Instagram announces content monetization

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Instagram is finally rolling out content monetization on IGTV and Instagram Live for content creators! The monetization will come in two forms for Instagram Live and IGTV respectively: ads and badges!


During this Covid-19 pandemic, most people have been depending on online social media platforms for sources of entertainment. Instagram reports a 70% increase in Instagram Live views from February to March and they notice people trying to give these content publishers as much support as they can in forms of likes and donations.


With Instagram Live badges, creators can now generate a source of income from the content they were already making. Fans can now purchase badges during the live streams. These badges will make the user stand out in the comments, usually earning a live shout-out from the creators themselves. The fans will also be able to unlock other features including “placement on a creator’s list of badge holders and access to a special heart.”

Instagram announces content monetization

At the launch, fans will only be able to buy one badge for now. For this initial phase, Instagram will not be taking any cut from these badge purchases even though this may be reviewed later again in the future. 

Badges will begin their testing next month onwards with a selected group of creators and businesses. It will slowly expand to the US, Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, and Mexico over the next few months. 

For IGTV ads, they will appear when people click to watch IGTV videos, basically just like youtube. Instagram explains, 


“Starting next week, we are introducing ads in IGTV, our long-form video destination. IGTV ads will initially appear when people click to watch IGTV videos from previews in their feed. The video ads will be built for mobile and up to 15 seconds long. We’ll test various experiences within IGTV ads throughout the year, some of those includes:

– such as the ability to skip an ad

– to make sure the final result works well for people, creators and advertisers.”


The creators will be getting 55% of the revenue generated from the native ads – same as Youtube! This will definitely be a bonus to creators whose main platform is on Instagram. This could be even another source of income for creators who decide to use Instagram as a secondary channel.


Most long-form video creators have leaned on Youtube for content monetization. With IGTV taking a huge step forward now, they will challenge Youtube to deal with its ongoing issues of AI demonetization. A lot of Youtubers have voiced out their dissatisfaction with Youtube’s ever changing algorithm, especially LGBTQIA creators and sex educators.

Since this is the beginning, Instagram will be manually reviewing all videos. Once its ad monetization is fully rolled out, it will move to the AI-human hybrid review process. While Instagram has been taking notes, only time can tell if Instagram can overcome the issues that Youtube faced.


Monetization Rules


Now for the most important part, rules of monetization. With brands coming in, Instagram has come up with a few content policies that would help maintain brand reputation. Of course, there will be the usual “no swearing or cursing”.  There were also prohibited formats:


  • Static videos
  • Static image polls
  • Slideshows of images
  • Looping videos
  • Text montages
  • Embedded ads (Content with ads in it)


The videos must not have content that incentivizes people to engage or content that exchanges items for extreme behavior in return. Eg. If you give me a Tesla, I will jump off this plane without a parachute!


There are also restricted categories where content belonging to this category may face reduced or restricted monetization. This includes talking about debated social issues that will divide or anger people, subjects like:


  • Race
  • Gender
  • National origin
  • Age
  • Political affiliation
  • Ethnicity
  • Disability
  • Sexual orientation
  • Socioeconomic class
  • Religion
  • Immigration


Anything that favors tragedy and conflict in a distressing manner will reduce or disable your monetization. This includes content that is both real and fictional. Content that favors substance abuse or illegal activities is prohibited along with gory or sexual content. 


Bottom Line, Anything depicts or favorably discusses abuse or illegal activities is prohibited, along with graphic content including content that’s sexual or gory.


There will also be a third-party fact checker to prevent misinformation and misleading medical information, including anti-vaccine claims. 


Lastly, monetization will also be disabled for any government or political campaigns 

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