After getting off to a small start with paid subscriptions for creators earlier this year, today, Instagram is announcing more features to further build out the experience — and better compete with Twitter in this area. In a video, Instagram CEO Adam Mosseri said the platform aims to be “the best place online for creators to make a living” and that the new additions are the direct result of feedback from creators who’ve participated in the early phase of subscriptions.
The most significant new feature is the ability to publish feed posts that are only visible to subscribers. Creators could previously do this with stories, but now they can give their paying supporters access to exclusive, traditional Instagram feed posts. Mosseri said this was the top request the company has received. There will be a new “subscriber home” tab on creator profiles where subscribers can filter the photos and Reels that are only available to them.
Subscriptions can range from $0.99 to $99.99, and subscriber profiles gain a purple badge to indicate their support of a creator or influencer. Aside from stories and feed posts, creators can also go live exclusively with their subscribers. And another feature announced today will let them chat (via group DM) with up to 30 subscribers simultaneously.
Instagram has gradually ramped up subscriptions and opened them to “tens of thousands” of creators in the United States, but Mosseri acknowledges that the company needs to expand to other regions. “This is just one step on a much longer path to provide creators everywhere with a whole range of tools to be able to make a living online,” he said in the video. “But we’re really excited about this one.”
The company is currently working on major changes to the Instagram app, including a full-screen feed. Mosseri has said that it’ll likely be many months before this redesign makes its way to everyone, with Instagram responding to feedback — particularly from photographers — as it works to refine the new, video-optimized feed without detracting from the presentation of still images. Earlier this year, the company brought back a chronological feed (and a new favorites option) for users who want more control over how Instagram sorts what they see in the app.