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Instagram preparing to launch subscription payment system

Instagram is about to rollout a trial subscription model that could have subscribers paying for content rather than relying on ads.

As spotted by a pair of app-tracking services and reported by TechCrunch, the Facebook- (or should that be Meta?) owned social media platform recently added new in-app purchase options to its app in the US. Alongside the previously release Instagram Badge payment options are new Instagram Subscription tiers, costing either $0.99 or $4.99.

These initial Instagram in-app purchases have also seemingly made an appearance on the UK app, so the tests would appear to be wide reaching.

This would seem to herald the coming launch of Instagram’s previously revealed subscription-based creator platform. The idea would be to pay a small but regular fee to support your favoured Instagram creators.

It seems there could be a return for these in-app payments. Instagram is known to be building an ‘Exclusive Stories’ feature that would offer paying users exclusive content not available through the standard ad-supported channel. It won’t even be possible to screenshot this bonus content, which means you really will need to pay to see it.

Reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi has been tracking and tweeting about Instagram’s ongoing work on such a feature.

It seems Exclusive Stories subscribers will get a special member’s badge, and will also gain access to exclusive live videos.

Instagram isn’t alone in focusing on new payment models. Back in September Twitter, arguably Instagram’s biggest rival, launched Super Follows – a similar subscription program that enables creators to monetise through exclusive content.

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