Instagram is letting more users monetize their live streams with fan badges; a feature that feels heavily influenced by Twitch.
Instagram Live fan badges were introduced this past May as a way for users to contribute money directly to their favorite creators.
In exchange for a fee, users receive a badge which is displayed next to their name when they comment on a creator’s live stream.
Users can contribute either $0.99, $1.99, or $4.99.
The different prices represent different tier levels. Each tier has its own badge, so users can show off exactly how much they’ve contributed to their favorite Intagrammer.
In the example below you see what the badges look like for tiers 1, 2, and 3 (look for the little hearts):
Fan badges for Instagram Live were first rolled out to a limited number of creators this past Spring.
Now, the ability to offer fan badges is being expanded to 50,000 additional Instagram creators.
While that’s still a small number of people compared to the entire user base of Instagram, it’s a positive sign fan badges will eventually be rolled out to even more creators.
In the month of November, Instagram says it will match creator earnings from badge purchases during live videos.
To get creators even further on board with fan badges, Instagram is not taking a revenue share of badge purchases for the time being.
That may change at any time in the future, but for now creators are keeping all the money they receive from badge purchases.
Instagram COO, Justin Osofsky, says in a statement:
“Creators push culture forward. Many of them dedicate their life to this, and it’s so important to us that they have easy ways to make money from their content.
These are additional steps in our work to make Instagram the single best place for creators to tell their story, grow their audience, and make a living.”
Sounds like a great deal for creators – but what do users get out of purchasing a fan badge?
Let’s look at some of the perks of being a paid fan.
Instagram Live Fan Badges: What’s the Point?
More than anything, fan badges are a little something extra users receive as a thank-you for paying creators for their work.
There’s no obligation to pay Instagrammers anything to view their content. So those who choose to make a contribution are rewarded with a fan badge.
With a fan badge comes a number of perks. The primary advantage of having a fan badge is enhanced visibility.
Getting an influencer’s attention during a live stream can be challenging, especially if they have an active chat room.
A fan badge is a way for users to stand out amongst the crowd and increase the chances of getting their comments noticed.
Instagram tells TechCrunch the purchase of a fan badge also unlocks other features, such as placement on a creators list of badge holders.
The badges and badge-holders list let creators quickly see who their biggest fans are.
Asking user to pay for flair which lets them stand out as a top supporter is not a novel idea.
In fact, a key component of Twitch’s monetization model is built on viewers paying real money for digital pieces of flair.
Much like Instagram fan badges, Twitch lets users pay a fee for a special icon next to their name and access to exclusive emojis.
The icon and emojis allow users to stand out in a streamer’s chat room. Revenue is split 50/50 between Twitch and the streamer.
This system is apparently working well for Twitch. A report from earlier this year shows Twitch’s revenue from fan contributions is eclipsing revenue from advertising.
Time will tell if Instagram sees similar success with its implementation of fan badges.
This could end up being the answer to Instagram’s lack of monetization options for creators.