Content creators have been complaining about the lack of (financial) appreciation for their content on Instagram for some time now. For this reason, the platform is now planning a paid subscription function for influencers to provide them with a stable income.
Instagram’s subscription background
According to Statista, 1,000 million users are active on Instagram every month. This means that around 500 million Stories are posted every day – a lot of content. Until now, the network has been so popular primarily because it was completely free of charge. Now, however, certain content is being put behind a pay wall in a test phase that has so far been limited to the American region.
Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri calls the innovation an important step for all content creators on the platform. Only paid subscriptions can guarantee them a reliable income for their work. He explains this via Twitter in a video.
It’s clear that Instagram needs to do more to keep influencers on the platform. Competition for the most creative social media content is fierce, and platforms like Twitch have been enticing creators with pay models for some time.
What features do Instagram subscriptions offer?
So far, the paid version of the platform offers three features:
- Subscribers Live: Influencers can host Lives exclusively for followers with subscriptions
- Subsribers Stories: Paying followers get exclusive access to stories
- Subscribers Badge: A purple ring identifies subscription profiles
What costs do users expect?
The differences between the individual subscription costs are huge. Influencers can choose from eight different pricing models. Subscriptions start at a minimum of $0.99 per month and go up to a maximum of $99.99 per month.
What’s in it for Instagram?
Of course, the introduction of subscriptions is not entirely altruistic. On the one hand, Instagram is tapping into a new source of income. After 2023, influencers will have to give up around 30 % of their income made through subscriptions to Instagram. On the other hand, the use of subscription lists should enable better integration of followers into other platforms. For example, nothing stands in the way of networking with Mark Zuckerberg’s “Metaverse”. Last but not least, Instagram shows its appreciation for content creators. The company hopes that they will not switch to the competition with their content.
Whether users will really be willing to pay for content on the social media network Instagram remains to be seen. It is also uncertain when exactly subscription models will spill over into Europe.