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Instagram Subscriptions: How To Monetize Your Account in 2024

Instagram subscriptions can be a great way for creators to earn money from their Instagram accounts. We’ll teach you how to use this feature.

Chloe West May 21, 2024
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Creators and brands looking for more ways to monetize their social media accounts should look no further than Instagram subscriptions. This new monetization tactic came out in mid-2022 and offers a way for Instagram creators to generate a monthly income by sharing premium gated content.

In this article, we’ll cover what Instagram subscriptions are, how to use them, how to grow your subscription base, and more.

Let’s get started.

Bonus: Get the Instagram advertising cheat sheet for 2022. The free resource includes key audience insights, recommended ad types, and tips for success.

What are Instagram subscriptions?

Instagram subscriptions are a monetization feature that enables creators to share premium content behind a paywall. Interested followers can subscribe for a monthly fee of anywhere from $0.99 to $99.99 and get access to features like:

  • Exclusive live-streams
  • Subscriber badges
  • Premium content like stories, posts, and reels
  • Social channels
  • Broadcast channels

Creators can decide which perks to offer and set their own price point based on the level of content they plan to share.

Take a look at this user’s Instagram subscription offering:

Instagram subscription with access to subscriber badge exclusive content subscriber social channel and subscriber broadcast channel

This house plant influencer offers a subscription that costs $19.99/month and provides subscribers with a subscriber badge, exclusive content, a social channel (i.e., group chat), and a broadcast channel.

Followers who love this user’s content and want access to additional perks can then sign up for $19.99/month.

Why should creators be excited about Instagram subscriptions?

Should you consider investing time into an Instagram subscription? There are a few benefits to keep in mind as you explore this potential monetization option.

Additional monthly revenue stream

Instagram subscriptions are an automatically recurring monthly payment. While people can end their subscription at any time, once you grow to a certain point, you should be able to rely on a set monthly income from this additional revenue stream.

Creating a reliable and recurring revenue stream can be a game changer for influencers and content creators who don’t always have a secure and set income.

Deeper connections with followers

Your subscribers will automatically get a purple subscriber badge next to their name, which you’ll be able to see in comments and messages. This differentiation can help you build deeper connections with that group of followers, eventually coming to know them by name.

By fostering these connections, your subscribers will be even more excited to hear from you, making them more likely to remain subscribed. This can further solidify your monthly income.

Access to a popular platform

Instagram is an already existing (and already popular) platform on which you’ve likely already built an audience. This means you’re not completely starting from scratch with this new revenue stream.

Instead, you can seamlessly start promoting it to your existing audience, hopefully gaining subscribers with that much more ease

What do Instagram subscriptions let you do?

You can choose from a number of perks to offer your subscribers. Let’s cover each benefit that you can offer with an Instagram subscription.

Subscriber badge

The first perk you can offer subscribers is an exclusive badge that only those who subscribe to your account can get. It’s a purple crown and it appears next to a subscriber’s name anytime they comment on a post or message you.

Here’s an example of what this looks like:

Subscriber badge purple crown in Instagram comment section

Instagrammer @annestagramr subscribes to pop culture account @deuxmoi. Their subscriber badge shows up for all viewers—not just to the @deuxmoi team.

But if you’re the creator, having this badge can also help you pick your subscribers out when they comment and message you. You want to respond to everyone if you can (that’s just good manners), but if you’re pressed for time, it makes sense to prioritize your paying fans.

Exclusive content

Accounts that offer subscriptions can create exclusive content just for their subscribers. This content appears in a separate feed on your profile that’s only accessible to your subscribers.

Here’s what that feed looks like for non-subscribers:

Impact Instagram page with section for Subscribers Only

The feed’s existence is visible regardless of whether someone has subscribed, which can trigger FOMO for your non-subscribers. In some ways, iit acts as a call-to-action, letting people who tap over to that feed know that they can only access the content if they subscribe

Exclusive content refers to:

  • Posts
  • Reels
  • Live videos
  • Stories

Subscriber-only posts and videos will remain in this feed. Subscriber-only stories will appear on your profile with a purple ring around your profile photo, rather than the traditional pink ring. Like other stories, they only last 24 hours. But unlike other stories, these posts then save to a subscriber-only highlight reel.

Subscriber social channel

Subscriber social channels, also known as subscriber chats, allow you to create exclusive group chats with up to 250 of your subscribers. If you end up with more subscribers, you can consider creating different types of chats and allowing subscribers to sign up for the ones they’re interested in.

For example, if you’re a business coach, you could create chats for different industries so that people can connect with like-minded entrepreneurs and hear industry-specific advice from you, the expert.

Or, you could create new social channels with each month’s or quarter’s new subscribers, reaching out with a welcome message and giving a more intimate way for them to connect with you and other subscribers.

Subscriber broadcast channel

Finally, you can also offer a subscriber broadcast channel if you so choose. Broadcast channels are a newer Instagram feature, and many accounts are creating them for their free followers as well.

A broadcast channel is a one-way communication method that allows you to share information with your subscribers. This can be new perks to the subscription, announcements, updates, tips, and more.

Here’s an example of a free broadcast channel—your subscriber one might be similar, but with more exclusive, subscriber-only updates:

free broadcast channel with poll on dream spring break destination
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How to set up Instagram subscriptions

Want to set up Instagram subscriptions? Follow these step-by-step instructions to get started.

Step 1: Make sure you’re eligible

First things first, you need to make sure your account is even eligible for subscriptions. Criteria for this monetization method is as follows:

If you fit each eligibility criteria, you can move onto step two.

Step 2: Enable subscriptions

Head into your Instagram settings to set up your subscription. To do this, go to your profile and tap Professional Dashboard.

If you’re eligible for subscriptions, you’ll see an option to Set up subscriptions. If not, check back in with the eligibility criteria to see what you need to do in order to get access to this feature.

Tap Set up subscriptions and follow through each step to get started.

Step 3: Set your monthly price point

Now it’s time to decide how much you want to charge for your monthly subscription. Obviously, the higher the price, the more you make. But you don’t want to make it so high that no one will subscribe.

Find a happy medium that also matches the type of content and perks you plan to offer.

Price points you can choose from are:

  • $0.99
  • $1.99
  • $2.99
  • $4.99
  • $9.99
  • $19.99
  • $49.99
  • $99.99

You might choose a low $0.99 or $1.99 price point if you simply want to offer a large number of subscribers a bit more exclusive access to chats and news from you without having to create additional content.

However, if you use your Instagram subscription as a coaching service or offer exclusive online course information throughout your content, you can get away with a much higher price point.

Step 4: Add your payout account

Make sure to connect the bank account that you use for your business or creator income so that you can actually get paid once you start gaining subscribers. Keep in mind that you won’t receive any payments until you pass a threshold of $100 earned.

To add your payout account, head back to your Professional Dashboard and follow these instructions:

  • Tap Payouts
  • Head to Update payment method
  • Select the type of bank account you want to connect
  • Follow the prompts to complete setup

Step 5: Start getting subscribers

Now you can start promoting your new subscription and getting new paying subscribers! There are a number of ways to do this, which brings us to our next section.

How to get people to subscribe on Instagram

You’ve got your new subscription set up, you have a plan for the types of content you want to create and share, and you’re ready to start monetizing this new offering. Let’s cover a few tried and true tips for getting people to subscribe on Instagram.

Promote your subscription

Use your public Instagram to start promoting your new subscription so your existing followers know they have a new option for following your content.

Some ways you can do this include:

  • Share details about your subscription—along with a link to subscribe—in your Instagram Stories
Subscribe Now link in Instagram stories for exclusive content and Delivered newsletter
  • Create a post or carousel sharing the perks and benefits your subscription offers
  • Mention your Instagram subscription and its perks right inside your Instagram bio
Mariah houseplant tips mention of subscriber exclusive content in Instagram bio
  • Create a reel where you speak directly to your followers about your new subscription
  • Announce your new subscription on your Instagram broadcast channel

You’ll want to do all of these on a consistent basis. Announce your subscription when it’s new, but incorporate promotion of it into your regular content schedule so that new and old followers alike are reminded of the option to subscribe.

Create quality content consistently

Consistent, high-quality content is going to be an essential step for both your paid and non-paid content. For example, if you start to put all your focus on your premium content, someone looking at your full feed may be underwhelmed and not want to subscribe.

With that in mind, you need to create amazing content for both audience segments. Your free followers need to get an idea of the caliber of content you can create and your paid subscribers need to get their money’s worth.

Plus, a “Subscribe” button will appear at the top of all of your free posts, providing yet another call-to-action for your followers. Make content so amazing that viewers immediately want to tap that button and subscribe.

Instagram Reel houseplant tips with top right subscribe button in feed

Put out unique subscriber experiences

Make your subscription fun and unique. Enable 1:1 chats, put together workshops, create amazing content, and build relationships with your subscribers.

The more your subscribers enjoy your subscription, the more they’ll tell others about it. On top of that, you can get reviews and testimonials from your subscribers to share with your free followers.

And, putting together unique subscriber experiences allows you to compile samples of each experience to add into your free content to further promote your subscription.

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Collaborate with other creators

Finally, consider collaborating with other creators as yet another way to create value for your subscribers. Partner with creators who also have a subscription to make the collaboration worth it for both parties.

You can then promote your collaboration to your free followers as an incentive to subscribe before the collaboration happens.

How to earn money on Instagram if you don’t have access to subscriptions

If you’re not yet eligible for Instagram subscriptions (i.e., haven’t hit the 10,000 follower threshold or aren’t in an eligible country), there are still ways you can monetize your Instagram.

Create an Instagram shop

Anyone with a business account (not a creator account) can set up an Instagram shop. Creator accounts can still tag products to create shoppable posts, but they cannot create their own shop.

So if you’re looking to sell products directly on Instagram, a business account may be the best option for you. You can then add products—like your brand’s products, digital products, or merch for your creative business—to sell directly on your Instagram profile.

Mau Pets business account shop all products
Current monthly spending tracker Instagram view product and customer favorites

Partner with brands

If you’re a creator, you can get paid by partnering with brands and promoting their products for them. As a creator or influencer, you’re able to set your own rates for each type of post you create. For example, a story may not cost as much as a post or a reel.

Here’s an example of the content you can create as a brand partner:

Promote a Patreon

A Patreon is essentially an Instagram subscription—but not on Instagram. So if you’re interested in this type of premium content, but you can’t yet access Instagram subscriptions, consider getting started with Patreon.

You can easily promote your Patreon the same way you’d promote your Instagram subscription. Plus, once you get access to subscriptions, it’ll be a great way to reach an even wider audience with some of the same premium content.

Use affiliate marketing

With affiliate marketing, you can get a commission from purchases people make with a tracking link a company has provided you with. You can apply to become an affiliate directly with the company (just look for their affiliate partners page) or by using an affiliate marketplace.

Once you have your tracking link, you can then promote a business’s products and ask followers to use your link to make a purchase.

While you can’t share links in your Instagram posts, you can share links on your Stories and in your DMs. Many influencers have started using bots to help with their affiliate marketing by having interested buyers comment a specific keyword on their post to get a specific product link.

Here’s an example of what that could look like:

Houseplus plant on Instagram subscribe button option
Houseplus plant description on Instagram post encouraging comments for a link to shop and an exclusive discount

Go live with Live Badges

Live Badges are virtual badges that can be purchased during a live video. Enable these within your Professional Dashboard, then offer the option for viewers to buy them (costs range from $0.99-4.99) during your live video.

You’ll need to create a consistent live streaming schedule in order to actually make a solid income from this type of monetization feature, but it can still be a great way to make money from Instagram.

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By Chloe West

Chloe West is a digital marketer and freelance writer, focusing on topics surrounding social media, content, and digital marketing. She's based in Charleston, SC, and when she's not working, you'll find her playing card games or watering her plants.

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