After initially testing the option last November, Instagram has today announced that all eligible Reels creators in the US will now be able to accept virtual gifts from their fans via a button on their clips.
As you can see in this overview, Reels viewers will be able to purchase virtual gifts in-stream, at varying cash amounts, via Stars, Meta’s in-app currency. They’ll then be able to use their virtual stickers as a donation tool to give money to their favorite creators.
How much money?
As per IG:
“Viewers will purchase stars and use them to send you gifts on Instagram. Instagram will then provide you with a revenue share from your reels that received gifts on a monthly basis equal to $.01 USD for every star received from fans.”
One cent per Star. Which doesn’t sound amazing, but still it’s something.
That also equates to around a 40% split to creators, based on the current Stars purchase price.
Creators will have to reach a cashout threshold of $100 (which can include earnings from other monetization programs), at which point they’ll be able to convert their Stars gifts into cash.
It’s another way for creators – and Reels creators in particular – to make money in the app, which has become a key battleground for short-form video platforms, as each platform tries to work out the best way to keep top creators around.
YouTube recently launched its new monetization framework for Shorts, which will see a percentage of all ad dollars generated by Shorts clips split between eligible creators, while TikTok continues to refine its own options to get more of its stars paid.
That, eventually, could become a key sticking point, especially as creators expand their followings, and look for the best opportunities to monetize their popularity while they can.
Instagram’s donations feature seems like a lesser consideration in this respect. But again, it’s something, and it will provide another means for users to make money directly from their content in the app.
Instagram says that creators in the US can check their Professional Dashboard to see if they have access to Instagram gifts and can onboard to begin earning from today. Reels gifts will be coming to more regions soon.