Monetization Comes to Instagram – New Ways for Content Creators to Earn Money on the App

Monetization comes to Instagram - New ways for Content Creators to earn money on the app

Many social platforms, such as TikTok and YouTube, allow monetization – receiving money for content users upload to the network. Facebook and Instagram, on the other hand, didn’t have a monetization system in place and did not give any incentive to popular content creators. In the last weeks, Instagram opened, for the first time, the option to profit from ads shown during your IGTV videos. In addition, they unveiled a badge system, that allows viewers of live videos to tip the maker of the video directly. What does all this mean for the future of content creators on Instagram? Read on, as we’ll break it down:

How to Turn Likes into Dollars?

“How can you make money from Instagram?” That is the question people have been asking themselves since the beginnings of the network over a decade ago. Until now, there was no direct way for someone with a popular Instagram account to monetize their popularity. It had to be done indirectly by promoting products for companies or creating original products. That led to the emergence of the influencer industry, which bridged the gap and allowed translating Instagram likes into IRL money.

At the same time, other networks, such as YouTube, TikTok, and the gaming platform Twitch developed advanced monetization systems that allow users to earn directly from their content. It’s not a secret that popular YouTubers make money every time someone plays their video. They can also partner with YouTube to place ads in the videos and earn from the number of times users watched the ads. Not everyone who will upload a video will become rich, but it’s a lucrative income for the top percent of successful YouTubers.

The Facebook company, on the other hand, did not provide any way for their users to make money. Facebook recognized only two types of profiles: regular users and businesses who are given access to advertising tools. Many of us log in to social networks to enjoy texts, memes, videos, and lives by content creators. But Facebook has ignored their importance and in many ways assumed that its unchallenged claim in the market will be enough to attract us to post more content.
In the past months, we are witnessing a shift in this trend. Like many changes in Instagram lately, this can be attributed to the rise of Tiktok, as it allows users with over 10K followers to make money for each view.

Instagram Monetization
Badges setup on the Tal Navarro account

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Content Creator Account

The first sign of the change in Instagram’s approach came in 2018 with the introduction of creator accounts. This third type of Instagram accounts was a first step to acknowledging the value of content creators as a group with specific needs. 

What are the differences between a creator and a business account? 

There are not many of them so far. From what we’ve seen, the two types still essentially have the same options. The differences in the interfaces are minute and include more audience analytics and more tools to manage incoming requests. 

For now, it seems that the monetization options we discuss here will be available on creator and business accounts. But we can assume with some certainty that the future trend will be to differentiate the two, with only creator accounts having access to monetization features.

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All the ways to make money on Instagram

Instagram has unveiled two main ways to monetize on the app:
1. Placing ads in IGTV videos

Creator and Business account owners will be able to set up a payout account and ask to include ads in their IGTV videos. For this aim, the videos need to:
-Be over a minute long

-Be in English, French, Spanish of German
-Comply with Instagram policies (nothing offensive, sexual or violent)

-Not infringe copyright.


  1. Badges

As part of their push to get more people to do live videos, Instagram now allows transferring money directly to the content creator while watching their lives. While you watch the video, the words “Buy a badge to support @accountX” will appear on your screen. Viewers can choose to give $0.99, $1.99 or $4.99. Several hearts will then appear near their name in the video. There’s a maximum of 250$ per user at this point. Instagram will not charge for this transaction, and 100% of the money will go to the content creator.

Monetization Setup
Monetization Setup

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And there’s a Bonus!

In middle July, Mark Zuckerberg officially announced that Facebook is committed to supporting content creators and pledged a billion dollars to support them. Part of this support is a bonus program for Content Creators who frequently go live. These are the bonus milestones listed on the Instagram website:

  • To earn the first milestone ($100 cash bonus), you must go Live for at least 15 minutes in the first 7 days after you onboard to badges milestones.
  • To earn the second milestone ($150 cash bonus), you must go Live with at least one other account for at least 30 minutes. If you completed the first milestone, you will have 30 days from the moment of completion to achieve the second milestone. If you missed the first milestone, you will have 30 days from the day you onboarded to badges milestones to complete this second milestone.
  • To earn the third milestone ($250 cash bonus), you must go Live for at least 15 minutes a week for 4 consecutive weeks. You can earn this last bonus multiple times until the program ends. The 4 week tracker will start when the milestone becomes available to you and will restart if you have missed a week.

So how can you make money on Instagram?

Like many other Instagram features, monetization is rolled out gradually, so it may not be available for you yet. However, it’s already clear that we are witnessing a significant shift in Facebook’s attitude towards a key aspect in the success of social networks – the creative individuals who upload content that resonates with other users. If you have an Instagram account with thousands of followers, and you often go live, you will definitely want to follow Instagram’s official site and Social Media blogs (like this one) to find out when your cheque from Mark Zuckerberg is due.

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