Instagram working on “Exclusive Stories” feature

It seems that all our “free” social media platforms are looking at how content creators (and the company too) will have monetization tools. Twitter last month announced their Super Follow feature which lets users subscribe to their favorite artists, writers, and other creators for extra, exclusive content. Now it looks like Instagram is working on something similar, calling it “Exclusive Stories” which means it will live in the Stories section of the app. There aren’t many details yet about it as it’s still in development.

Instagram confirmed to Tech Crunch that they are indeed working on something but the screenshots circulating are still just internal prototypes. The feature is still in early development and is not yet available for public alpha testing. This means they are not yet at liberty to discuss any details so any information we’re getting may not be official but come from screenshots of the prototype. Even if they’re not official, we can get an idea of their plans.

Creators will be able to publish “Exclusive Stories” which can be viewed by “members” only. We can assume that members will subscribe to the creator’s content for a certain monthly fee. This is similar to how Patreon does things but this time, the content will be hosted on Stories. They cannot be screenshot but the creator can add it to their Highlights. A prompt will tell them to “save this to a Highlight for Your Fans” so they can have something to see when new fans eventually subscribe to you.

Apparently, this feature is just part of their plans to help creators monetize. Instagram Head Adam Mosseri has previously said they are looking into things like subscriptions, tips, and even NFT. The monetization tools they’re looking into have three categories: commerce (branded content, affiliate marketing), users paying creators directly (gated content, tips, payment-type products), and revenue share with things like IGTV and Reels.

Since all of these are still either in the prototyping or planning stages, we really don’t know if and when we’ll see something this year. But we can expect some announcements and changes soon as Mosseri has said they are moving away from being just a photo-sharing app.

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