As we discussed in our article Social Media Trends 2022, influencers and creators have become an essential element of the digital marketing strategy of big brands. Creators, specifically, have proven to be a valuable asset to both social media and online businesses looking to build a closer, more authentic relationship with their consumers.
For some time now, Instagram has started to offer these users a wide range of monetisation tools to “allow creators to make a living through our platforms, gain support from their audience, partner with brands and earn money”, according to Instagram.
Its most recent functionality is subscriptions. This feature, launched in beta mode on January 19, is available to a specific group of creators in the United States and, most recently, to selected creators in India. However, subscriptions are not new. This feature was first launched on Facebook in 2020.
Instagram subscriptions work in a similar way to any website subscription service. Registered users have early access to news and updates, premium content, and exclusive benefits.
The selected creators can now display a “subscribe” button on their Instagram profile, set a monthly price, and offer the following benefits to their subscribers:
- Subscriber Lives: Creators can broadcast exclusive lives to their subscribers. These streaming videos are not visible to non-subscribed users.
- Subscriber Stories: Creators can create stories just for their subscribers, allowing them to share exclusive content and use interactive story stickers with only their most engaged followers.
- Subscriber Badges: Creators will see a subscriber badge next to comments and messages to identify their subscribers quickly.
In the case of the fee, there are eight monthly price points to choose from $0.99 to $99.99, and it depends on each creator to establish their own price. Once subscribed, users will access exclusive content and receive alerts on exclusive lives.
For instance, stories for subscribers are indicated with a purple ring. Additionally, the subscriber badges, also purple, will help fans stand out in comments on public content and help identify them in creators’ request folders in the inbox.
Based on the subscription feature success on Facebook, it seems that this tool will be available for creators worldwide pretty soon. This gives a whole new perspective to influencer marketing, allowing creators to add their subscribers, besides their public audience, as an additional asset to negotiate with brands.
“One of the biggest differentiators here for creators and fans is just the convenience. You’re already on Instagram. And we hear a lot [about] the friction of having to do the ‘click ou’.’ It might seem like a small thing. But in those moments, it can be the difference between having someone jump over your subscription or not,” explained Instagram co-head of Product, Ashley Yuki.
The question is when it will be available for brands and how they can use it effectively: to reach the Instagram audience, to support the rest of their marketing activities while avoiding any cannibalisation around other similar actions. Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.