With creators and influencers proving to be a boon on social media platforms, companies have been seen going all-in to ensure presence of influencer creators on their platforms. This rise in prominence has seen numerous features being rolled out on several platforms as companies are unveiling newer methods for creators to make money on their social networking sites.
Meta-owned Instagram has rolled out several features to this end, but one thing it has lacked is a “tipping” feature – a method for users to show their appreciation for their favourite creators, which is more than just a view, like, or follow. This is changing now, as the photo-sharing social networking site is exploring “Gifts” – a new monetization feature for creators on the platform.
This feature is exclusively to let creators earn through Reels, which Instagram has been pushing forward for quite some time. Gifts, thus, has a two-pronged agenda – it will entice creators to make and distribute content on Reels, and will further drive Reels to the forefront and make it an even more popular choice. Either way, Instagram comes out on top.
Meta, which has owned Instagram for the past ten years, confirmed the development. It informed that the tipping feature was an internal prototype and that no external testing was done at this moment. Which means that it could be quite some time before the feature rolls out to the users – and that will come after extensive testing, both internally and with select groups of users.
This is not the first time that Gifts has made itself known. Back in July, it was known as “Content Appreciation.” Alessandro Paluzzi shared screenshots that will allow creators to toggle an option that would enable their fans to send them “Gifts” with the click of a button displayed at the bottom of Reels. A new Gifts tab under their settings will show Creators if they are eligible to receive Gifts.
This is not the first monetization tool to come to Instagram. Badges – a feature that lets fans purchase a badge for $1-5 each while a creator is livestreaming on the app, and they can buy as many badges as they want up to $250/Live video – already has a presence on the platform. Facebook has a similar feature called Stars, which was later expanded to include livestreams, on-demand video, and Reels.
Other social media companies have their own tipping offerings – Twitter’s Tip Jar is one that comes to mind. Chinese upstart TikTok, with which Instagram has a strong rivalry, has its own tipping feature in Gifts.