Instagram’s new Creators subscription actually makes sense

Weirdly, we’re behind it.

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Feb 3, 2022

Instagram began testing a paid subscription feature with a select group of American creators in the last week of January, allowing users to pay for exclusive content on Instagram Live and Stories. Producers can pick from 8 different monthly price points for the test launch: $0.99, $1.99, $2.99, $4.99, $9.99, $19.99, $49.99, or $99.99.


Instagram will not be taking a portion of revenue until at least 2023, when parent firm Meta is slated to start collecting fees from Facebook and Instagram producers. Though Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg has previously stated that the revenue sharing proportion will be less than 30% by 2023 at the earliest, the company has not yet announced what that percentage will be.


Why now?

Creators will be able to broadcast live streams and share disappearing posts via Stories to their paying subscribers, as well as see badges next to their followers’ names to show which of them are paying subscribers.


Explaining this, Instagram’s Adam Mosseri shared:


“Creators do what they do to make a living, and it’s important that that is predictable. Subscriptions are one of the best ways to have a predictable income — a way that is not attached to how much reach you get on any given post, which is inevitably going to go up and down over time.”


Given that other platforms, such as Twitter, have launched features like Super Follows, which allows users to subscribe to Twitter users for exclusive content for $2.99, $4.99, or $9.99 per month, a subscription option on Instagram seems inevitable. Patreon, a membership site that allows creators to earn monthly revenue through subscriptions, has also championed the creator subscription model.


With the debut of Instagram Subscriptions last week, Instagram is providing creators 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 group of American producers.


What we know so far

Only 10 U.S. creators have access to the new feature at the moment, since Instagram considers it an “alpha” test designed to gather input from followers and creators, which it will subsequently iterate on.


Like we mentioned above, creators can set their own pricing for access to their exclusive content using the Subscriptions product. 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.


Users will be able to access earlier subscriber-only content, such as Stories saved as Highlights, once they have subscribed. They’ll get notified of exclusive broadcasts, where they’ll be able to interact more fully with the artists due to the smaller viewing audience. Creators can offer behind-the-scenes footage, exclusive polls, and more in subscriber-only Stories, which are signified by a purple ring. Subscriber badges, which will also be purple, will help fans stand out in public content comments and in authors’ message request folders in the inbox.


On his Facebook page, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg lauded the introduction, saying that Subscriptions will “enable creators to earn more by delivering advantages to their most engaged followers like access to unique Lives and Stories.”


In case you missed it, Instagram’s chronological feed will return in 2022.


Photo via Instagram