Instagram’s creator subscriptions nearing launch, App Store listing reveals – TechCrunch

Instagram announced earlier this year that it would investigate the possibility of creating creator subscriptions. Later, it was discovered that a feature would allow creators to access exclusive Stories. The company appears to be ready to introduce creator subscriptions to wider testing. Two third-party app intelligence companies have confirmed that Instagram recently added in-app purchasing options to its U.S. app. These are meant for Instagram Subscriptions.
Apptopia and Sensor Tower track the mobile app ecosystem. This includes app engagement and chart movement, as well as gathering data on app marketing intelligence. They also monitor the less obvious changes apps make, such as changing their App Store descriptions or swapping their screenshots.

These changes may indicate upcoming features. App Store observers were able, through tracking new in-app purchases options, to see the imminent launch of Twitter Blue, a premium subscription service. Similar to the above, the introduction of the "Instagram subscriptions" in-app purchasing options is likely to signal the wider launch of Instagram’s subscription-based creator platform.

Sensor Tower confirms that the first "Instagram Subscribes" in-app purchase was made on November 1, at $4.99. A few days later, the $0.99 in-app purchase had been added on November 3.

The firm previously stated that the only in-app purchases available were the options for "Instagram Badges," which are virtual items fans can purchase to support their favourite creators during live streams. Prices range from $0.99 up to $4.99.

Some Instagram users noticed the additions too -- Brian Kofi Hollingsworth and Matt Navarra, social media consultants in the U.K., both tweeted about the new subscription listings.

Instagram usually tests new features with a small group of creators before making them public. If Instagram launches Instagram Subscriptions to the U.S. soon, as these new in app purchases suggest, it may not be immediately available among the creators you are following.

Instagram has made it clear that it plans to increase its number of creator tools, including subscriptions and NFTs. This is part of its efforts to make Instagram more creator-friendly. Subscribers could pay a monthly fee to gain exclusive access to creators' content.

According to Alessandro Paluzzi (reverse engineer), the company was also spotted this summer building a feature called "Exclusive Stories". This feature would allow paying customers to access Stories that aren't accessible to the general public. However, it could be used as "Highlights" to highlight stories that were only available once a subscriber has been signed up. According to internal developments, Paluzzi discovered in the Instagram app, subscribers will receive a special badge and access to live videos.

#Instagram continues to work on the Fan Club feature Here's the fan onboarding screen -- Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) August 26, 2021

While Instagram has not yet revealed its subscription plans, Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram spoke about the company's monetization strategy during Creator Week in June. Three types of creator monetization tools were mentioned by Mosseri. The first was commerce. This included merchandise, branded content and affiliate marketing. Ad revenue share was another. He also mentioned that payment products included direct payments such as tips and badges, as well as subscriptions or gated content.

Mosseri spoke of the company's plans to develop payment products.

In its quest to attract creator talent, Instagram isn't the only one. Along with a growing number startups and crowdfunding platforms and competition from social competitors like TikTok and Snap, YouTube and YouTube, Twitter launched in September its own creator subscription platform, Super Follows.

Instagram declined to comment when we reached them about the new in-app purchases options.