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Big change coming for Instagram

Instagram logo on phone screen and background.
Instagram is testing a new subscription model for Aussie users. (Source: Getty)

Instagram is testing a new subscription model for Aussie users, with followers able to pay a monthly fee to gain access to exclusive content from creators.

The Instagram Subscriptions trial will roll out to select Australian content creators in the coming weeks, parent company Meta has confirmed. Creators will be able to set and change their own prices and can offer followers exclusive content, including stories, posts, reels and Instagram lives.

Instagram first trailed the subscription feature in the United States in January. It later expanded the feature to 1,000 creators in June, including Cole Sprouse, Alan Chow and Skai Jackson.

“In July, we rolled out phase two of subscriptions by adding subscriber chats, home, posts and reels to the existing subscription features,” Meta said in a statement.

“Now, we’re announcing open access in the US, and expanding via invite-only to more countries, including Australia, UK and Canada.”

The feature will work in a similar way to OnlyFans, but the content itself will be more PG, given Instagram’s nudity ban.

As well as exclusive content, subscribers will get purple ‘subscriber badges’ next to their handle, which helps them “stand out” in the comments or the creator’s DMs. Subscribers can also be added to “exclusive chats” with up to 30 other subscribers.

“Fostering meaningful connections with fans becomes harder as creators grow, so we are giving them the tools to own their own “space” (a ‘one stop shop’) with their most engaged followers within Instagram,” Meta said.

“[Creators] can share exclusive content and interact, all while earning predictable, recurring revenue.”

Meta does not currently take a cut from creators’ earnings. Mark Zuckerberg recently announced Meta would “hold off on any revenue sharing” until 2024. This will also apply to Instagram Subscriptions. Originally, the policy was set to end in 2023.

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