Instagram is launching a new paid subscription feature for creators today within its iOS and Android apps. With this new functionality, Facebook is targeting potential competitors like OnlyFans that continue to see growth. Despite Facebook’s dissatisfaction with the App Store, they are using Apple’s in-app purchases system for these subscriptions. With that, Apple will gather 30% of all subscription fees. Facebook says that they are developing a way for creators to see “how much they pay to Apple.”
Instagram subscriptions are starting out as a test, and they are only available to a small group of creators – these creators can choose their own monthly subscription fee and add a new subscribe button to their profile. Subscribers can get access to three core new Instagram features.
A subscription includes access to special exclusive live broadcasts, stories that can only be seen by subscribers, and a badge that will appear next to comments and messages that denotes that you are a subscriber. Instagram is planning to expand the number of creators that can create paid subscriptions in the coming months.
To start, there are 10 Instagram subscriptions that are available. They are: @alanchikinchow, @sedona._, @alizakelly, @kelseylynncook, @elliottnorris, @jordanchiles, @jackjerry, @bunnymichael, @donalleniii, and @lonnieiiv.
Facebook and Apple have been at war for quite awhile now – Facebook has been particularly critical of Apple’s 70/30 revenue split on App Store purchases. It’s no surprise that the company is planning to show creators just how much money Apple is taking from their subscriptions. This is likely them trying to turn creator’s against Apple to put pressure on them to reduce their in-app purchase controls.
Facebook introduced subscriptions to their core blue app in 2020, but this new approach on Instagram is far more likely to be an attempt at denting OnlyFans’ growth. Subscriptions on Instagram can be marketed more easily and directly to an existing follower base.
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