Instagram Subscriptions: How It Works & Is It Worth It
Instagram announced the Instagram subscriptions feature earlier this year, which will revolutionize the creator economy.
This feature allows followers to subscribe to their favorite creators and get exclusive content. And creators, on the other hand, can earn money through paid subscriptions.
But is the Instagram subscription worth it? This guide will cover everything you need to know about the new Instagram subscription feature. You’ll also learn:
- How Instagram subscriptions work in detail.
- All the core features of Instagram subscription.
- Examples of creators already using the Instagram subscription feature.
- How Instagram subscriptions compare to a community-building platform like GroupApp.
Let’s dive in.
Instagram Subscriptions, as the name suggests, is a feature that lets creators build a community of their most engaged followers and make money from it by charging them for access to exclusive content and other benefits, all within the Instagram platform.
The subscription model isn’t something new on social media platforms. In 2020 Meta (previously known as Facebook) launched a subscription feature on Facebook which allowed followers to subscribe to their favorite creators’ content. The feature became a success, with Facebook getting positive feedback from its creators.
Following the feedback, Meta decided to bring on the feature to benefit Instagram influencers.
The feature began testing with only ten creators, but lately, it’s been revealed that the program is now open to a few thousand creators across the US via an invite-only program.
The feature can be a game changer, especially for micro-influencers with fewer sponsorship deals. They can build and monetize a community of loyal followers using Instagram subscription.
Instagram subscriptions allow creators to generate recurring monthly revenue from subscriptions by providing exclusive content and experiences to their community.
In a nutshell, this is how Instagram’s subscription feature works.
As the creator, you can create exclusive content that you can put behind a paywall. For your followers to access the content, they’ll need to pay a monthly fee.
Once subscribed, they’ll also get a subscription badge next to their name to help them stand out in comments and direct messages.
To see the Instagram Subscription in action, you can check the following creators:
- Bunny Michael (@bunnymichael)
Bunny is a writer, artist, and spiritual coach. She shares motivational quotes and content about improving yourself on her Instagram page.
- Don Allen (@donalleniii)
Don Allen is a metaverse content creator and consultant for lead marketing companies in AR, AI, and Web3. The creator shares videos related to Metaverse and virtual reality on his Instagram.
- Alan Chiki Chow (@alanchikinchow)
Alan Chiki is a comedian, actor, and writer. On his Instagram page, he shares funny videos to entertain his audience.
- Lonnie (@lonnieiiv)
Lonnie is a voice artist and content creator. On his Instagram page, he shares short videos that are super quirky and silly but will leave you spending hours on his profile.
In its early announcement, Instagram Subscriptions launched with three main features: subscriber badges, subscriber stories, and subscribers live.
However, over time, they have added some features that will take community building on Instagram to a new level.
Let’s dive deep into the core Instagram Subscription features and how they all work.
Followers who sign up for your content will get a purple badge that will show up next to their name.
The badges will appear when your subscribed followers leave a comment or send a direct message.
Subscriber badges benefit Instagram creators as they help them identify the followers that have subscribed to their content. As a follower, it enables you to stand out in the comments and in the DMs, which allows you to at least get more attention from the creator.
Subscribers Lives allows you to create exclusive live streams for your subscribers. Whenever you go live, your paid subscribers will be able to access your live broadcast.
The good thing about Subscriber Live is that it allows you to create content and interact with your audience in real time.
During the live broadcast, you can talk with people in your community and answer their questions, which will help you get to know them better.
On the other hand, Subscriber Stories allows you to restrict the “stories” content to a limited group of people who are part of your subscribed community.
When posting exclusive stories using the feature, you need to click on the purple circle that allows you to restrict the content to only your subscribed community.
To create a strong community, you need to engage with your members. Chats are the best ways to interact with your members one-on-one, where you can offer help, answer a few questions, and even build a relationship.
Subscriber Chats are one of the premium features included in Instagram Subscriptions.
This feature lets you create private chats where you can talk to up to 30 subscribers in real-time, discuss topics you’re interested in, and even share your best life hacks or get your subscribers together.
This feature allows you to share permanent content with your subscribers. Unlike stories that only last for 24 hours, posts and reels will enable you to share content that lasts longer, which allows you to offer value.
This feature allows you to create a dedicated tab on your profile that serves as your home for all your subscription material.
Subscriber Home gives customers immediate value by giving them a collection of unique content as soon as they join your membership.
Considering all the tool’s engagement features, Instagram seems like a big deal and a game changer.
However, you’ll agree that compared with most membership platform builders, the tool is quite limited for creators who want to build a community and monetize.
The biggest drawback is that Instagram Subscriptions give you much less control over subscription data. Your members are stored on a platform you don’t own and have less power over.
This implies that if your Instagram account is closed, you’ll also lose your subscribers and revenue.
With this in mind, Instagram creators looking to build a more engaged community on a more reliable platform and monetize it by offering premium content will look for an alternative tool.
The whole subscription model on Instagram seems promising for creators looking to build recurring revenue from their Instagram page. You can build relationships with your loyal followers and build a community that you can monetize through paid memberships.
But as great as the subscription platform seems, it’s not great for creators looking to build a highly engaged community and monetize their exclusive content.
GroupApp is an excellent Instagram subscription alternative with advanced tools that help you build and monetize a community. Here’s what you get with GroupApp.
GroupApp allows you to create a membership community where you can share content, engage with your audience, and monetize your audience.
Our platform features all the tools you need to bring your audience together and share exclusive content around your expertise.
For example, you can access a community library tool that allows you to organize all your materials. Be it videos or PDFs; your community members can easily access them.
You can also engage your community using group messages that you can schedule and send at a later date.
Even better, you can make it possible for other community members to interact with other users by sharing their articles or participating in comments or discussion threads.
Additionally, you can schedule live courses and events in your community so that everyone can view them without interruption using the GroupApp community builder.
GroupApp makes the process of building a membership platform simple. You can quickly create a subscription plan, decide how much it will cost and whether it will be a one-time or recurring payment.
Furthermore, you can include a trial period in your subscription plan, which is impossible with the Instagram Subscription tool.
Online courses are one of the most lucrative monetization strategies for creators. According to the latest studies, the e-learning market is expected to grow at a 20% CAGR from 2022 to 2028. In 2021, it was worth more than $315 billion.
Let’s say you’re an Instagram creator who wants to make and sell an online course to share your expertise with your audience. It’s impossible to do that with an Instagram subscription. For one reason, Instagram lacks the necessary tools that you need to create and host an online course.
That’s not the case for GroupApp. Using our online course builder, you can create, host, and organize your online course.
You can also limit who can see or view your course by setting the access level.
So, if you want to sell online courses to your audience, GroupApp is your best Instagram Subscription alternative.
While Instagram Home enables you to create a separate tab on your profile that acts as your home for your subscription content, GroupApp provides a better feature known as the Community Library.
This tool allows you to mobilize all kinds of content formats: video, audio, or PDF. You can also embed learning materials from external platforms like Wistia and Vimeo.
I’m pretty sure you can’t do that with Instagram Subscriptions, can you?
Nonetheless, as an Instagram creator looking to create a learning hub for their audience where they can share their expertise, GroupApp is the best choice to go for.
Now, let’s talk about the level of control you get with Instagram Subscriptions. When you sign up with the platform, you don’t get complete control of your community and subscription data.
Firstly, your content is prone to algorithms and interruptions from Instagram ads. This makes creating an engaged community free from distractions harder.
Secondly, you don’t fully have control of your community. If your Instagram account goes against their requirements, you could lose all the money and your subscribers in one night.
Your online community is dependent on your Instagram account. If anything happens to your Instagram account, it will also adversely affect your community.
GroupApp allows you to avoid such risks. You get a different platform where you have complete control of your community, and if, in any case, you’re banned from Instagram, you still have your community and revenue in place.
Instagram Subscriptions is one of Meta’s bold moves to help creators monetize their content. Because there are few ways to monetize on Instagram, the membership subscription feature could help creators up their game.
Nevertheless, when building and monetizing a community, Instagram’s subscription still falls too short in the level of control and tools it offers.
Conversely, GroupApp allows you to take your community building to the next level.
You get all the tools you need to create your community, gain complete control of your subscription data, and make money from membership subscriptions.
Get started with GroupApp and join over 575 creators using the platform to build a community and make money from it.