Instagram has become not just an avenue for socializing but also a lucrative platform for earning money. Influencers, businesses, and content creators troop to the platform in the hopes of earning an income. But the big question remains: does Instagram pay you?

While there are dozens of monetization options available to make money off Instagram, many wonder if the platform itself pays people. This article will examine this question and provide you with a definitive answer to guide you.

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Does Instagram Pay You?

Instagram itself does not directly pay users to use the platform or post content. However, the platform has programs like Badges, Branded content, and Subscriptions, which serve as a source of direct revenue for creators.

Can you make money on Instagram?

Yes, it is possible to make money on Instagram through various methods, especially if you have a sizable and engaged following.

While Instagram doesn’t pay, there are dozens of indirect ways to earn money from the platform. Some of these include influencer marketing, affiliate marketing, selling products/services, and sponsoring posts.

How to make money on Instagram directly

As mentioned earlier, Instagram needs to have conventional ad revenue share programs that are common to many social media platforms. However, you can still make money from Instagram through its monetization programs.

These include:

1. Instagram Live Badges

Instagram introduced Live Badges as a way for fans to support their favorite creators during live streams. These digital “tips” are shaped like hearts and can be purchased in packages ranging from $0.99 to $4.99. When viewers buy badges, hearts will appear next to their usernames.

Instagram Live Badges
Image Source: Instagram

You can also track the total number of badges sold, your earnings, and progress towards any goals you’ve set. For more detailed earnings information, tap “View” during your live stream. After your live stream ends, you can check your total badge count by visiting the “Badges” section in your professional dashboard.

Start earning with badges in just a few taps:

  • Onboard:
    • Go to your “Profile” and tap on “Professional dashboard”.
    • If you qualify for monetization, you’ll find a button to “Set Up Badges.”
    • If you’re not eligible yet, you can apply within the app by tapping on “Apply for monetization” and keep an eye on your professional dashboard for updates on your status.
  • Go live:
    • Once you have access to badges, they will automatically be activated for your live streams.
    • Add a title to your live stream and start broadcasting!

2. Instagram Subscriptions

Instagram Subscriptions offer creators a way to share exclusive content with their most dedicated followers for a monthly fee. It’s similar to platforms like Patreon or OnlyFans.

This program allows you to earn regular income by providing unique content and experiences to your engaged audience. When subscribers pay, they get access to unique content marked with a purple ring and a special badge next to their name in comments and messages.

You decide the price, all within Instagram, where you already interact with your followers. You can share exclusive Stories, posts, Reels, Live videos, badges, and group chats.

To join Instagram Subscriptions, creators need to:

  • Be at least 18 years old.
  • Live in a qualifying country.
  • Have 10,000 followers
  • Follow our Partner Monetization Policies and Content Monetization Policies.

Once you’re invited to use Subscriptions, you can set it up from your “Professional dashboard” by selecting “Subscriptions” to manage your subscriber list.

3. Instagram Creator Marketplace

The Instagram Creator Marketplace offers a platform for influencers to connect with brands that match their interests. By indicating their preferred brands and interests, creators can ensure they receive relevant brand opportunities that resonate with their audience. Brands can send projects directly to creators, allowing them to review project details, requirements, and rates within the app’s Partnership messages folder.

Negotiating terms for each branded content deal is crucial, as rates and requirements vary. Providing data like follower count, average likes, views, comments, and shares from organic and past branded content helps justify rates.

Creators must ensure compliance with Instagram Partner Monetization PoliciesCommunity Guidelines, and Content Monetization Policies to be eligible. They can check access by visiting the “Professional dashboard” and selecting “Branded content tools.” Setting up a profile in Instagram’s creator marketplace enables creators to be discovered by brands, negotiate project details, and post content with automated permissions, all within the Instagram platform.

How to make money on Instagram indirectly

Making money on Instagram requires a combination of strategic planning, consistent effort, audience engagement, and value creation. Each method will require creators to leverage their strengths, expertise, and creativity. Thankfully, creators can explore multiple avenues to monetize their Instagram presence and generate income indirectly through various revenue streams.

1. Affiliate marketing

Affiliate marketing involves promoting products or services and earning a commission for each sale made through your referral link. You can use Instagram to drive traffic to your blog or website where you have affiliate links embedded.

Write informative content related to the products or services you’re promoting, and include your affiliate links strategically within the content. Encourage your Instagram followers to visit your blog or website for more information, which can lead to conversions and earnings through affiliate marketing.

2. Offer online courses or workshops

Identify your expertise or niche and create comprehensive online courses or workshops that provide value to your Instagram audience. Use Instagram to promote your courses by sharing snippets, testimonials, or behind-the-scenes content. Direct interested followers to a dedicated website or platform where they can enroll in your courses for a fee. Provide engaging and interactive learning experiences, and leverage social proof and testimonials to attract more participants, indirectly generating income from your expertise.

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3. Influencer referrals

Influencer earnings by account size
Image Source: Hypeauditor

As an influencer, you can refer other influencers or creators to brands or agencies. When these referrals lead to collaborations or partnerships, you can earn referral fees or bonuses. This indirect method of making money leverages your network and connections within the influencer community. It’s a win-win situation where you help others find opportunities while earning rewards for your recommendations.

4. Provide consulting or coaching services

If you have specialized knowledge or skills in a particular field, offer consulting or coaching services to individuals or businesses. Use Instagram to showcase your expertise through valuable content, success stories, and client testimonials.

Provide consulting or coaching services
Image Source: @theqazman

Encourage potential clients to reach out via direct messages or email for consultations or coaching sessions. Provide personalized solutions, guidance, and support to clients, and establish yourself as a trusted authority in your niche, indirectly earning income through your consulting or coaching services.

5. Creating and selling digital products

Develop digital products such as ebooks, guides, templates, or online tools that cater to the needs or interests of your Instagram followers. Promote these digital products on Instagram by highlighting their benefits, features, and value propositions. Direct interested users to a platform where they can purchase and download your digital products. Continuously improve and update your digital offerings based on customer feedback and market demand, indirectly generating revenue from sales of your digital products.

6. Offering freelance services

If you have skills in areas such as writing, graphic design, social media management, or video editing, offer freelance services to clients or businesses. Showcase your portfolio, skills, and past projects on Instagram to attract potential clients. Use engaging captions, visuals, and testimonials to demonstrate your expertise and professionalism. Encourage interested clients to contact you for freelance projects or collaborations. Deliver high-quality work and build long-term relationships with clients to secure repeat business and referrals, indirectly earning income from freelance services.

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7. Content licensing

Consider licensing your Instagram content to media outlets, publishers, or brands. Your engaging and high-quality posts, especially those with unique perspectives or storytelling elements, can be valuable assets for various platforms. By licensing your content, you grant permission for others to use it for specific purposes, such as in articles, advertisements, or campaigns. You can negotiate fees or royalties for the use of your content, creating a passive income stream.

8. Brand ambassadorships

Become a brand ambassador for companies aligned with your niche or interests. Ambassadors typically receive compensation, free products, or exclusive perks in exchange for promoting the brand’s products or services. Showcase your genuine support for the brand through your Instagram content, emphasizing how its offerings resonate with your audience. This indirect monetization method combines partnership benefits with financial rewards.

9. Social media management services

Offer social media management services to businesses or individuals seeking to enhance their online presence. Use your Instagram success as a testament to your expertise in content creation, engagement strategies, and audience growth. Promote your social media management services through Instagram, showcasing case studies or success stories from past clients. As businesses recognize the value of effective social media management, you can secure ongoing contracts and generate revenue.

10. Public speaking engagements

Position yourself as a thought leader or industry expert through your Instagram content. Share insights, trends, and valuable information that position you as a credible authority. As your influence grows, you may receive invitations for public speaking engagements, conferences, or panels. Charge speaking fees for these opportunities, leveraging your Instagram platform as evidence of your expertise and appeal to event organizers. Public speaking engagements not only offer direct income but also enhance your professional reputation and network.

Does Instagram pay you for followers?

No, Instagram does not pay users directly based on the number of followers they have.

Instead, Instagram provides various opportunities for users to monetize their presence indirectly through strategies such as influencer marketing, sponsored content, affiliate partnerships, and in-app purchases. This way, creators can monetize their followings and earn lucrative deals for themselves while still doing what they love best.

Does Instagram pay you for views?

Instagram does not pay users for views on their posts or content. Unlike some platforms like YouTube, where creators can earn ad revenue based on the number of views their videos receive, Instagram’s payment structure does not work in the same way. However, creators can leverage their view numbers alongside other metrics to land lucrative deals from which they can earn money.

Does Instagram pay you for Likes?

Instagram does not directly pay users for likes on their posts. Instagram’s payment structure does not incentivize or compensate users based on the number of likes their posts receive.

While Instagram does not pay users directly for likes on their posts, likes can indirectly influence opportunities for monetization, especially in the context of influencer marketing, branded content collaborations, and advertising. Building a solid and engaged audience on Instagram can open doors to earning opportunities.

Does Instagram pay you for Reels?

Instagram no longer directly pays users to create or post reels. From November 2021 to February 2023, Instagram had a Reels Play bonus program. This program gave rewards to creators who met specific goals. Some influencers and creators on Instagram made as much as $35,000 in a single month. However, Instagram stopped the program in March 2023.

To summarize

Instagram serves as a dynamic platform for earning money, offering diverse opportunities for creators, influencers, and businesses. By leveraging the platform’s features, engaging with their audience, and staying updated on industry trends, users can turn their passion into a profitable venture on Instagram.


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