencers and creators in the US have been involved with the Subscription feature testing. After some time, more creators will be added to the testing. Currently, the list includes ten creators, influencers, celebrities, and athletes on Instagram. Here is the list of creators who currently have the subscription option:
Any Instagram user can subscribe to these creators and can cancel their subscriptions at any moment.
What is the Instagram creator account?
In late 2019, the creator account was introduced on Instagram. This was offered as an alternative to the traditional business account. It is tailored more towards the users who want to promote content to the targeted market, work with brands, and build their own community. Any user can easily switch to a creator account from their basic account. However, if they want to introduce monetization, there are certain restrictions that they should know. In order to be allowed to monetize the content, a content creator must have an established presence, promote authentic engagement, and reside in an eligible country. All these factors come into play for monetization.
Since Instagram is still testing the Subscriptions feature, there is not any information on the requirements a creator must have to implement it on their account. Currently, the creators who have been selected for the Subscriptions feature testing had a follower count between 63,600 and 570,000.
Needless to say, subscription offers content creators more control over their viewers and their relationship with them. The challenge creators will be facing is balancing acquisition and retention strategies while determining what to use as subscriber-only content and how to engage their new viewers.
Why is Instagram launching the new Subscription feature?
According to Meta, the owner of Instagram, the main reason behind this move is to ensure that creators are able to earn a stable income on Instagram. In its blog, Instagram stated that Instagram Subscriptions would allow creators to create a deeper connection with followers who are most engaged. At the same time, they will be able to earn a recurring monthly income by providing their subscribers with exclusive content.
This new feature will help content creators earn more by providing benefits to their engaged followers in the form of exclusive Stories and Live videos. In a Facebook post, Mark Zuckerberg, Meta-owner and CEO, said that he is excited to build tools for the content creators that help them make a living doing their work and he will be putting these tools soon in more creators’ hands.
According to Instagram, they have been working on the Subscriptions feature for some time now in order to help influencers earn money right on the platform. This will ensure that they are able to make a living through content creation. Before this, the app indicated that it might expand creator tools through subscriptions and NFTs.
How have the creators responded to the Subscription Service?
The Instagram community had mixed feedback on Instagram’s Subscriptions. After the CEO of Instagram Adam Mosseri announced the introduction of the feature, there were thousands of comments on the post from a wide range of content creators and users who had thoughts on the topic. Content creators, especially the ones who had a sizable following and were verified, were enthusiastic and accepting of the feature.
Thanks to the increasing popularity of subscription-based platforms like OnlyFans and Patreon, social media giants have had to look for ways to monetize their content. In 2020, Facebook introduced fan Subscriptions, its very own Subscription feature. Twitter has also released several monetization features that include its subscription service, which was introduced the previous year. Instagram is the latest social media giant to join the ranks.
Like TikTok and now Instagram, through these Subscriptions, content creators are able to collect income from Subscriptions every month. More and more people have shown interest in supporting their favorite creators. This is why the platform introduced fan Subscriptions and Stars and offered them to its creators.
Over the last two few years, the interest in subscription-based services has grown considerably. Platforms understand that it is creators who drive the traffic. As per a survey conducted by Facebook IQ, about 60% of users view content posted by an influencer on Instagram.
The subscription service is a win-win situation for the creators and the social media platforms. It gives the content creators an incentive to post more content and attract more users to the platform. After all, creators create content in order to make a living. A subscription service is the best way to ensure that they have a stable income.
Twitter introduced the ‘Super Follows’ feature through which their users could charge their followers for exclusive content. Through this, they plan on creating an extra conversation level on the platform where the creators could authentically interact with their engaging followers while earning income. However, this feature is only available for people in the US and Canada who are using iOS devices.
Today, social media platforms are focusing on expanding the economy of their creators. The Subscription feature of Instagram will be a gamechanger for creators who have a local following. Even though it is still in infancy mode, it will enable creators to earn a sustainable income right on the platform and won’t have to use another monetization platform. Now is the perfect time to increase your reach on Instagram and take advantage of all the features it has to offer. You can use Mr. Insta service to get free Instagram followers, free Instagram likes, and more. If you have a budget, you can also opt for premium services and buy Instagram followers. You can also buy Instagram views, buy Instagram impressions, and buy IGTV views through Mr. Insta.