Written by Dafydd Woodward, Global MD | 2 February 2022
Instagram is following in the footsteps of Patreon, TikTok and even OnlyFans by providing creators with the ability to monetise their audiences, via the content they create. This plays into a growing trend amongst social platform giants towards creator-first thinking, rooted in the realisation that engaging content and the creatives that produce them, hold the keys to more people spending more time within their ecosystem.
The new service will allow fans access to exclusive content from the creators they follow, via a monthly subscription fee. This feature will complement the more traditional influencer model of working in partnership with brands and will undoubtably be broadly welcomed. Many questions remain however, particularly related to how scalable this model will become, where the real value lies and who ultimately benefits, should the model scale successfully. These include:
What is the propensity of a creator’s ‘follower’ to become a paying ‘fan’?
How sustainable will this be and will the compulsion to continuously create content lead to saturation?
Will the provision of a paywall create the opportunity for OnlyFans style content to develop within the Instagram ecosystem? What brand risk would this pose to social brands who have consistently met brand safety, and therefore brand equity, concerns?
We understand the creators will set their own price for access to exclusive content, but there will certainly be bigger and broader brand opportunities that arise off the back of this model, which will remain within the control of Meta, for now. All eyes will be focused on the results of this pilot phase, which will go a long way to informing how creators can harness and prosper from their fanbase in future.