Instagram is testing subscriptions as a form of creator support

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

What you need to know

  • Instagram is testing a new subscriptions feature that will allow people to support creators.
  • Three different types of content can be offered via subscription.
  • A limited number of creators in the United States can offer subscriptions so far.

Photo and video social network Instagram is offering a new subscription feature that will give people a new way to directly support their favorite creators. Instagram says that the feature is only available to a limited number of creators in the United States right now, but that will surely change in due course.

In 2020, Facebook launched Subscriptions, which has helped creators build sustainable businesses powered by the support of their communities. Based on strong creator feedback, we're ready to now bring this business model to creators on Instagram. With Instagram Subscriptions, creators can develop deeper connections with their most engaged followers and grow their recurring monthly income by giving subscribers access to exclusive content and benefits, all within the same platform where they interact with them already.

Starting today, some creators will be able to offer a monthly subscription that will unlock three different kinds of content depending on what they choose to offer, according to Instagram's announcement.

Subscriber Lives: Creators can broadcast exclusive Lives to their subscribers, allowing them to engage more deeply.Subscriber Stories: Creators can create stories just for their subscribers, allowing them to share exclusive content and to use interactive story stickers with their most engaged followers only.Subscriber Badges: Creators will see a subscriber badge next to comments and messages so they can easily identify their subscribers.

Right now a total of ten different creators are on board including @alanchikinchow, @sedona._, @alizakelly, @kelseylynncook, @elliottnorris, @jordanchiles, @jackjerry, @bunnymichael, @donalleniii and @lonnieiiv.

Many would say that Instagram is the best iPhone app of its kind and a great way to share photo and video with friends, but it's also a very real career for some and those people will no doubt benefit from a move like this.

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.