Instagram today announced it will begin testing subscriptions in the US with only a limited number of creators having access to the feature for now. “With Instagram Subscriptions, creators can develop deeper connections with their most engaged followers and grow their recurring monthly income by giving subscribers access to exclusive content and benefits, all within the same platform where they interact with them already,” the company wrote in a blog post.
Creators will have access to a new “subscribe” button which is added to their profile. Subscribers will get exclusive access to Lives and Stories from their favourite creators, and the creators will be able to identify them through a purple badge added to their usernames. Instagram says creators will be able to set monthly subscription fees of their choice but TechCrunch understands pricing will range from $0.99 to $99.99.
While talking more about the feature, Co-Head of Product, Ashley Yuki told TechCrunch Instagram will not be taking any percentage of the earnings from creators “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,” he added.
Facebook launched its own subscription service in 2020, it’s really no surprise to see the same feature coming to Instagram. Speaking on the launch of subscriptions on Instagram, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg wrote in a Facebook post he’s “excited to keep building tools for creators to make a living doing creative work and to put these tools in more creators’ hands soon.” In a video shared on Twitter today, Instagram head Adam Mosseri said “over time, we hope to expand these features because it’s important that subscriptions are integrated throughout the entire Instagram experience.”
The timing of Instagram subscriptions seems right as the competition from TikTok continues to grow with the ByteDance-owned app commanding a large following from Gen Z. Twitter also launched its own Super Follows service for creators in 2021.