Instagram testing paid subscriptions

February 2, 2022
 Alexandra Paton
Written by
Alexandra Paton
Director
Instagram testing paid subscriptions

The latest shakeup to the ever-changing digital world was announced earlier this month with Instagram now testing subscriptions, helping creators earn recurring monthly incomes through Instagram.

In July 2021, Meta announced its plans and desire to invest more than $1 billion in programs that will give creators new ways to earn money for the content they create on Facebook and Instagram.

Instagram believes in enabling creators to make a living through the meta platforms and have built a range of tools to allow them to do just that. Subscribers will need to a pay a monthly fee ranging from $0.99 to $99.99 per month to access subscriber-only content from creators to see exclusive Lives and Stories. Subscribers will also receive a purple badge by their username that signals their status to the creator. 

The photo sharing app is intending to grow and develop to a general entertainment app driven by algorithms and videos. Head of Instagram, Adam Mosseri expressed in a video that subscriptions are “one of the best ways” for influencers and creators to have a predictable income.

CEO of Meta, Mark Zuckerberg announced in a Facebook post that he is “excited to keep building tools for creators to make a living doing creative work and to put these tools in more creators’ hands soon,”

The benefits of subscription-based content are undeniable and apparent for those relying on the format for income.  Influencers are heavy on product, trips, events – but in having all this, remain light on cash.  However, the concern is that while Instagram states this format is being delivered for content creators to have a greater understanding and connection to their followers, this could shift consumers to a new platform to connect with creators.

While this new feature is only available to a limited number of U.S. creators during the initial testing period, they have plans to expand access to more creators over the next few months. If you want to see Subscriptions inaction, you can follow and subscribe to the below creators:

@elliottnorris

@sedona

@alizakelly

@kelseylynncook

@alanchikinchow

@jordanchiles

@jackjerry

@bunnymichael

@donalleniii

@lonnieiiv

The power of community on Instagram can now be monetised. But does this benefit brands and advertisers? There will be pros and cons of course, but we see this sitting more on the pros side. While it might feel that audience will be reduced the probability is that they will be better. Quality over quantity.

A paying audience is an engaged audience. Subscribers will be the most dedicated fans of influencer pages, so by default we expect their associations and aspirations to be very aligned. This is a positive step for brands who are searching for real engagement and true synergy with their products and influencer audiences. Brands will have a much clearer understanding of who an influencer’s following is, what their passions are and of course how engaged they are.

We believe this step not only benefits the influencers who are able to monetise good content, but the audiences who will get more of the things they want to see and less of what they don’t and of course the brands who get another layer of transparency and targeting capabilities.