In November last year, Instagram was spotted working on a new paid Subscriptions feature. The feature is now rolling out to “a handful of creators” in the US as part of an early testing program. The company plans to expand the availability to more creators over the next few months if everything goes smooth.
Subscriptions on Instagram will work similarly to Super Follows on Twitter. Creators will be able to charge their fans for exclusive content. This could be anything from subscriber-only live broadcasts to exclusive stories, which are indicated with a purple ring. Additionally, subscribers will get a special purple badge that will distinguish them from other followers in comments and messages. This will allow creators to identify their subscribers.
As for pricing, Instagram is offering creators a choice between eight different price tiers, ranging from $0.99 to $99.99 per month. This will enable them to set a monthly price that they feel is appropriate for their content. Users will be able to subscribe to their favorite creators via a “subscribe” button on their profile. They can complete the payment through in-app purchases on both Android and iOS apps.
Instagram currently doesn’t plan to take any commission from creators’ Subscription revenues, 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,” the company’s co-head of Product Ashley Yuki told TechCrunch.
Instagram will add more tools to Subscriptions in the future
In its current form, Instagram Subscriptions don’t offer any analytics dashboard to creators. The company also doesn’t allow creators to export subscriber lists or any similar data. However, they can see their total subscribers, new subscriptions, cancellations, and total earnings from their Subscriptions Settings.
Going forward, Instagram plans to introduce more tools to Subscriptions. It also wants to facilitate better off-platform connections between creators and their fans.
Instagram also confirmed that it hasn’t put in place any technology that will prevent users from screenshotting or recording the exclusive, subscriber-only content. But the company could change things down the line following feedback from creators and fans during this testing phase.
As part of this early testing program, Instagram Subscriptions is available to ten US-based creators, including Olympian Jordan Chiles, basketball player Sedona Prince, and social media influencer Alan Chikin Chow. We will keep a close eye on this development and will let you know when the feature rolls out widely.