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As Instagram tests its subscription-based model across the world, influencers and marketing …

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  • After Twitter’s Super Follow, Meta-owned social media app Instagram is expected to launch subscriptions on its platform soon.
  • This subscription-based model will allow users to access exclusive stories, live videos of their favourite content creators for ₹89 per month in India.
  • We speak to content creators and influencer marketing agencies to understand what this means for the ecosystem.

After the huge success of OnlyFans and Twitter’s Super Follow feature globally, Meta-owned Instagram is now testing monthly subscriptions priced at ₹89 per month in India. This feature will allow creators to earn money for their exclusive stories and live videos and users to support their favourite creators. Instagram has already rolled out the update for iOS users. Priced between $0.99 and $4.99 in the US and ₹89 in India, the ‘Instagram Subscriptions’ feature is available under the “In-App Purchases” section.

So far, Instagram influencers were earning money from sponsored content, affiliate links, selling products or merchandise, getting tips and now there’s an additional option for them to explore.

According to Instagram’s Reverse Engineer, Alessandro Paluzzi, the platform has been in the works for months now.
Media reports suggest that Instagram is also testing a subscribe button that will appear on a creator’s profile. A special member badge will appear next to their username whenever they DM (direct message) the creator or comment on their posts. Once live, this new feature will not only provide the creator an opportunity to earn an extra buck but also allow them to prioritise certified fans. With this new feature, Instagram can target its power users such as news organisations, verified creators, brands and marketing agencies. It’s still in the early stages, but it looks like it is definitely coming.

See also  Instagram Provides Tips on How to Maximize Customer Engagement with Instagram Stories [Infographic]

In the recent past, social media platforms like Twitter, Medium, OnlyFans have embraced the tactics of the old legacy media companies by launching subscription-based models.

But will a subscription-based model work in a price-sensitive market like India, will users pony up for exclusive content and what will this mean for creators and the platform? Here’s what experts had to say.

Ranveer Allahbadia, Digital Content Creator, Entrepreneur, Podcaster and Investor:

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I am personally not very bullish on subscription or memberships being offered for a specific fee on public platform’s like Instagram or YouTube. This is because there is a lot more onus that comes on to the creator to deliver extra value than they already are, when they provide content for free. Many creator’s are not up for that or don’t have the bandwidth to provide it, hence, may not end up using the subscription form of medium at all. I personally don’t feel like I will be using this medium of charging my community at all.

This is similar to the membership feature provided by YouTube and many creators have successfully used this. Where a lot of their followers, subscribers have ended up paying a monthly fee in order to get access to exclusive content or merchandise from their favourite creator. So it totally depends on the creator to create a basis.

Arushi Gupta, Head- Influencer.in:

The subscription feature is a great tool with respect to monetizing the platform – influencers have so far been making money off of instagram via brand collaborations and instagram shop feature. Overall it fits in with Meta’s vision of creating ecosystems and communities where creators can monetize through multiple methods. This new feature is in the same direction and will motivate influencers to keep their content engaging. It would be interesting to see how Indian Social Media users react to this as most users would prefer consuming content for free, so it will take quite some time for the audience to warm up to this concept. There are some third party apps and websites offering subscription solutions to creators but they are all at a small scale. The super chat feature on YouTube is on the similar lines, and the key to having your exclusive audience is solely based on how engaging the content is. Keeping this in mind, The Indian market is also subjected to a lot of pirated/copied content, so users will prefer to share the subscription or get the said exclusive content through other means that do not involve money i.e via recording the story content and sharing it on other platforms.

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Sagar Pushp, Co-founder and CEO, ClanConnect:

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Premium or paid content is a popular revenue generation method for creators in developed markets like the US and the UK. Platforms like Patreon, Twitter, and even youtube have used this model, and Instagram is now jumping on the bandwagon. This shows that social media platforms are beginning to understand the content creator economy and are building new revenue streams to ensure influencer earnings are not limited to advertisement revenues. This, in turn, will give creators the push to create more high-quality content.

Since Instagram has not rolled out specific deliverables and pricing details for the Indian market yet, we will refrain from commenting or predicting its projected impact. Currently, it is only available on IoS platforms, and we are yet to see how this model will be shaped for Indian users, a majority of which use Android phones. Holistically speaking, however, the subscription model holds a lot of potential for India. It has worked in international markets and has a future here as well.

Apaksh Gupta, CEO and Founder, One Impression:

This is an interesting move by Instagram which will further boost the creator economy. We have already seen the willingness of the Indian consumer to subscribe to OTT platforms and premium services of apps like Spotify and YouTube. This move by Instagram will further bring us closer to the future of premium content. It can be compared to and is quite similar to the OTT subscription model. Considering India is a price-sensitive market, it will be upon the creators to justify the cost for accessing the premium content, focusing on quality and exclusivity. Moreover, we have witnessed the Indian consumers supporting content creators monetarily through platforms like Twitch, Patreon, or via YouTube “super-chat”. Primarily this was limited to the gaming enthusiasts, but recently vloggers and other creators are also getting their fair due of monetary recognition. Henceforth, this move by Instagram could bring about a change that will alter the creator space, as well as content consumption pattern, in India.”

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LinkedIn Makes its 20 Most Popular LinkedIn Learning Courses Freely Available Throughout August

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Looking to up your skills for a job change or career advancement in the second half of the year?

This will help – today, LinkedIn has published its listing of the 20 most popular LinkedIn Learning courses over the first half of 2022. In addition to this, LinkedIn’s also making each of these courses free to access till the end of the month – so now may well be the best time to jump in and brush up on the latest, rising skills in your industry.

As per LinkedIn:

As the Great Reshuffle slows and the job market cools, professionals are getting more serious about skill building. The pandemic accelerated change across industries, and as a result, skills to do a job today have changed even compared to a few years ago. Professionals are responding by learning new skills to future-proof their careers and meet the moment.” 

LinkedIn says that over seven million people have undertaken these 20 courses this year, covering everything from improved communication, project management, coding, strategic thinking and more.

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Here are the top 20 LinkedIn Learning courses right now, which you can access via the relevant links:

  1. Goal Setting: Objectives and Key Results (OKRs) with Jessie Withers
  2. Excel Essential Training (Office 365/Microsoft 365) with Dennis Taylor
  3. Interpersonal Communication with Dorie Clark
  4. Cultivating a Growth Mindset with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  5. Project Management Foundations with Bonnie Biafore
  6. Using Questions to Foster Critical Thinking and Curiosity with Joshua Miller
  7. Essentials of Team Collaboration with Dana Brownlee
  8. Unconscious Bias with Stacey Gordon
  9. Learning Python with Joe Marini
  10. Communicating with Confidence with Jeff Ansell
  11.  Speaking Confidently and Effectively with Pete Mockaitis
  12. Learning the OWASP Top 10 with Caroline Wong
  13. Power BI Essential Training with Gini von Courter
  14. Strategic Thinking with Dorie Clark
  15. SQL Essential Training with Bill Weinman
  16. Developing Your Emotional Intelligence with Gemma Leigh Roberts
  17. Communication Foundations with Brenda Bailey-Hughes and Tatiana Kolovou
  18. Agile Foundations with Doug Rose
  19. Digital Marketing Foundations with Brad Batesole
  20. Critical Thinking with Mike Figliuolo
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If you’ve been thinking about upskilling, now may be the time – or maybe it’s just worth taking some of the programming courses, for example, so that you have a better understanding of how to communicate between departments on projects.

Or you could take an Agile course. If, you know, you don’t trust your own management ability.

The courses are available for free till August 31st via the above links.

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Instagram Is Rolling Out Reels Replies, And Will Be Testing A New Feature Which Informs …

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Instagram has added a few more social features to the platform, with Reels Replies being rolled out. Along with the Replies, anew feature is being tested that shows when two users are active together in the same chat.

Reels has been performing much better than perhaps even Instagram ever anticipated. The TikTok-inspired new video format (which officially claims to have absolutely no relation to the former) had some trouble really finding its footing initially. However, Reels has grown massively and while it may not be a source of the most direct competition to TikTok, it is indeed a worthy alternative.

Reels has grown to the point that it has a massive creator program attached to it, and the video format has even been migrated to Facebook with the goal of generating further user interest there. Naturally, with such a successful virtual goldmine on its hands, Instagram has been hard at work developing new features and interface updates for Reels, integrating it more and more seamlessly into the rest of the social media platform. Features such as Reels Replies are a major part of such attempts at integration.

Reels Visual Replies are essentially just what they sound like: A Reel that is being used to reply to someone. It’s a feature that’s been seen frequently across TikTok as well. Reel Replies essentially take a user’s comments, and reply to them in video format. The comment will then show up within the Reel itself as a text-box, taking up some amount of space, and showing both the user who issued said comment along with the text. The text-box is apparently adjustable, with users having the ability to move it around and change its size depending on where it obstructs one’s Reel the least.

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Overall, it’s a fun addition to the Reels format, even if the credit should be going to TikTok first. At any rate, it’s an example of Instagram really utilizing Reels’ social media capabilities, outside of just serving it up as a form of entertainment.

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Speaking of social media capabilities, a new feature might help alleviate one of the most common frustrations encountered across all such platforms. Isn’t it annoying when you see that a friend’s online, but isn’t replying to your chat? Sure, they’ve probably just put their phone down to run a quick errand, but there’s no way for you to know, right? Well, there sort of is now! Instagram is beta testing a new feature via which if both users are active within a chat, the platform will display that accordingly. It’s a work-around, sure, and one that’s currently being tested for usefulness, but it’s still a very nice, and even fresh, addition to the social media game.

Now, the active status will only appear when you are both active at the same time.#Instagram #instgramnewfeature@MattNavarra @instagram @alex193a pic.twitter.com/2chGZP9hr4

— Yash Joshi  (@MeYashjoshi) December 10, 2021

Read next: Instagram Plans On Allowing Users To Return To Its Old Chronologically Sorted News Feed

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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android

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Alright, we get it. You’re an Instagram Nostradamus.

You know exactly what you want to post and when you’re gonna want to post it. Maybe there’s a meme or comment you want to make that you know will be totally relevant for a future moment or event. Or it could be that you’re an influencer and you want to make sure you keep a steady stream of content coming, so you want to schedule posts for times when you know you won’t be active (or won’t have internet access).

You’ll be happy to know there are apps that are specialized for just such situations. So listen up, InstaNostradamuses…Instagrostra…Instadam…Insta…uh…you guys (we’ll workshop it. No we won’t. We’ll probably just abandon that effort completely. You’re welcome) — these are the Instagram-post-scheduling apps for you.

While all of the iPhone apps below are free to download, they all have some in-app purchases.

1. Planoly

PLANOLY

We’ll start with “official partner” of Instagram, itself, Planoly — an Instaplanner that uses a grid to let you plan, schedule, and publish posts (as well as Reels) on Instagram. The app also lets you see post metrics and analytics so you can make sure your post didn’t flop.

Planoly is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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2. Buffer

BufferCredit: buffer / app store

Buffer is another Instagram post scheduler that helps you plan your posts and analyze feedback once they’re published. Use a calendar view to drag and drop posts into days/time slots for easy scheduling.

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Buffer is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

3. Preview

PreviewCredit: preview / app store

Preview offers typical post-scheduling tools and analytics along with a few helpful extras. Get caption ideas, recommendations for hashtags, and more.

Preview is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

4. Content Office

Content OfficeCredit: content office / app store

An Instagram post scheduler with a visual boost, Content Office allows users to plan and schedule Instagram posts while learning “marketing and visual guides to grow your brand on Instagram.” Like aesthetics and using visuals to create cohesive themes? Maybe this is the Instaplanner for you.

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Content Office is available for iOS on the Apple App Store.

5. Plann

PlannCredit: plann / apple store

You’ll never guess what “Plann” lets you do…

Aside from scheduling posts, get content ideas and recommendations, as well as strategy tips to ensure you’re maximizing your Instagram engagement. Ever wonder when the best time to post something is? Plann can offer you some help with that.

Plann is available for iOS on the Apple App Store and the Google Play store for Android.

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