May 22, 2024
Min Read

What are Instagram Subscriptions — and Why Do You Need One?

Learn what Instagram subscriptions are, from setup to optimization. Discover key features and benefits that’ll elevate your content creation experience.

Screenshot of “subscribers only” text in the Instagram subscription page interface when a user is not subscribed.

Instagram frequently rolls out new features to help content creators expand their reach on ever-evolving platforms. One such feature is Instagram subscriptions, which provide an effective way for creators to make money while engaging their audience.

Instagram subscriptions are what many platform creators use to monetize their social media presence. By offering followers the option to subscribe, you can provide exclusive content for a fee, creating a new revenue stream that’s predictable and controllable.

Whether you’re a realtor showcasing properties, guitar teacher sharing pro tips, or hairstylist providing styling tutorials, you can use Instagram subscriptions to grow your follower base and establish a sustainable monthly income.

Screenshot of Instagram subscribe page interface

How Do Instagram Subscriptions Work?

The introduction of subscriptions marks a shift toward a more financially-supportive creator economy, allowing loyal fans to reward creators for sharing great content. Here’s how the feature works.

Create studio-grade content in seconds

Create studio-grade content in seconds

Get started
Download the App

Creator-Controlled Price

No one knows your followers or content creation costs better than you. That’s why Instagram lets creators pick their monthly subscription price.

Easy Sign-Up

Followers can subscribe to your Instagram account through an in-app purchase on their mobile device, with the option to cancel anytime. A special purple badge will appear beside subscribers’ usernames when they send direct messages or comment on posts.

Exclusive Content and Community

Accessing exclusive content makes subscribers feel more in-the-know about you and your brand. Instagram provides several options for tailoring subscriber-only content, including:

  • Lives — Host live videos exclusively for your subscribers to foster a closer connection.
  • Stories — Create Instagram Stories visible only to subscribers, offering more personal, behind-the-scenes content your general follower base can’t access.
  • Posts and Reels — Share Instagram Reels and in-feed posts just for subscribers.
  • Chats — Create group chats for up to 30 followers on Instagram Messenger to interact directly with subscribers and build your community.
  • Broadcast channels — Initiate public messaging experiences to share updates, announcements, or sneak peeks to subscribers.
  • Polls and Q&As — Gather feedback, host interactive sessions, or directly involve your most devoted followers in content decisions.
Screenshot of the subscribed badge in the creator's profile, content, and feed

How Instagram Subscriptions Benefit Creators

From generating a predictable income stream to strengthening fan relationships, the subscription option opens new avenues for creativity and financial success. Here’s a deeper look at some key benefits.

A Stable Revenue Stream

Instagram’s subscription model introduces an ongoing revenue stream creators can count on. With subscription payments rolling in at regular intervals, you’ll always know when to expect income. This means you no longer have to rely solely on the unpredictable, fluctuating earnings from ads and one-off promotions.

Direct Support From Followers

With a subscription option, you don’t have to wait for the Instagram algorithm to put your content front and center. Your greatest appreciators will always see it, and they can actively show that appreciation by contributing financially to your creative journey. 

This combination of monetary and engagement support aids in your content production by funding your efforts and granting fans a voice in the type of content you create. Subscriptions also strengthen the emotional connection between you and your audience, which can be just as gratifying as seeing a deposit hit your bank account.

How To Set Up Instagram Subscriptions

Enabling this feature is a fairly straightforward process, but there are some rules for Instagram subscriptions. Here’s how to get started.

Step One: Check Eligibility 

Ensure you meet Instagram’s monetization requirements:

  • Age — You’re at least 18 years old.
  • Location — Instagram allows subscriptions in the country you live in.
  • Community guidelines — Your account is in good standing and has no history of Community Guidelines violations.
  • Partner monetization policies — Your account adheres to Instagram’s Partner Monetization Policies, which address content standards and authenticity.
  • Follower count — Your account has at least 10,000 followers.
  • Account type — You have a Creator or Business profile.

Here’s how to check account eligibility in your Instagram settings:

  1. Navigate to your Instagram profile.
  2. Tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines).
  3. Select “Settings.”
  4. Go to “Creator” (or “Business” if you have a Business account).
  5. Look for the “Monetization Status” option, which showcases eligibility status and any missing requirements.

Step Two: Determine a Monthly Price

Setting the right Instagram subscription price is crucial. Too low, and it isn’t worth the trouble of creating exclusive content. But too high, and you may scare off potential subscribers. 

You can change your monthly price at any time in Subscription Settings, but existing customers will pay the price they signed up for. So setting a sustainable price is important for subscriber retention.

To come up with the right price, think about your audience. What’s their spending capacity? Would they be receptive to a higher price for exclusive content, or would they find greater volume at a lower price more attractive?

Researching creators in a similar niche is another smart way to determine what to charge subscribers. Look at other accounts’ subscription prices and use those values as a benchmark.

Also consider the content type and experiences you plan to offer. What level of additional monthly income makes that content worth your while? Do the exclusive offerings you plan to provide justify a higher price point, or should you manage expectations by keeping the monthly price low? Consider offering multiple subscription tiers with different levels of exclusive content and perks to cater to a broad range of patrons.

Step Three: Initiate Setup

Once you’ve enabled Instagram’s subscription feature, your followers will see a “Subscribe” button when they visit your profile. To set up this feature as a creator, follow these steps:

  1. Access the Instagram Professional Dashboard within “Settings” to initiate the subscription setup process.
  2. Click the section titled “Monetization” or “Subscriptions.”
  3. If you meet the eligibility requirements for monetization, Instagram will guide you through the setup process. This involves setting your monthly subscription price, connecting a payout method to receive earnings, and agreeing to the Subscription Creator Terms of Use. 

3 Tips To Make the Most of Instagram Subscriptions

Maximize your success with Instagram subscriptions by following these best practices.

1. Create High-Quality Content

Your paying subscribers expect the best. Make sure you’re sharing valuable content your audience will want more of by:

  • Researching your followers’ favorite content types, subject matters, and preferences.
  • Using a tripod when filming to avoid shake and blurriness.
  • Considering your content’s purpose — be it to entertain, persuade, inspire, or educate.
  • Using an editing app like Captions to ensure your videos appear polished and professional.

Edit your videos 10X faster with AI

Edit your videos 10X faster with AI

Get started
Download the App

2. Promote Subscriptions

Don’t wait for potential subscribers to come to you — go find them by mentioning this offering in your Instagram bio and regularly promoting sign-ups in posts and Stories. 

Instagram makes it easy to offer a Next 5 Promo, which encourages subscriptions by providing a 50% discount to the next five people who sign up. The app also has your back if followers start looking into how to cancel their Instagram subscription, allowing you to offer a one-time cancellation promo to convince them to stay.

3. Collaborate With Other Creators

By teaming up with Instagram influencers and like-minded creators, you can cross-promote your subscription offering to each other's audiences, expanding your reach. Collaborations also solidify your presence in your niche’s greater community, making your subscription appeal to an established audience and encouraging new sign-ups.

Create Content Your Subscribers Will Love With AI

Offer your subscribers payment-worthy content with Captions, an AI-powered tool that makes editing videos 10x faster. Captions is an all-in-one video editor that simplifies trimming and splitting footage as well as deleting unwanted sections. Fast-tracking this work lets you focus on delivering high-quality content that keeps subscribers hooked.

May 22, 2024
Min Read
Stay in the loop
Subscribe to our newsletter and get all the news from Captions. No spam, we promise.
Professional videos made easy

Start Creating

Download the App
Trusted by 3M people,
how about you?
Trusted by 3M people worldwide
Get the Captions app
QR Code to download the app