Skip to main content

Instagram tests subscriptions for creators to turn content into cash

Would you be willing to pay a regular fee to for exclusive content from your favorite folk on Instagram?

Instagram chief Adam Mosseri thinks you will, so the company has this week begun testing subscriptions.

He explained the new system in a post on Twitter.

🎉 Subscriptions 🎉

Subscriptions allow creators to monetize and become closer to their followers through exclusive experiences:
– Subscriber Lives
– Subscriber Stories
– Subscriber Badges

We hope to add more creators to this test in the coming months. More to come. ✌🏼

— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) January 19, 2022

The move is certain to be welcomed by popular creators on the platform looking for new ways to monetize their output.

The trial phase involves a few creators in the U.S., but we can expect it to expand to more creators in multiple countries before too long.

Subscriptions for Instagram lets creators post exclusive Stories and Lives that could include content such as behind-the-scenes material or more personal messages.

Creators will see a purple badge beside the name of anyone who has subscribed to their content, which could help them to prioritize replies to comments and direct messages.

Mosseri also said Instagram believes “creators should own their relationship with their subscribers.” To that end, it’s working on ways that creators can “take their subscriber list and bring them off of Instagram to other apps and websites built by other companies.”

Creators can set their own subscription rates and Instagram doesn’t take a cut, though this arrangement could obviously change once the feature is rolled out more widely.

At the same time that Mosseri’s post dropped, Mark Zuckerberg — CEO of Instagram’s parent company, Meta — posted a message saying the new feature “will help creators earn more by offering benefits to their most engaged followers like access to exclusive Lives and Stories.” Zuckerberg added: “I’m excited to keep building tools for creators to make a living doing creative work and to put these tools in more creators’ hands soon.”

Instagram has been busy lately, rolling out a slew of new features that include the relaunch of the chronological feed that it ditched in 2016. It’s also exploring the idea of giving you more control over your profile grid to let you display images and videos in any order you like.

Editors' Recommendations

Trevor Mogg
Contributing Editor
Not so many moons ago, Trevor moved from one tea-loving island nation that drives on the left (Britain) to another (Japan)…
Instagram is preparing its own subscription service
Instagram logo

Instagram seems to be going along the path of Twitter and launching a new subscription service if new listings spotted in the App Store and Play Store are to be taken as indicative. The company had previously stated that it was interested in dabbling in subscriptions, but this would be the first time concrete evidence of such a move has been seen.

Spotted by app store analysts Sensor Tower and AppTopia (via TechCrunch), Facebook has added new "Instagram subscriptions" under in-app purchases. These prices range from $1 to $5.  There's no clarity on what Instagram subscriptions would imply. Perhaps it would be something like paying creators directly for exclusive content on a month-to-month basis. Rather than creators showing off links to their content on Patreon or elsewhere, the company would enable them to mark certain images for subscribers only and then take a cut of the subscription fee. Instagram has yet to announce any such subscription at the moment.

Read more
Instagram is testing a notification system for ‘confusing’ outages
Instagram logo

A week after one of the worst outages in its history, Instagram has revealed it’s testing a notification system to let people know when technical issues are impacting the service.

You might believe that you won’t need to be informed when Instagram goes down, as you’ll already be mopping beads of sweat from your brow or swearing at your phone as you come to realize the alarming situation that's playing out.

Read more
TikTok creators say they’re not switching to Instagram Reels, survey finds
best tiktok alternatives instragram reels

One week after its launch, Instagram Reels is already facing uncertainty among the crowd it is attempting to win over, as some TikTok creators say they aren't planning to make the jump to the platform anytime soon.

According to a survey of influencers conducted by marketing agency Fanbytes, 75% of TikTok creators polled said they would not move their content to Instagram Reels, saying that Reels is essentially a clone of TikTok. Digital Trends spoke with half a dozen creators last week and received similar feedback. Creators said TikTok has preferable algorithms, as well as the coveted "For You" page, where content has the ability to grab more eyes, go viral, and grow audiences exponentially.

Read more