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



  • 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.

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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:

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-

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:

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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5 apps for scheduling Instagram posts on iPhone and Android





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


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.

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.

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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Social networking websites launch features to encourage users to get boosters





Facebook Instagram and TikTok are launching new features to encourage people to get their coronavirus booster jabs.

From Friday, users will be able to update their profiles with frames or stickers to show that they have had their top-up jab or aim to when they become eligible.

It follows on from people previously being able to show they have had their first and second jabs on certain social networking websites and apps.

TikTok also held a “grab a jab” event in London earlier this year.

I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones

More than 16 million booster vaccines have now been given across the UK.

People who are aged 40 and above and received their second dose of their vaccine at least six months ago are currently eligible to have their booster.

A new campaign advert is also being launched on Friday, which shows how Covid-19 can build up in enclosed spaces and how to prevent that from happening.

Vaccines minister Maggie Throup said:  “Getting your booster is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your family this winter.

“It is fantastic to see some of the biggest household names further back the phenomenal vaccine rollout, allowing their users to proudly display that they have played their part in helping us build a wall of defence across the country.

“I urge everyone who is eligible – don’t delay, get your vaccine or top-up jab today to protect yourself and your loved ones.”

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How many hashtags should you use to get the most ‘Likes’ on Instagram?




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Hashtags are a key feature of Instagram posts. In fact, they have become an essential means of ensuring more ‘Likes’ on social media – so long as you choose them wisely.

But how many hashtags should you use to maximise your popularity on the social network? The answer might surprise you.

It’s a question that many Instagram users ask themselves: what’s the right number of hashtags to add to a post? To find out, the Later platform analysed 18 million Instagram posts, excluding videos, Reels and Stories.

Interestingly, Later’s results differ from Instagram’s own recommendations. According to Later’s analysis, using more hashtags helps get better results in terms of “reach”, or the percentage of users exposed to the post. By using 20 hashtags, Later observed an optimal average reach rate of just under 36%. Using 30 hashtags gets the next-best reach rate. With five hashtags, reach hits just under 24%.

And while a post’s reach is important, engagement is even more so. From “Likes” and comments to shares and follows – on average, 30 hashtags appears to result in better engagement rates: “When it comes to average engagement rate, using 30 Instagram hashtags per feed post results in the most likes and comments,” says Later’s research.

Yet, at the end of September 2021, Instagram advised its creators to use between three and five hashtags for their posts, while warning them against using too many. The social network advised that using 10 to 20 hashtags per post “will not help you get additional distribution”.

For Later, there could be other reasons behind Instagram’s recommendations: “As Instagram continues to expand their discoverability and SEO tools, it makes sense that they want users to experiment with fewer, more relevant hashtags – this could help them accurately categorise and recommend your posts in suggested content streams, like the Instagram Reels feed or the updated hashtag search tabs,” the website explains. – AFP Relaxnews

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