- Instagram is working on a feature that could allow creators to “get paid” for sharing Reels.
- TikTok, Snapchat, and YouTube already have creator funds that pay some users for short-form videos.
- The Instagram feature is only an internal prototype, however.
- See more stories on Insider’s business page.
Instagram is developing a direct payment feature that could potentially pay creators when they share new Reels.
The feature, still in development and not being tested externally, is called “Bonuses.”
Last week, mobile developer Alessandro Paluzzi shared a screenshot with information from the feature prototype to Twitter, which he uncovered through reverse-engineering Instagram code.
The monetization feature would allow creators to “earn bonuses from Instagram when you share new Reels,” according to the image he shared.
—Alessandro Paluzzi (@alex193a) May 21, 2021
Instagram confirmed the information was from an internal prototype but didn’t provide more details to Insider.
Although few details are clear about the “Bonuses” feature, it appears to be similar to other short-form video payment programs on competing apps.
TikTok in 2020 launched its creator fund — a multi-year, $1 billion program that pays eligible creators for posting on the app. While new of the fund made a splash, some creators said the program doesn’t generate much revenue for them.
Snapchat launched a payment program in November 2020 to lure creators to “Spotlight,” its short-form video TikTok rival, shelling out millions of dollars to creators — even minting some teenage millionaires in the process. (Last week, Snapchat ended its $1 million per day payouts to creators, though the company said it would still be paying “millions” per week.) And earlier this month, YouTube announced a creator fund for Shorts (another TikTok copycat) that is set to pay out $100 million to creators through 2022.
Instagram has yet to announce a creator fund of its own.
But such a fund is “not off the table,” head of Instagram Adam Mosseri recently told The Information in an interview.
“I’m personally more bullish and excited about building monetization products that help [creators] make a living over the long run than I am about writing checks directly, but I’m not opposed to writing checks,” Mosseri said.
Several Instagram execs including Mosseri — and even Instagram parent Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg — have publicly spoken about ongoing efforts in developing more new ways for creators to make money on the platform.
In the past year, Instagram has rolled out an ad revenue sharing program for IGTV (still in early testing) and tipping on Live with “Badges”; it has also expanded more shopping features to creator accounts.
And last month, Mosseri and Zuckerberg both outlined three new creator-monetization projects in the works at Instagram: creator shops, a native affiliate-marketing program, and a branded content marketplace.
While other social-media platforms are dishing out millions of dollars to creators — and in return winning their loyalty — Instagram is still “behind” on monetization, Mosseri told The Information.