Leaked screenshots of a new, unannounced Instagram feature are circulating the web. The image seems to depict a feature that allows creators to upload “exclusive” Stories that are only available to subscribed fans.
Reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi found the images when looking through Instagram’s files. He’s notorious for going into mobile app code and leaking any unreleased or in-development features. While the feature isn’t officially confirmed, they do tell us what Instagram is investing in internally. Let’s take a look at what the screenshots tell us:
Instagram calls the feature “Exclusive Stories”
When accessing “Exclusive Stories”, non-members will be met with an “only members” message if they’re not a member. This means the content will be unavailable to non-members, making the content exclusive to those who are paying followers.
The screenshots also indicate that creators can share the Stories as a Highlight, which Instagram appears to encourage. It appears the feature displays a “save this to a Highlight for your Fans” and says that after you upload, fans will have something to enjoy when they join.
We’d be more surprised if creators’ “Exclusive Stories” were accessible without a subscription. TechCrunch points out that Instagram Head Adam Mosseri recently told The Information Instagram will add subscription-based features to the platform. So, it’s very likely this is one of Instagram’s ideas for adding subscriptions to its platform.
Nothing is official — yet
Instagram declined to talk about the feature, meaning the feature is either not happening or still in development. It likely won’t see the light of day any time soon (if it ever does). Though, with its commitment to subscription features, it’s a sure thing that Instagram is looking into various ways it can open monetization. This includes things like incorporating affiliate marketing, subscriptions, tips and revenue share through IGTV and Reels.
Regardless, if this feature releases on the platform, we can expect more monetization tools coming to Instagram soon.