Instagram has been toying with new monetization features in recent weeks — the latest of which is expanded availability of its Badges product in Live streams.
Badges enable users to purchase heart icons next to their usernames during live streams, signifying financial support. Fans can purchase three different Badge tiers in increments of $1 (signified by one heart next to their usernames), $2 (two hearts), and $5 (three hearts). Badges also result in highlighted comments and questions during a Live, but these privileges expire at the conclusion of a stream.
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Now, all U.S. creators can apply for access to Live Badges within the app. In order to be eligible, creators must be at least 18 and reside in the U.S. Users must possess a Creator or Business account with 10,000 followers, and remain compliant with all Instagram policies. The Badges application lives in the Professional Dashboard. Once approved, creators will see a ‘Set Up Badges’ button.
Earlier this year, as part of its $1 billion commitment to getting creators paid through 2022, Mark Zuckerberg announced that Meta‘s family of apps would not be taking any cut of creator revenues — including fees on Badge purchases — until at least 2023. That said, the Apple and Google app stores take a 30% cut of all Badge purchases.
Other monetization features in the works at Instagram include one-time Surprise Bonuses for Reels creators, a reportedly-in-the-works subscriptions offering, and a merch sales special in collaboration with Spring.