Instagram testing monetization options with exclusive stories only available to subscribers

Instagram subscription payments may be coming as the company explores monetization options with a new Exclusive Stories feature limiting content to fans who’d pay to follow you.


  • Instagram is testing a new Exclusive Stories feature
  • Exclusive Stories is Instagram’s version of Twitter’s Super Follow
  • Content in these stories is restricted to paying fans of the creator

Promotional graphics for Instagram Stories

Instagram’s Exclusive Stories means subscriptions are coming

Instagram already supports limiting who can see a specific story by creating a list of close friends on the platform. As explained in our tutorial, doing so lets you share your story just with the people on the Close Friends list instead of everyone.

Exclusive Stories is like Close Friends, only with monetization support.

Rather than managing your Close Friends without earning a dime, posts published as Exclusive Stories are only visible to people who are fans of the creator, which is almost certain to come with a subscription payment of some kind.

Exclusive stories can be saved to a Highlight on a creator’s profile so their fans always have something to see when they join.

Instagram has confirmed to TechCrunch that it’s testing the Exclusive Stories feature with some of its beta users, but the company wouldn’t reveal anything beyond that point, underscoring that it’s “not at a place to talk about this project just yet.”

At any rate, Exclusive Stories sounds a lot like Instagram’s version of Twitter’s Super Follow feature that was also designed to restrict access to content on the platform to paying users.

New creator monetization tools coming to Instagram

As noted by reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi who is credited with discovering this test, the Exclusive Stories feature is part of Instagram’s plans for expanded creator monetization tools. Paluzzi also found out that Instagram may be working on Collectibles, an NFT feature that would show digital collectibles in a dedicated tab of a creator’s Instagram profile.

Instagram is also testing a linking sticker for use on photos, videos and stories. Yet another test seeks to gauge people’s reaction to interspersing suggested posts throughout their main feed.