What is OnlyFans?

What is OnlyFans?

Since 2016, in addition to the well-known social networks Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp, there has been another one that has attracted a lot of attention in the last year and a half. It refers to OnlyFans. OnlyFans is strongly reminiscent of Instagram in terms of structure, but has some features and properties that are not available on Instagram. This is one of the reasons why OnlyFans was able to build up an enormous reach within a very short time – as an alternative to Instagram.

OnlyFans is also a social network through which photos and videos can be shared. In contrast to Instagram and Facebook, however, the people behind a profile have the option of sharing their posts only for a fee. Then, similar to Netflix or Amazon Prime, a monthly subscription fee has to be paid so that the posts continue to be displayed.

The OnlyFans social network is mainly used by content creators to sell adult content.
The OnlyFans social network is mainly used by content creators to sell adult content.

How did OnlyFans come about?

This concept arose from the ulterior motive of offering media professionals, artists and influencers the opportunity to earn money with the content created, because artists and media professionals in particular often find it difficult to make money with their own art or content in the Google era to generate. OnlyFans, however, has gone in a completely different direction. Many of the users and the so-called content creators, i.e. people who create content, use OnlyFans to share erotic content there.

What is done on OnlyFans?

In principle, OnlyFans is a way of selling a monthly membership to its fans in order to then offer these subscribers content such as pictures, videos or live streams. This can be used, for example, by models, YouTubers, Twitch creators, fitness trainers or similar people. In practice, however, a lot of adult content can be found on OnlyFans.

The creators can choose the costs for the monthly subscription from predetermined price scales. It starts at $4,99 and goes significantly higher. On average, however, content providers on OnlyFans charge around USD 14 per month.

Why did OnlyFans want to get out of the erotic corner?

Many of the “artists” that use OnlyFans offer erotic photos and videos to make money. In principle, nothing reprehensible, but in the meantime OnlyFans has slipped into the dingy corner, in which the platform operators don't even see themselves. The adult content has made it difficult for the operators to conclude advertising contracts, as many companies distance themselves from erotic content. Ultimately, according to the OnlyFans operators, the banks did not want to carry out any payment transactions related to adult content.

In 2021, OnlyFans made efforts to take a different approach and ban erotic material from the platform, but this decision was quickly reversed. On the one hand, the banks were still willing to support credit card payments on OnlyFans and on the other hand, many of the content creators rebelled because they were suddenly about to be robbed of their members. In the end, everything stayed the same, but the content creators had lost many subscribers (see Times article).

OnlyFans' merchandising in their own store already shows the direction things are headed in.
OnlyFans' merchandising in their own store already shows the direction things are headed in.

How does the OnlyFans platform work?

Anyone wishing to create an account with OnlyFans must be at least 18 years old. However, this age restriction is very easy to circumvent as it is only checked if you want to share content on the platform yourself. On the other hand, if you only want to view content from the platform, it is possible to simply enter an incorrect date of birth – a major criticism of OnlyFans.

If you want to share content yourself, you will be required to submit an ID card and a photo showing your face and ID card to confirm your age. A credit card is also required to pay out earned money or to pay on the platform itself, which is an advantage. It's easy to give the wrong age when registering, but since nobody under the age of 18 normally has a credit card, it's difficult for underage people to access the content anyway.

From an economic point of view, is OnlyFans an alternative to a “real job”?

Whether OnlyFans can serve as a full-time job depends entirely on the freely selectable modalities. Anyone who shares posts on OnlyFans can determine how much the monthly subscription should cost. The maximum price of the monthly subscription is $49,99. However, a subscriber must deposit at least $4,99 to unlock the exclusive content. OnlyFans keeps 20% of the revenue as commission.

So let's say an influencer offers the monthly subscription at a price of $20. If he only has 1000 subscribers, that would be $20.000 a month, of which the influencer still has $16.000 after deducting the commission for OnlyFans. More than most people make in several months. However, it is not normal for an account to have so many fans. Most accounts are much less well-known and the earnings are correspondingly lower. However, it is assumed that the owners of the largest OnlyFans accounts generate tens of millions. Monthly.

If you want to see for yourself what you can earn, you will find one here Earnings calculator on site, in which you specify your monthly fee and your expected number of subscribers.

The income from an OnlyFans account is also taxable. Depending on the extent to which the OnlyFans account is operated, the taxes are also not entirely insignificant. If the account is operated on a large scale, a business registration is required and thus trade taxes are due in addition to income and sales tax.

There is a lot of erotica on OnlyFans, but not everything is erotica - some people just give a glimpse into their lives for a fee.
There is a lot of erotica on OnlyFans, but not everything is erotica - some people just give a glimpse into their lives for a fee.

Conclusion: social network and erotic portal

It's really no surprise that a platform like OnlyFans would come to market sooner or later. People have always paid for adult content and combined with the rise of social media over the last two decades, it was to be expected that there would be a social network dedicated to adult content. However, OnlyFans fails to effectively protect the site from abuse by minors.

The concept sounds too good to be true. Quickly snapped a few photos, uploaded them to the internet and potentially made a lot of money with it. A dream for many young people, but it is too often forgotten that everything that has landed on the Internet can never be completely deleted again. In addition, there are repeated reports of minors registering on OnlyFans with false ID and earning money for months without anyone noticing.

In summary, it can be said that OnlyFans is a great platform for many people. However, it is imperative that significantly more awareness and attention is paid to the protection of minors, otherwise such a project cannot be approved.

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