Instagram is internally testing a tipping feature that would give creators a new way to make money on the social network. The test feature is called “Gifts” and allows creators to earn money on Reels. The news was first reported by Business Insider.
When asked about the feature, a Meta spokesperson told londonbusinessblog.com in an email that “this feature is an internal prototype and is not being tested externally.”
The feature was first noticed by app researcher Alessandro Paluzzi back in July, when Instagram developed the feature under the name “content rating.” According to screenshots posted by Paluzzi, the feature would allow creators to enable an option that would allow their fans to send them “gifts”. Creators can also check their eligibility for the feature under a new Gifts tab in their settings. The screenshots also suggest that users can send gifts through a button displayed at the bottom of the reels.
When it rolls out, gifts won’t be Meta’s only tipping feature. In 2020, Instagram launched Badges, a feature that allows users to show their support to creators during a live video. Badges can cost $0.99, $1.99, or $4.99. When you purchase a badge during a live video, a heart icon will appear next to your name in the comments. With the possible addition of Gifts, Instagram would give creators a way to earn money through both live streams and Reels.
It’s worth noting that, as with any other internal feature, it’s unknown when and if Instagram plans to roll out Gifts to users. It wouldn’t be surprising if Instagram plans to roll out the tipping feature for creators, especially given that other platforms already have their own versions of a tip jar.
TikTok, Instagram’s biggest competitor, introduced direct gratuities to creators last December. Additionally, in May 2021, Twitter launched a Tip Jar feature designed to give users a way to quickly tip creators with a few taps. Even Tumblr has a Tip Jar feature that launched earlier this year.