Weekend Humor: Instagram Introduces Subscription Service for Non-Users


Weekend Humor isn’t meant to be taken seriously. In fact, every time you take these posts seriously, a photographer decides to throw their camera away and instead, shoot with an iPad. 

Don’t make photographers shoot with iPads.

Given recent ruckus over terms of use, Instagram recognized that there’s a market for folks who crave images, but wouldn’t bother joining Instagram. You can follow Tweeters without actively joining Twitter, and now you can you follow Instagrammers without having to subject your dinner to photoshoots. Granted, you could stalk Instagram profiles without an account before, but the company has found a way to monetize it with nifty subscription options.

If you find that you’re a particularly voracious consumer of kitten imagery, you can have those images delivered straight to your device(s) of choice in an elegant tiled layout for nothing more than a fiver a month. A portion of the profits goes towards the users whose images are made available to subscribers. Images are curated by a select group of editors. In the case of kittens, those editors are known as the Puss Patrol.

In order to assemble the Puss Patrol, Instagram put ads on kittenwar. The curation module for the Puss Patrol functions similarly to kittenwar in that they rate a kitten’s cuteness, and those pusses with the highest cuteness rating find their way into the newsletter that Instagram sends to subscribers, who can then share their favorites on Facebook which owns Instagram.

Instagram is riding on the coattails of established subscription services: Netflix, Spotify, and Adobe’s Creative Cloud. Zuck and the team at Menlo Park are hoping for a big payday as the market for puss portraits and dinner dioramas is strong. Now the next time you whip out your iPhone to record your furballs chasing some string, you could earn a few pennies.

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