Instagram readies creator subscriptions if new in-app purchases are to be believed

Instagram logo on phone
Instagram logo on phone (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Instagram has four new "Instagram Subscriptions" in-app purchases listed.
  • It's thought Instagram is readying a new creator subscription service using new in-app purchases.

New App Store in-app purchases appear to show that Instagram is readying a creator subscription offering, with users able to pay people via the app.

In-app purchases spotted by various people and initially reported by TechCrunch show four new "Instagram Subscriptions" in-app purchases are now listed on the Instagram App Store page.

Instagram has previously suggested that it will investigate the possibility of offering exclusive content that only people who subscribe to a creator would be able to see — including exclusive Stories. These new in-app subscriptions appear to be the next step in making that a reality.

As TechCrunch also notes, Instagram does sometimes test these kinds of creator-focused features with a small number of users initially, rather than making them available to everyone at the same time. That could mean that we see some people gain access to this new subscription model sooner rather than later, although we haven't heard of anyone making use of subscriptions as yet.

Instagram is already the best iPhone app for people who want to share their breakfast and cat pics online, but changes like this could also make it the best way for people to monetize that kind of thing, too. It remains to be seen what the feature actually looks like and what creators will be able to put behind the paywall, however.

It's also possible that Instagram will limit this feature to people who meet a minimum follower count, although again, we'll have to wait for some form of announcement to know for sure.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.