What is Onlyfans and How Does OnlyFans Work?
OnlyFans is a website that acts as a content-sharing platform for fans and followers to interact with creators that they’re following in a more intimate way, and gain access to exclusive content that can’t be found elsewhere.
First launching in 2016, OnlyFans now boasts over 130 million users (and a whopping 2 million+ creators)! While pornographic content was not originally a staple of the content-sharing website, sex workers now make up a large portion of creators that utilize OnlyFans to share explicit content and make some extra money on the side (or, in some cases, turn it into a full-time job).
There are even celebrities with OF accounts such as Bella Thorne and Cardi B who are some of OnlyFans top creators.
In March 2020 alone, the platform saw an increase of sign-ups to the tune of 3.5 million people, with 60,000 being creators. It’s no wonder that people flooded to the site after many jobs and services were paused or shut down - digital content creation is a widely accessible medium for many people. Unlike years ago, you can work and create directly from your phone.
In this article we’ll go over some burning questions that many people have in regards to OnlyFans — What is an OnlyFans page? What is an OnlyFans account? How much does OnlyFans cost? And so much more.
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What is OnlyFans?
Similar to Patreon (but without the ability to add tiers), OnlyFans is a subscription-based content-sharing platform whereby online creators can share exclusive digital media to their subscribers (known as “fans”, as the name suggests).
From BTS (behind-the-scenes) reels to custom-requested content and special event livestreams, OnlyFans allows creators to connect with their fans in a more intimate setting.
Fans can access this content through a monthly subscription fee or on a monetary tip-basis, depending on how the creator has set up their OnlyFans page. This dynamic platform allows creators to customize their content access and interact with fans.
What the majority of profiles on the site are dedicated to might have you wondering what was OnlyFans made for? Explicit content? Actually yes, the founder of OF wanted to create a platform where adult entertainers could conveniently and securely monetize their livelihood via a content service without worrying about community guidelines that prohibited nudity.
While there are many different kinds of accounts such as workout programs, financial and life advice, even professional mentorship that are successfully utilizing the platform’s ‘monthly subscription for access to content’ system, it is certainly achieving its original goal.
How Does OnlyFans Work?
OnlyFans works like many other social media platforms - you’ve got a home page/feed, notifications, direct messages, and the ability to post content. The slide-out menu also displays your username, fan count, bookmarks, lists, settings, banking/payout information, and statements.
When you first set up an OnlyFans page, you’ll need to decide whether to charge a monthly subscription price, or offer a free page (with the option to attach a price to each post). Monthly subscriptions can range from $4.99USD to $49.99USD, and you can even offer multi-month discounts at a lump sum price, which can be an enticing option versus paying on a monthly basis.
If you’re torn between which type of page will work best for you, don’t fret - you have the ability to switch from a free page to a paid page (and vice versa) at any time. You can also create two pages - one free (with some gated content) and one paid page (where you can funnel fans to for more exclusive, and even more content).
No matter which option you choose, you can begin making money as soon as your first fan signs up or pays you a tip. While it doesn’t cost anything to create an account on OnlyFans, the website does take 20% of each creators’ earnings, leaving you with an 80% payout.
OnlyFans also requires all of its users to be at least 18 years old due to the explicit nature of content that creators can post. Once you have signed up and become an approved user, you can begin posting and promoting your page.
As a creator on OnlyFans, you’ll have access to a multitude of content-sharing options for your page. From images and videos to audio recordings and live streams, OnlyFans creators can upload many different types of content to their page.
In this list we’ll go over what do people post on OnlyFans and cover some of the OnlyFans cost options for different types of media. But first, a little overview.
All content creators on OnlyFans will have access to a dashboard to make uploading media an easy process. To post to your feed you will select the blue plus on your homepage and click from a row of icons that represent a single photo, a video, recorded audio, a set of photos, a poll, a scheduled post, a fundraiser, or lastly a monetized post.
To send content through a direct message you choose the message icon on your homepage and hit the blue plus sign there. There you will see icons for a single photo, video, audio message, or monetized message. The last option gives fans the option to purchase exclusive content in order to view.
According to OnlyFans reviews, sending messages and content directly in messages to followers is a huge income booster and many fans are more inclined to spend when approached in this personal way.
To upload photos and videos, select the media type from the row of icons and from there, simply choose an image or video from your camera roll to upload to your page. If you want to monetize your post, there is a price tag option to select and type in a dollar amount for the photo or video.
Following this option, you will then get to decide if it will appear locked as a blank grey square with a lock image on it, if you want certain parts of the image to appear pixelated, or for videos you can choose between a still or GIF preview. This option is known as putting content ‘behind paywall’.
Once you are done, select submit. It will appear on each of your fans’ content feed as well as your own page. All of these options are also available for sending content directly to your follower’s inbox, which is a significant contributor to OnlyFans earnings.
Recorded Video Message
This process is similar to uploading a photo or video and begins again at the blue plus sign if you want it to appear on your feed. Creators typically post this kind of content to their feed for free unless it is a fan request.
Record a video for your fans right from your camera on the platform, and post it as you would a pre-taken image or video. To send it as a message, click the message option and plus sign and choose either the video option to upload a pre-recorded video or the record option to create the message and post. It is typical to attach a price to this kind of content sent to a fan’s inbox and those options will be available and easy to turn on from within creating the message.
Following the same steps as other types of media, you can create an audio-only clip to post onto your page, such as a voice memo or a quick update when you’re not prepared to film. There won’t be an image associated with a post like this and only in rare instances is there a price attached to it, although the option is available when creating and posting.
When you follow the steps to post, you will have an option to upload from your camera roll or from your page’s media archive. If you want to repost, simply pick from previously uploaded content on your page and upload it to your feed as a new post.
Engage with your fans by asking them a question with numerous poll options. Fans can vote and give you insight into their preferences, or you can use it to learn more about them. You can find this option after selecting the blue plus on your creator dashboard and selecting the graph icon. There will be options to type each option to be voted for and also an optional time limit for fans to participate in the poll.
Create a limited-time post that will expire from your page after an amount of time you specify. This is one of the options offered when creating any kind of media post. Underneath ‘Compose New Post’ you will see a row of icons and three dots are one of them. When you click there, the options will expand and you will see one depicting an hourglass that controls this option, known as an ‘Expiration Period’. From there you can choose from 1 day, 3 days, 7 days, or 30 days.
Schedule an image or video from your camera roll to be posted at a later date or time. Create a post as though you are going to post right then but instead of hitting submit, choose the calendar option from the expanded menu. You will be prompted to choose a calendar day and time of day when the post will appear on your feed.
Also on that screen is a ‘Save for Later’ option that sends the post to your queue for you to manually bring up and post to your feed at your leisure. Creators love this handy scheduling option that allows them to plan ahead and even save ideas for future posts.
There is another interesting icon on the compose a new post menu. As a creator you can set up a campaign that your fans can contribute to. They can give you a set tip amount in order to help you work towards a certain goal, such as purchasing a new clothing item.
All of these options are walked through when you choose the dollar sign option in the expanded menu. To incentivize your fans, there is an option to set a time limit for contributions. If you choose this option, it would be smart to tell your followers what they will earn if they help you meet your goal in time, such as a free video to the inbox of each contributor.
OnlyFans pages even have a story feature similar to what you’d find on Instagram or Twitter. Creators can upload images and videos with a text overlay that will appear on their story for 24 hours, giving fans updates throughout the day or just sharing a fun little quippy remark without making an entire post dedicated to it.
On your homepage next to your profile picture will be a box that literally says ‘Add to story’ and that is where you can select a photo or video to upload and add text if you choose. While story availability is limited for fans, your expired stories will be stored in the ‘Story Archive’. This is where you can pull content from to create a story highlight of your favorite uploads so that your followers can view them anytime.
What is OnlyFans used for?
For creators, OnlyFans is used as a way to connect with followers and fans while earning money. It gives them a means to offer exclusive content that would not have otherwise been seen, providing perks to fans for supporting the creator. While the basis of the platform remains the same for any creator, the type of content can vary wildly.
A musician on OnlyFans may use their page to share snippets of guitar riffs or melodies that they have begun to strum, or pieces of lyrics they start to write. They might share some behind-the-scenes footage of their latest music video recording, or photos of the band or crew on the road between tour date destinations.
Artists (such as painters and illustrators) might consider sharing their in-progress work, the mediums that they use for their art creations, and get inspiration from their fans on the types of art they’d like to see next. Whether it be the fans’ favorite anime character or a suggestion to challenge the artist by trying a new style, OnlyFans can help artists branch out and share more of their work with fans.
Celebrities who join the global platform might offer more personal insight into their personal lives, such as their day-to-day activities, leisure and family time, or an inside sneak peek into the latest project they’re working on.
Cardi B herself joined the platform, making it very clear that she would not be sharing explicit content, but rather sharing more about her life and giving fans a peek into her world and day-to-day life. However, since joining in August 2020, Cardi has only posted 6 times and hasn’t been active in a few weeks.
On the flip side, some celebrities have joined OnlyFans to use it for a more intimate purpose. Influencers and celebrities such as Blac Chyna, Amber Rose, and Tana Mongeau have taken a different approach, posting more risqué and NSFW (“not safe for work”) content that leaves little to the imagination.
Along the same lines, sex workers have flooded in tandem to the online content-sharing platform (especially after the pandemic shut down a lot of their in-person work), giving the “SW” title to many other people who signed up to strip down and share more of themselves, whether they already had a following or not.
From lusty ludes to artful nudes, all the way to hardcore pornography, OnlyFans is used by a variety of artists, performers, and sex workers to strip, dance, share nude photos of themselves, create custom explicit videos for fans, and more.
What does OnlyFans mean?
As the name suggests, OnlyFans is a place for fans only. Fans can follow a creator for free (if the creator has made their page free), or via a monthly subscription fee to gain access to exclusive digital media that the creator hasn’t posted anywhere else.
Having a fan-based platform to share exclusive content allows creators to connect more personally with their fans and offer them extras as a reward for their loyalty and support on OnlyFans.
OnlyFans is a digital media content platform that has grown exponentially since originally launching in 2016, boasting millions of users and creators that range vastly from the layperson to well-known celebrities, who all use the site for the same purpose.
No matter what type of creator you are, OnlyFans is a well-known platform name that many people are either already registered for or have already heard of. If you decide to create an OnlyFans, chances are you’ll easily be able to get fans to begin following you on there.
And if you’re a fan, you’ll be able to continue enjoying the content you like from the creators that you’re already following, with new sign-ups happening every day.
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Updated: Written by Jasmine Ramer