Back in February, Instagram launched a new revenue generating feature of ‘virtual gifts’ in Reels for creators in the US. The feature is now being expanded to more regions around the world including Austria, Belgium, Colombia, Denmark, Indonesia, and more.
The feature is accessible from a ‘Send Gift’ option displayed as an overlay on Reels clips. Viewers will be able to send their favourite creators virtual gifts by purchasing stars, that can be cashed out in various amounts, up to $5.99. Creators that have agreed to Instagram’s Gifts Terms of Service will be able to earn money from the gifts sent to them by viewers who appreciate and support their content.
Instagram explains that upon receiving a gift, the company will provide you with “a revenue share from your reels that received gifts on a monthly basis equal to $.01 USD for every star received from fans.” For accounts with more followers, this could serve as a valuable source of income for their content creation.
So, what is the eligibility criteria for being able to receive and cash out gifts? Foremost, creators must be 18 years of age, own a professional account, and have at least 5,000 followers on Instagram. Creators can get their payout only when their overall balance reaches $25, which also includes revenues generated from other monetization programs on Instagram. Additionally, they will need a connected account to receive payouts, and if their connected account isn’t activated in 6 months, then their money will be kept by Meta.
On a whole, virtual gifts don’t seem to be as powerful of a monetization element, yet still practical. Perhaps if Meta increases the value of stars, then the integration could become a handier incentive for creators.