Earlier this year, Instagram said it would explore the idea of creator subscriptions and was later spotted developing a feature that would offer exclusive stories that were only visible to a creator’s subscriptions. Now, it looks like the company is on the verge of launching designer subscriptions into larger tests. According to two third-party app intelligence services, Instagram recently added built-in purchase options for “Instagram subscriptions” to its US app.
Sensor Tower and Apptopia both follow the mobile app ecosystem, which includes monitoring graph movements, app engagement, and collecting marketing intelligence data on apps, among others. But they also track other less visible changes apps tend to make, like rewriting their App Store descriptions, exchanging their screenshots, or as in this case adding new in-app purchases to. their App Store listings.
These changes can sometimes help point to future features. For example, by tracking the new in-app purchase options, App Store watchers were able to spot the upcoming launch of Twitter’s premium subscription service, Twitter Blue, just before it arrived. Likewise, the addition of the new shopping options in the “Instagram Subscriptions” app likely signals the upcoming wider launch of Instagram’s subscription-based creation platform.
Sensor Tower confirms that the first purchase in the “Instagram Subscriptions” app was added to its US App Store listing on November 1 for $ 4.99. The $ 0.99 in-app purchase was added a few days later on November 3.
Prior to that, the company said the only in-app purchases available were the various options for “Instagram badges”. (These are the virtual items that fans can purchase to support their favorite creators during their live broadcasts at prices ranging from $ 0.99 to $ 4.99.)
Typically, Instagram tests new features with a smaller group of creators before making them available to the public. So if it launches Instagram subscriptions in the US in the near future, as these new in-app purchases suggest, you still might not immediately see the option among the creators you follow.
Instagram has said it intends to expand its creative toolset to include things like subscriptions and even NFTs, as it works to make its platform more user-friendly for creators. With subscriptions, the idea is that fans could pay a small ongoing royalty for exclusive access to content from their favorite creators.
This summer, the company was also spotted creating a potential feature for this upcoming service, “Exclusive Stories”. This feature would give paying fans access to stories that were not available to the general public and could not be screenshots, but could be shown as “highlights” appearing once a member was. subscriber, reverse engineered. Alexander Paluzzi, who discovered the work in progress. He also has revealed that subscribers would get a special member badge and have access to exclusive live videos, based on internal developments he discovered in the Instagram app.
While Instagram has yet to fully detail its subscription plans, Instagram chief Adam Mosseri spoke in general terms about the company’s monetization strategy during its Creators Week in June. He referred to three types of creator monetization tools for the platform. One was commerce, which included things like branded content, merchandise, and affiliate marketing. Another was the sharing of advertising revenue. And a third was payment products, including direct payments such as tips and badges as well as “blocked content or subscriptions,” he said.
“I love them because they give the creators a direct relationship with their fans – which I think is probably more sustainable and predictable in the long run,” Mosseri said, referring to the company’s plans for the products. of payment.
Instagram isn’t the only one competing for designer talent. In addition to a growing number of startups, crowdfunding platforms, and competition from social rivals like TikTok, Snap, Pinterest, and YouTube, Twitter also launched its own creator subscription platform called Super Follows in September.
Contacted to comment on the new in-app purchase options, Instagram declined to share more about its plans.