Instagram posts and Reels can now be paywalled

We saw this one coming.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Aug 14, 2022

Instagram’s becoming more and more oriented towards businesses, profits, and ads. Though it was always a way that creatives made financial profits, in the past, this used to be more subtle. Influencers would build a following, and share content for free, then collaborate with brands or sell products. But it was never as transactional as it is rapidly becoming.


A new monetization option is in the works for Instagram Creators. Meta’s main (and possibly most profitable) social media platform is potentially expanding its creator subscription program and adding a paywall for some creators’ content. It is quite strange that Instagram’s content will potentially feel like OnlyFans, where users will be prompted to pay a certain fee in order to enjoy the content.


Even though this may sound like an odd shift for some, it seems that users and creators who use Instagram as a platform have wanted this for a while now. The subscriber posts feature was introduced as one of several updates listed in a tweet from Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri, and will most likely fill a gap when it comes to the revenues of certain creators.


What will be offered

Chats, Posts, Reels, and Home are only a few of the features mentioned in Mosseri’s tweet. The Home feature is a custom landing page created specifically for content subscribers, although the other features are fairly self-explanatory. Instagram is creating features that closely resemble features found on YouTube, Twitch, Patreon, and other live-streaming platforms that offer subscriptions. All subscriber-only content will be accessible on a different homepage from the creator’s feed that subscribers can access.


How it’ll work

Followers subscribe using a button on their profile after creators establish a monthly subscription price of up to $100 USD. Posts in the feed will have a purple badge indicating that only subscribers may see them in the corner. For the chat feature, the creators can set up subscriber groups of up to 30 that will end after 24 hours automatically.


This new subscription feature will be beneficial both to current users as well as people who will join the platform at some point in the future. Some users’ accounts already have a big following and an audience that would be swayed to subscribe to these kinds of services, while other users are still debating whether the platform is worth it from the perspective of a creator.


In case you missed it, Instagram is testing a full-screen main feed and IG is allowing businesses to turn Reels into ads.


Photo via Meta