Instagram is developing its own version of Twitter’s Super Follow with “exclusive stories” – TechCrunch
Instagram is building its own version of Twitter’s Super Follow with a feature that would allow online creators to post “exclusive” content in their Instagram Stories that is only available to their fans – access that would likely come with a payment of any subscription.
Instagram has confirmed that screenshots of the feature recently circulated on social networks come from an internal prototype under development, but which has not yet been tested publicly. The company declined to share specific details of its plans, saying it was not yet in a position to talk about the project.
The screenshots, however, say a lot about Instagram thinking, as they show a way creators could post so-called “exclusive stories” on their accounts, which are designated with a different color. (currently purple). When other Instagram users discover the Exclusive Stories, a message tells them that “only members” can see that content. Stories also can’t be screenshots it seems, and they can be shared as highlights. A new prompt encourages creators to “record this in a climax for your fans,” explaining that in doing so, “fans always have something to see when they join in.”
Exclusive Stories feature was reverse engineered Alexander Paluzzi, which often finds new features in the code of mobile applications. Over the past week, he posted a series of screenshots to an ongoing Twitter thread about his findings.
Exclusive Stories are just a part of Instagram’s larger plans for extended creator monetization tools.
The company has slowly revealed more details of its efforts in this space, with Instagram director Adam Mosseri first saying Information in May that the company was “exploring” subscriptions as well as other new features, such as NFTs.
Paluzzi too recently found references to the NFT feature, Collectibles, which shows how digital collectibles can appear on a creator’s Instagram profile in a new tab.
Instagram, so far, has not made a public announcement on these specific product developments, choosing instead to speak at a high level about its plans for things like subscriptions and tips.
For example, during Instagram Creators Week in early June – an event that could have served as a great place to offer a first look at some of these ideas – Mosseri spoke more generally about the type of creative tools Instagram wanted to create, without saying which ones were in fact in active development.
“We have to create if we’re going to be the best platform for creators in the long run, a whole suite of things or tools that creators can use to help do what they do,” he said. said, explaining that Instagram is also working on more creative tools and security features, as well as tools that could help creators make a living.
“I think it’s very important that we create a full suite of different tools because what you might use and what would be relevant to you as a creator can be very different from an athlete or a writer. “, did he declare.
“And so, in large part, [the creator monetization tools] fall into three categories. One is commerce – either we can do more to help with branded content; we can do more with affiliate marketing… we can do more with merch, ”he explained. “The second is to allow users to pay creators directly, whether it’s blocked content, subscriptions or tips, like badges or other user-payment-type products. I think there is a lot to do there. I love them because they give the creators a direct relationship with their fans – which I think is probably more enduring and predictable in the long run, ”Mosseri said.
The third area is focused on revenue sharing, like with IGTV long and short video, like Reels, he added.
Instagram isn’t the only major social platform to forge ahead with creator monetization efforts.
The membership model, popularized by platforms like OnlyFans and Patreon, has recently made its way to a number of mainstream social networks as the creator economy has become more established.
Twitter, for example, first announced its own take on creator subscriptions, with the unveiling of its plans for the Super Follow feature at an Analyst Day event in February. Last week it started rolling out apps for Super Follows and Ticketed Spaces, the latest competitor to Clubhouse’s audio social networking rooms.
Meanwhile, Facebook yesterday launched its Substack newsletter competitor, Bulletin, which offers creators a way to sell premium subscriptions and access member-only groups and live audio rooms. Even Spotify has launched an audio chat room and Clubhouse rival, Greenroom, which it also plans to eventually monetize.
While the new screenshots offer a more in-depth look at Instagram’s product plans on this front, we should caution that a feature in development is not necessarily representative of what a feature will look like at launch or its final behavior. It’s also not a definitive promise of a public launch – although, in this case, it would be hard to see Instagram abandon its plans for exclusive member-only content given its broader interest in serving creators, where such functionality is essentially part of a basic offering.