It’s no secret that OnlyFans is associated largely with adult-related content, but with the increase of online and digital activities during lockdown the content sharing platform has evolved to redefine consumer engagement. Popular social media platforms such as Instagram and TikTok have strict community guidelines on what can be posted, which can censor impactful messaging from influencers and brands. Enter the solution, OnlyFans.
Founded in 2016 by British tech entrepreneur and investor Timothy Sokley, the content subscription service has over 100 million users, with 500,000 signing up daily. Users can create accounts for free as long as they are 18 years old with a government-issued ID. Creators are able to upload videos, photos, or live streams which are locked behind a blurry paywall, allowing fans access for a monthly fee or one-off tip. As a creator, you can charge a minimum of $4.99/month or a maximum of $49.99/month, with an option to set up tips or paid private messages starting at $5. Content is protected by OnlyFans so it cannot be shared outside of the platform. When a user tries to screenshot content, it will show up blacked out and they can be permanently banned from the site.
Since OnlyFans content is so well protected, it has changed sex work for adult entertainers and influencers during lockdown, however, it has also been a place leveraged by creators and brands from different industries that are not sex-related whatsoever.
On OnlyFans you can find chefs utilizing the platform to live stream recipes, fitness instructors hosting step-by-step workouts, and gamers who get lost in the noise of a Twitch chat — all interacting more closely with their loyal viewers. Simply put, OnlyFans has become a safe space where creators are less restricted by guidelines and are able to monetize their content while also creating an intimate community with their superfans.
Here are examples of a couple of creators and brands leveraging the platform for just that:
During lockdown, we all witnessed cancelled concerts, shows, and festivals. But thanks to OnlyFans, it has given emerging artists another space to monetize their talents. A current rising star includes Mandi Macias, a musician who uses OnlyFans to give her subscribers a behind-the-scenes glimpse of her life, exclusive tracks, and musical performances. “OnlyFans has been such an amazing place for my fans and I to connect on a more personal level,” Macias mentioned on an OnlyFans blog post. “It’s given me a platform to post the more vulnerable and unedited versions of myself that the outside world doesn’t get to see on the day-to-day basis. It’s definitely been a release to genuinely be myself and build that bone with my fans. I’m so grateful to be part of such an amazing community of supporters.”
Another creator on OnlyFans who is on the rise is Dr. Alex George, best known for his appearance on Love Island in 2018. He is an emergency doctor who uses his OnlyFans to raise awareness on mental health and wellbeing. “I love the community feel that you get with OnlyFans and the feeling it’s a space that you can share thoughts and ideas,” George said on an OnlyFans blog post. “My page is focused on mental wellbeing and sharing how I take care of my mental health. It’s so good to see people sharing their ideas and experiences with self-care and I look forward to growing the community together.”
When it comes to brands utilizing OnlyFans, Rebecca Minkoff was the first major fashion player to take their chances on the platform, offering exclusive content and industry secrets. “As a company, we always want to be a part of emerging platforms to better connect with our customers,” Minkoff told Business of Fashion. “Joining OnlyFans offers a new way for us to leverage our loyal fanbase as a brand and provide exclusive content that otherwise may not be available on other platforms.”
Consumers who subscribe to their favourite influencers or brands on OnlyFans are able to pay for ad-free content, tip if they are feeling generous, chat one-on-one with the creators, and embrace a smaller community that caters to their interest. It’s crazy to think that OnlyFans has paid out more than two billion dollars to its creators, not a bad price tag for an up-and-coming content-sharing platform.
OnlyFans is predominantly known as the destination for adult content, but there is so much more to the platform that isn’t sex-related whatsoever. If you’re an influencer or brand with a loyal and highly engaged community, OnlyFans could be a platform to check out since it is a content subscription service fully dedicated to the creator economy. It is a space that allows up-and-coming musicians, mental health advocates, fashion designers (and so much more!) to create content without worrying about censorship, monetize their content, and build an intimate community for their loyal fans.
Are you subscribed to any creators or brands on OnlyFans? Leave a comment on who you recommend we should check out and be sure to bookmark our blog to keep in the know of what’s hot and happening in the social media marketing space.5
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