Meta expands access to Gifts, Instagram's Reels-focused tipping feature
In November last year, Meta introduced 'Gifts' on Instagram as a way for creators to earn money. The company has now announced that it is expanding the availability of the feature to more creators across the US. Gifts let followers show their appreciation to creators, which can result in earning money, Meta said in its blog post.
Why does this story matter?
- Meta has been focusing on making creators feel more welcome on its platforms. By creating different revenue streams for creators, the company aims to challenge its rival TikTok.
- The expansion of Gifts helps Instagram compete better with TikTok, where virtual gifts are already available.
- This also provides the company with another revenue stream, as creators have to share their cut with Instagram.
Gifts are only available on Reels
Gifts are a Reels-only feature. The feature allows users to send a range of themed virtual gifts to their favorite creators and help them monetarily in their content journey. Creators can convert these virtual gifts into real money. This provides Reels creators an additional way of earning money. When the feature was introduced in November 2022, only a select few had access to it.
Users need Stars to buy Gifts
To buy Gifts, users have to first purchase the virtual currency Stars. It can only be bought from the Instagram app. Stars sell in packs. Users can buy 45 Stars for $0.99, 140 Stars for $2.99, or 300 for $5.99. The Stars can be used to buy Gifts from the app. Gifts will cost anywhere between 10 Stars and several hundred Stars.
Creators can check their eligibility from their professional dashboard
Creators can go to their professional dashboard to see whether they are eligible to receive Gifts or not. If they are eligible, they can turn on the option if they wish to do so. If the creator is eligible and has turned it on, users will see the "Send Gift" above the creator's username on a Reel.
Revenue generation from Reels remains tricky for Meta
Meta has built Reels as its biggest weapon against TikTok. The company sees Reels as a means to boost growth. During a recent earnings call, Mark Zuckerberg said Reels video plays on Facebook and Instagram had more than doubled in 2022. However, he also pointed out that revenue generation from Reels is much less than from Feeds.