Instagram recently made significant changes to its monetization, affecting how digital creators earn money on the platform. Let’s delve into these updates and their impact on the creator community.

The end of Reels Play bonuses

In March 2023, Instagram discontinued its Reels Play bonus program, a move that affected creators who monetized their Reels. Last year, Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, said that Instagram “couldn’t afford to run [the Reels Play bonus program] in the U.S.” Tubefilter predicts that it’s unlikely that Instagram will ever bring back a year-round monetization program.

However, now, the platform is testing a new initiative called the Spring Bonus. This program rewards creators not only for sharing videos but also for posting photo carousels and single-image posts. It is invite-only and offers a maximum payout of $30,000 over 30 days for eligible creators in the U.S., Japan and South Korea.

Qualification requirements

To qualify for payouts, creators must meet specific engagement thresholds. However, certain content types like sponsored posts, collaborations with other creators and posts with watermarks from external platforms are excluded from the program.

This move by Instagram is part of Meta’s broader competition strategy, particularly against TikTok. Mosseri also hinted at the return of such bonuses during Meta’s Instagram University event.

Reactions from creators

Creators such as Jackson Weimer and Mike Potter have already started earning through the Spring Bonus program.

The reintroduction of creator bonuses, including incentives for photo content, is crucial for Instagram’s competitiveness and its ability to retain creators. Due to intense competition, platforms like Instagram, Threads, TikTok and even X are introducing more ways to reward creators. We will see if this new initiative from Instagram will receive positive feedback from more creators.