Mumbai-born Amrapali Gan named OnlyFans CEO as founder steps down
Mumbai-born Amrapali Gan (36) is taking over as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of OnlyFans after Tim Stokely's exit. OnlyFans is a subscription service-based platform that gained popularity for its adult content. Gan's appointment came as a surprise to many as she had joined the company just 18 months ago. She was the company's Head of Communications until Wednesday.
Why does this story matter?
OnlyFans is a five-year-old company and credited with revolutionizing the adult industry and sex work. Its user base boomed during the coronavirus-induced lockdown and it now has over 180 million registered users and 2 million creators worldwide. The platform has faced criticism for a brief pornography ban and a 20% commission. Gan's appointment will decide the future course of the company.
Gan said she planned to make OnlyFans the "safest social media platform in the world." She said she will help creators maximize control over their content and monetize it, promising "unparalleled experiences" for users. "This is an exciting time for OnlyFans," said Gan, who has her own OnlyFans page of rescue dogs and holidays.
Stokely to maintain 'consulting role' at OnlyFans
Stokely, who had founded the company in 2016, said he would be taking time off now to pursue other projects. He said he would have only an informal consulting role in the company.
What do we know about OnlyFans?
OnlyFans says creators on the platform have collectively earned $5 billion (nearly Rs. 37.5 crore). Its revenue model allows creators to receive 80% commission on their earnings, while the remaining 20% goes to the company. The 20% commission covers "referral payments, payment processing, hosting, support, and all other services." During the pandemic, its user base saw a 42% increase.
What do creators say about the site?
Creators have both positive as well as negative opinions about the site. Megan Barton Hanson—who has built up a huge following on the site—told The New York Times that she is like the users' "online girlfriend." Another creator Ana (25) told The Sunday Times that she felt weird selling her body online. "It's almost like they're pimping us out and taking their cut."
OnlyFans briefly banned pornographic content
In August, OnlyFans had announced it would prohibit sexually explicit photos and videos on its site, citing reputational concerns expressed by banks. The move led to a massive uproar as critics accused the platform of exploiting sex workers for clout and then ostracizing them. Days later, OnlyFans reversed its announcement after assurances from banking partners that it "can support all genres of creators."