Instagram launches hidden posts users have to pay to see

The move accompanies group direct messages to subscribers and a new ‘subscriber home’ button on creators’ profile

Adam Smith
Friday 15 July 2022 08:37 BST
Instagram launches new subscriber features
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Instagram will now have hidden posts that users will have to pay to see.

In a new update, rolled out for creators, Instagram chief executive Adam Mosseri announced that creators will be able to publish feed posts that are only visible to subscribers.

Previously this was only a feature that applied to Stories, but Mr Mosseri said this was the top request that the company had received.

As well as posts, the feature will also apply to reels, the TikTok-esque format that all videos on Instagram will be converted to if its recent test comes to fruition.

Creators will be able to direct message with up to 30 subscribers at one time, to “interact with fans in a meaningful way”, Mr Mosseri says.

An Instagram subscription will cost between $0.99 and $99.99 per month, and there will be a Subscriber Home on the creators’ profile where users can see specific content.

“This is just one step on a much longer path”, Mr Mosseri concludes, saying that these tools have been “expanded to tens of thousands of creators in the US”.

The new features, which were first brought out in January this year, are part of the company’s attempt to take on competition from other apps like OnlyFans or TikTok, as well as Twitter’s Super Follows feature.

Instagram believes that its strength lies in its well-established presence, and this should avoid people ‘clicking out’.

“It might seem like a small thing. But in those moments, it can be the difference between having someone jump over your subscription or not,” Instagram’s co-head of product, Ashley Yuki, said at the time.

“The convenience of just having it all where the conversation and connection is already happening, we think is going to be one of the strongest points of this for both creators and for fans.”

Instagram is also testing a full-screen feed, but it will be a while before that reaches every user, as the company moves to make the app better for video content. Mr Mosseri said that it was moving away from its iconic square format as most people come to Instagram to be entertained.

“Let’s be honest, there’s some really serious competition right now,” he said. “TikTok is huge, YouTube is even bigger, and there’s lots of other upstarts as well.”

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