The news: Instagram is testing “Instagram Subscriptions,” a feature that would enable users to access exclusive content from creators in exchange for a monthly fee, per a company announcement.
How it works: Creators decide how much they want to charge, while subscribers get three main benefits:
The war for creators: Until recently, Instagram dominated the influencer economy: In 2021, 97.4% of influencer marketers used the platform. But with TikTok’s rise, as well as the launch of creator funds from YouTube and other social media companies, Instagram’s position has become shakier.
Turning toward the subscription economy: Instagram’s foray into subscriptions comes at a time when freelancers and influencers are embracing services like Patreon and Substack, both of which allow people to support their favorite creators on a monthly basis.
The takeaway: While Instagram’s subscription feature does give creators another way to monetize their content, it won’t be enough to keep them loyal to a single platform. Brands should take note: Instead of focusing influencer spend on Instagram, they should be exploring opportunities on platforms less saturated with sponsored posts.