Instagram is years behind platforms like YouTube, Twitch, and even its sibling Facebook when it comes to adding creator subscriptions.
But after it began alpha testing creator subs with a small group of users this past January, it’s determined they’re a major part of its plans to “be the best place online for creators to make a living,” company head Adam Mosseri said in a video posted this morning.
“A really important thing to creators everywhere is sustainable income, because at the end of the day, if you’re a creator, you’re a business,” Mosseri said. “A great way to establish some sustainable and predictable income is through subscriptions.”
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Mosseri said that over the past few months, Instagram has expanded its subscriptions test to “tens of thousands of creators here in the U.S.” All those creators can choose to charge subscribers anywhere between $0.99 and $99.99 per month, and Instagram’s parent company, Meta, has pledged that it won’t start taking a cut of those fees until 2024.
When the test first launched, the feature offered a “relatively limited” number of perks for creators to give their subscribers, Mosseri admitted. There were only three: profile badges that show when an account is supporting a creator, subscriber-only Stories, and subscriber-only livestreams.
Now, based on creator feedback, Instagram’s adding four more features: subscriber-only chats, subscriber-only posts, subscriber-only Reels, and a new Subscriptions tab that collects all of a creator’s subscriber-only content in one place.
📣 Subscriptions Update 📣
Subscriptions are a great way for creators to have a predictable income & for fans to get exclusive content from creators that they love.
This update includes:
– Subscriber Chats
– Subscriber Reels
– Subscriber Posts
– Subscriber Home pic.twitter.com/5PzDTcwn8d
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) July 14, 2022
Subscriber-only posts and Reels are pretty self-explanatory, but as for subscriber-only chats, Instagram says creators will be able to start private group chats for up to 30 subscribers that’ll let them “connect with subscribers in the moment and discuss things you’re passionate about, share your best life hacks or simply bring your subscribers together.”
Subscriber-only chats use Facebook’s Messenger system, and automatically end after 24 hours “so you can maintain balance and decide when and how you engage with your subscribers,” Instagram says.
“This is just one step on a much longer path to provide creators everywhere with a whole range of tools to be able to make a living online, but we’re really excited about this one,” Mosseri said.
Meta announced plans last summer to pay creators across Instagram and Facebook $1 billion total by the end of 2022.