What exactly is OnlyFans? OnlyFans is a form of social media where creators upload content that is only available to their subscribers or ‘fans’. Creators can choose how much their monthly subscription fee is starting from $4.99 a month, with OnlyFans taking 20% of their total earnings. And while many aware of OnlyFans tend to associate it with adult-based explicit content, the site welcomes all users, with many accounts profiting from fitness-based content and behind the scenes experiences. Since 2016 when the site began, creators have been paid more than $110 million which demonstrates how big a platform this site is becoming.
Do you have to have a big social media following already to be a success?
Yes and no. OnlyFans states on its website that having a large social media following is not enough to be a success and that content must be engaging and creative to maintain a fanbase. While this is true, having a large following to begin with helps. Recent headlines surrounding OnlyFans speak of girls who have made thousands within their first month, but it is worth noting that many of these creators had tens of thousands of followers on other social media platforms already. This existing audience then receive news of an OnlyFans where they can receive exclusive content of someone they are already interested in. Of course, many will subscribe and make you a success quickly- something not possible if you do not already have this kind of audience.
How is OnlyFans impacting the sex worker industry?
Unlike other social medias, creators can post whatever they want without the fear of having their accounts blocked or posts removed, which has led to a large majority of creators being sex workers. By posting sexually explicit content on an OnlyFans, the creator has ultimate control over what they do and receive payment for the content they put out there. The accessibility of OnlyFans and the promotion of accounts often being done on more mainstream social medias such as Instagram and Twitter has created a big impact on the normalisation of sex work and the people behind it.
However, not everyone who creates adult-content on OnlyFans would class themselves as sex workers which is due to the way OnlyFans blurs the line between influencer and sex worker, by calling subscribers ‘fans’ and the direct links between other forms of social media make it difficult to draw clear distinct lines. The definition of sex worker by the World Health Organisation is ‘women, men and transgendered people who receive money or goods in exchange for sexual services, and who consciously define those activities as income generating even if they do not consider sex work as their occupation’. Therefore, many creators on OnlyFans would fall into the category of sex workers even if they do not acknowledge this as their occupation.
In a world where social media is all consuming and many spend copious amounts of time on it, why not monetise on that with an OnlyFans account?
OnlyFans as a social media.
In a world where social media is all consuming and many spend copious amounts of time on it, why not monetise on that with an OnlyFans account? This is what many creators claim to do. The intimacy that can be created through OnlyFans is what draws many subscribers for creators and the ability to directly message creators for an extra fee and receive notifications for new posts can make it feel more personal than seeing similar content in a ‘lads mag’ or on porn sites such as Pornhub.
Dannii Harwood is one of the most successful performers on OnlyFans, with Mistress Mondays and Wish Wednesdays she posts regular content, encouraging fans to interact with her on a personal level, often wishing loyal fans Happy Birthday and replying to messages every day. It is this consistency of regular content and contact that ensures a successful OnlyFans. Keeping fans engaged ensures they remain subscribed for months instead of just a one-off payment, so it really is a full-time job.
During the Australian bush fires, OnlyFans creator Kaylen Ward offered nude photographs in exchange for proof of donations exceeding $10 to charities assisting in the bush fires, a campaign said to have raised more than $500,000.
The popularity of OnlyFans is only growing more and more, and this has allowed some creators to use their popularity on the site to do good for the world. During the Australian bush fires, OnlyFans creator Kaylen Ward offered nude photographs in exchange for proof of donations exceeding $10 to charities assisting in the bush fires, a campaign said to have raised more than $500,000. This shows how powerful social media can be in raising funds and awareness for causes. The creator received mixed reactions for her efforts, yet it is clear that without an OnlyFans following this wouldn’t have been possible.
So while OnlyFans may still seem to many a confusing new social media that hasn’t quite found its place in the market, due to its complete freedom it gives to creators, its ever-growing popularity means it is likely to be sticking around and become a far more familiar name to everyone.
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