Instagram’s looking to lure more creators, with an expansion of its Creator Subscription program, which will now see creators in ten more regions able to offer exclusive content to paying subscribers in the app.
Originally launched in the U.S. with selected creators last January, Creator Subscriptions enables creators to charge a variable monthly amount (between $0.99 and $9.99) in order to give fans access to exclusive content.
Creators can then provide a range of subscriber-only options including:
Subscriber Posts, Stories, Reels, and Lives: You can create reels, posts, and stories just for your subscribers. Share exclusive content, use interactive story stickers or even go live with your paying subscribers only.
Subscriber Highlights: Your newest exclusive stories will automatically be saved to a highlight that is only visible to subscribers so they never miss a story.
Subscriber Broadcast and Social Channels: You can give your subscribers special access or information in subscriber-only channels.
Subscriber Badges: You will see a subscriber badge next to comments and messages your subscribers send so you can easily identify and prioritize interacting with them.
That provides various means for creators to generate direct revenue for their efforts, which could act as a valuable lure to better align these users with the app.
Instagram says that, in the coming weeks, eligible creators in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Spain, and the United Kingdom will all be able access to Subscriptions, and begin earning money for their on-platform efforts, in addition to those in the U.S.
The offering is very similar to Twitter’s current Subscriptions program, in providing exclusive updates to paying fans, and it’s interesting to see Instagram expand the program as it looks to turn up the heat on Twitter, following the launch of Threads, its Twitter-like app.
The early hype around Threads does seem to have died down a lot, but Instagram could also look to expand Subscriptions to Threads at some stage as well, which could provide more incentive to creators, through a combined Instagram/Threads monetizable presence.
That’s not on the cards as yet, but it does seem like an obvious avenue for IG to explore in future.
The real challenge for creators, however, lies in formulating a sustainable program for providing value-add content, in addition to their regular posts. Sure, the idea of giving your top fans exclusive content may sound easy, but actually providing that add-on material, on top of your regular posts (which are required for audience-building) in a way that makes fans feel like they’re getting their money’s worth, isn’t always so easy.
There’s a reason that so few creators end up becoming big stars, and it does require planning and strategy to build a sustainable value-add plan that will maximize your earning efforts.
But having the option at all is obviously a critical first step, and it’s good to see Meta looking to provide more avenues for creators to monetize their presence, and get paid for their passions in its apps.
And based on audience reach potential, it could be a lot more valuable to build on Instagram than on Twitter, at least at this stage. Each creator’s audience is different, but if Threads becomes a thing, it could become an increasingly beneficial pathway for many platform stars.
In addition to this, Instagram has also published a new, 10-page handbook for those looking to launch IG subscriptions.
Could be worth considering as a means to build on your IG presence.