Would you be willing to pay a regular fee to for exclusive content from your favorite folk on Instagram?
Instagram chief Adam Mosseri thinks you will, so the company has this week begun testing subscriptions.
He explained the new system in a post on Twitter.
🎉 Subscriptions 🎉
Subscriptions allow creators to monetize and become closer to their followers through exclusive experiences:
– Subscriber Lives
– Subscriber Stories
– Subscriber Badges
We hope to add more creators to this test in the coming months. More to come. ✌🏼 pic.twitter.com/SbFhN2QWMX
— Adam Mosseri (@mosseri) January 19, 2022
The move is certain to be welcomed by popular creators on the platform looking for new ways to monetize their output.
The trial phase involves a few creators in the U.S., but we can expect it to expand to more creators in multiple countries before too long.
Subscriptions for Instagram lets creators post exclusive Stories and Lives that could include content such as behind-the-scenes material or more personal messages.
Creators will see a purple badge beside the name of anyone who has subscribed to their content, which could help them to prioritize replies to comments and direct messages.
Mosseri also said Instagram believes “creators should own their relationship with their subscribers.” To that end, it’s working on ways that creators can “take their subscriber list and bring them off of Instagram to other apps and websites built by other companies.”
Creators can set their own subscription rates and Instagram doesn’t take a cut, though this arrangement could obviously change once the feature is rolled out more widely.
At the same time that Mosseri’s post dropped, Mark Zuckerberg — CEO of Instagram’s parent company, Meta — posted a message saying the new feature “will help creators earn more by offering benefits to their most engaged followers like access to exclusive Lives and Stories.” Zuckerberg added: “I’m excited to keep building tools for creators to make a living doing creative work and to put these tools in more creators’ hands soon.”
Instagram has been busy lately, rolling out a slew of new features that include the relaunch of the chronological feed that it ditched in 2016. It’s also exploring the idea of giving you more control over your profile grid to let you display images and videos in any order you like.