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Instagram has officially launched a trial of a major new feature which could see it take on OnlyFans—a subscription-based service that lets users get exclusive content from their favourite channels.
'Subscriptions', which launches today in the US, is designed to help Instagram creators make money off of Lives and Stories through a monthly fee.
So far, the platform is testing it with a small handful of Instagram accounts, but plans to expand it significantly over the next few months.
What's more, unlike OnlyFans, Instagram won't be taking any cut from creators' subscription revenues—which could see major OnlyFans creators leave the platform in favour of Insta.
According to Instagram's co-head of product, Ashley Yuki, this will be in effect "until at least 2023", suggesting that Instagram is keen to get as many channels as possible signed up to the new Subscriptions feature.
In a blog post, Instagram explained that the subscription tiers range from $0.99 (73p) to $99.99 (£73.35) per month. Creators will get a purple badge next to their username, kind of like Twitter blue ticks.
They'll also be able to access the email addresses of subscribers so they can 'maintain a relationship' away from Instagram.
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One of the early creators to be using Subscriptions said: "Having subscriptions on Instagram makes building a more intimate relationship with my followers and fans possible.
"I am so excited to nurture those connections and make a lasting impact that will help keep my work sustainable," said Bunny Michael (@bunnymichael), a spirituality influencer.
The other subscription-based platform, OnlyFans, is big business. Some of the top creators, which include porn stars as well as streamers, can make upwards of $100,000 per month sharing pictures, videos, and blog posts.
It's unclear whether Instagram will drop its strict guidelines on adult content for its Subscriptions service.
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