Instagram users will soon be given the opportunity to subscribe to a number of creators and influencers to access exclusive content. With the "Instagram Subscriptions" feature, creators can develop deeper connections with their most engaged followers and grow recurring monthly income by giving subscribers access to exclusive content and benefits. This move came after the "strong creator feedback" the social media platform received from "Facebook Subscriptions", which was launched in 2020. Based on this feedback, parent company, Meta said it is now ready to bring this business model to creators on Instagram. It is said that tests for the "Instagram Subscriptions" feature will be launched today and available to a limited number of U.S creators in the initial test. Meanwhile, plans to expand access to more creators are said to happen over the next few months. 

Users will be able to subscribe to a handful of creators who will be able to set a monthly price of their choice, unlock a "subscribe" button on their profile, and offer the options of "Subscriber Lives", "Subscriber Stories" and "Subscriber Badges". With "Subscriber Lives", creators are able to broadcast exclusive snippets of their lives to subscribers, allowing for deep engagement. Whereas for "Subscriber Stories", creators can create stories just for their subscribers, which allows for exclusive content sharing and the use of interactive story stickers. Lastly for "Subscriber Badges", creators can easily identify subscribers by a "badge" that will be placed next to comments and messages.  

Earlier this year, as part of its continued commitment to supporting creators, Instagram said that Meta would not collect any fees from creators on "Facebook Subscriptions" purchases until 2023. This is said to also apply to "Instagram Subscriptions". "We believe that creators should know their audience and have more control over their business. We hope to build the tools to allow them to also directly connect with their audience off-platform in the future," added Instagram. 

Separately, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said in July last year that  the platform is leaning away from its photo-sharing app persona  to become a video and entertainment company. This comes as research indicated that the main reason consumers use Instagram is to be entertained. He added that video was also driving immense growth from all platforms. 

Moreover  Meta vowed in November last year that it plans to remove its detailed targeting options from January 2022 onwards. With this move, advertisers will not be able to target users who have interacted with content related to health causes, sexual orientation, religious practices, political beliefs and social issues, among others. While this move limits the way Meta's targeting tools can be abused, VP of product marketing, Graham Mudd said at that time that the company was aware that this change may negatively impact some businesses and organisations.

"We have heard concerns from experts that targeting options such as these could be used in ways that lead to negative experiences for people in underrepresented groups," he explained. He added, "It is important to note that the interest targeting options we are removing are not based on people’s physical characteristics or personal attributes, but instead on things like people’s interactions with content on our platform." 

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