Instagram is expanding its Reels monetization program by rolling out Instagram Gifts.
The concept, which was tested in November, is now a permanently implemented feature that will be available within Reels. Users should soon begin seeing an option that says “Send Gift” when they click on a follower’s Reel. From there, users can select the number of “Stars” they want to give their favorite creator. Afterward, they may add a monetary balance to the Stars, which will go directly to the creator.
Previously, people could only earn money from Reels by getting a certain amount of views. As with standard Reel earnings, the amount earned from Gifts can be found in the Professional Dashboard. Creators will be compensated once their balance reaches at least $25.
Per the in-app announcement, Instagram will payout just one cent per Star. So if you get 300 Stars, you can expect just three bucks. With such small pay rates, IG is sure to face the same scrutiny from creators who’ve previously called out the app for short-changing them on Reel payments. They also slammed IG for failing to disclose updates to the payout system.
Still, the Gifts program is another attempt at paying social media innovators for using the app. Instagram Live Badges is another user-to-user pay service that debuted in 2021. Viewers of a live stream can purchase a Badge that will be converted to money for the creator.
Some Instagram users should already be seeing the Gifts option. However, more regions will receive the feature in the coming months.