“If you can monetise it, do,” is Meta/Facebook’s motto at this point, and that extends to its related products too. If recently-spotted App Store and Play Store listings are to be believed, Instagram appears to be working on a new subscription feature, which would probably go a decent way towards supporting big creators (as well as lining Zuck’s pockets).
Instagram IAP incoming
According to app and data analyst Sensor Tower (via TechCrunch) Instagram recently began listing in-app purchase options on its US App Store and Play Store listings, apparently intended for subscription options.
App analysts have observed this kind of listing change before, when Twitter began listing IAPs intended for its own Blue subscription service earlier this year. So it’s proven to be a reliable source of information in the past.
First appearing on the 1st of November, Sensor Tower currently knows of two subscription options: one for $5 (~R75) and one for $1 (~R15). If we were to guess we’d say this points to a ‘Premium’ subscription option and a ‘Standard’ one.
Instagram has had IAPs before now in the form of badges that users can purchase, the proceeds of which go towards supporting their favourite creators. Aside from that, the only way to really support pages directly is through something like Patreon.
Instagram typically tests these kinds of new features with a small group of users before releasing them to the masses, usually with an accompanying statement, which we anticipate seeing not too long from now.
We’re not entirely sure what this subscription service would look like in full, but we’re hoping it’s an optional paywall that gives users access to premium content from the accounts they follow. If, on the other hand, this is Meta/Facebook following through on its threat to put a paywall on Instagram entirely, we don’t think anyone’s going to be particularly happy about it.