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While the free version of the internet still holds sway, a new model has been quietly gaining in popularity, and the subscription based model is beginning to get real traction among fans, content creators and website owners. You may kick in a few dollars a month to reward your favorite podcaster and support their ad-free platform. Maybe you have contributed to an online fundraiser on behalf of your favorite TikTok star or given a few bucks to support a cause they endorse.

These examples of fan engagement and the monetization of content are becoming increasingly common, and there is no better example of this model in practice than the OnlyFans platform. Depending on how you view controversial subjects like online porn production, sex work and the art of nude photography, you may see the OnlyFans site as either famous or infamous, but no matter what your attitude you cannot deny their enormous success. So what is OnlyFans, how does OnlyFans work, what is an OnlyFans page and what do you need to know?

Here is a quick rundown of the site, from when it was formed and how long it has been around to what types of creators it supports and how much they can earn to how you can get started with an online presence of your own.

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Introduction

When the OnlyFans platform launched less than a decade ago, it billed itself as a different kind of social media site, one where creators could have an unprecedented level of freedom, and one where they could be paid fairly for the content they created. Instead of taking the lion’s share of earnings for themselves, the creators of the OnlyFans platform adopted an 80/20 payment model, allowing the creators who would soon populate the site to benefit directly from what they were doing.

With positive media coverage and strong buzz, the OnlyFans platform launched, and it was not originally thought of as an adult oriented website. Instead, the creators of OnlyFans originally viewed the site as a place for all kinds of creators, from accomplished home chefs sharing their favorite recipes to fitness enthusiasts leading couch potatoes through the latest workout routines.

It did not take long, however, for the Only Fans name to become associated with adult oriented content. Porn stars and sex workers flooded onto the site, bringing content that was verboten on other online platforms and building businesses that allowed them to share in a greater proportion of the revenue they created than was possible in a world filled with free online porn. Given the success of the OnlyFans model, and the top OnlyFans models, it is hard to believe the platform has been around only since 2016.

It is important to note here that despite its indisputable success, OnlyFans does not currently have an associated mobile app, largely due to the direction the platform has taken since its 2016 launch. Since Apple does not allow apps of an overtly sexual nature, for now OnlyFans exists only in website form, but that is not a problem for its millions of subscribers and hundreds of thousands of talented content creators.

What is OnlyFans?

The seemingly overnight success of OnlyFans did not come out of nowhere, and it is clear there has long been a pent up demand for a fans only website. The idea of connecting content creators directly with their fans had been tried in other ways before, but never as directly as on the OnlyFans platform.

In many ways there is no easy answer to the question of what is only fans. The platform means something different to every content creator, every subscriber and every visitor stumbling on to the site for the first time. For some OnlyFans is a punch line, or a line in a song with lyrics that suddenly go viral. For others OnlyFans is a way to cash in on existing celebrity, with many Hollywood types rushing onto the site, pushing aside the sex workers who helped build the platform from the ground up.

For others OnlyFans is a business platform, a place to monetize skills, have some fun and earn a solid side hustle income. But no matter how it is perceived or how it is used, it is clear the OnlyFans model of content creation, adult entertainment and a unique approach to social media is here to stay. Although just half a decade old as of this writing, OnlyFans has already become a household name in many parts of the country, and more and more people are flocking to the fans only site every single day.

These examples of huge earnings are outliers, of course, and the vast majority of content creators on the site earn far less, often using their OnlyFans presence as a creative outlet or a fun side hustle, one that is considerably more enjoyable than driving for Uber or picking up groceries for their hungry neighbors. 

How Does OnlyFans Work?

The OnlyFans model of content creation and distribution is different in many ways, from the types of content it allows on its platform to the ways in which top OnlyFans models are compensated for their talents and hard work. Whether you are thinking about setting up your own OnlyFans account or just curious about how it all works, there are some key things you need to know.

If you truly want to know how OnlyFans works, one of the best things you can do is spend some time on the site. Take a look at the best and most beautiful OnlyFans girls, subscribe to a few of the sites that strike your fancy and check out the OnlyFans porn stars who have made the site their home.

 As you embark on this fun and titillating online exploration, you will no doubt uncover a few interesting patterns, including the factors that make the best OnlyFans models so successful.

What is OnlyFans Used For?

The OnlyFans platform is a subscription based website, one that is designed to allow content creators to profit from their talents. The generous revenue sharing program the OnlyFans creators have set up is much more lucrative than the vast majority of alternatives, and that has caused content creators of all kinds, from sex workers and other marginalized individuals to actors, singers and comedians, to flood into the site.

Fans on the site can sign up for access, giving them a peek at content creators have placed behind a paywall and allowing those subscribers to engage directly with those creators in a variety of different ways. Some creators on the OnlyFans platform charge a flat fee for this kind of access, while others opt for a monthly subscription based payment model.

Tipping is also allowed, and often encouraged, on the OnlyFans platform, and many creators use tips to earn additional income, all while providing their fans with more intimate and personal experiences. The OnlyFans platform was the brainchild of Timothy Stokely, an experienced tech investor and well known entrepreneur based in Britain.

Since the site launched in 2016 it has gained steadily, thanks to a steady stream of positive and negative news coverage, mentions in viral videos and call-outs by influential stars like Megan Thee Stallion. Traffic to the site jumped more than 35% when the well known rapper name checked the site in their lyrics, and that is only one of the latest examples.

 Despite its close association with sex work and porn, the OnlyFans platform is home to all kinds of creators. As you explore the OnlyFans site, you will encounter exotic dancers and sellers of nude photographs, but you will also find musicians trying out their new tunes, comedians testing their latest material, fitness experts helping their subscribers shed those extra pounds and even actors running through their best known scenes.

No matter what form their pages take or what kinds of material fill them up, the most successful OnlyFans content creators all have a few things in common, including the desire to connect with their fans on a more personal level. Many of the top creators on OnlyFans have turned their instant name recognition into cold hard cash, including Blac Chyna, who charges subscribers $50 a month for access to her page, and Disney alum Bella Thorne, who reportedly made more than $2 million selling nudes on her personal OnlyFans website.

What Does OnlyFans Mean?

Since the creation of the OnlyFans platform and content creation model in 2016 there has been a lot of discussion about what the name means, both for subscribers and for the content creators themselves. To many in the community, the name is self explanatory, a nod to the fact that only fans are allowed behind the paywall. To others the moniker is more mysterious, meaning different things to each individual content creator, business owner and subscriber.

But no matter what the name means, it is clear that the subscription based model it helped to pioneer has become enormously successful. With more than 30 million registered users, the OnlyFans platform has been growing by leaps and bounds since its creation in 2016, and it is not just subscribers who have been flocking to the site.

As of this writing, nearly 500,000 content creators have set up their pages and established their businesses on the OnlyFans platform, creating content on a daily basis, racking up subscribers and in many cases raking in the cash. Since its initial launch in 2016, the OnlyFans site has paid out more than $600 million in real cash to its hundreds of thousands of creators. That is real money, used to pay bills, build bigger and better businesses, supplement more traditional incomes and even make full-time earnings on the site possible.

Creators on the OnlyFans platform are free to set their own prices, starting at less than $5 for a monthly subscription and topping out at just under $50. As the number of subscribers increases, so too does the earning potential, and the most successful OnlyFans models can rack up thousands, tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of followers.

One of the best things about the OnlyFans model is the lucrative revenue sharing arrangement. Since the site was created in 2016, it remains one of the best deals around, not only for the thousands of sex workers and porn stars that call it their home but for actors, comedians, dancers and artists as well. Content creators get to keep 80% of what they earn on the site, with the platform taking the remaining 20% as their cut.

The OnlyFans platform has created its fair share of controversy over the years, most recently when well known Disney star Bella Thorne parlayed her name recognition into instant OnlyFans fame, reportedly earning more than $2 million on the site through her sales of nude photographs. Since that event, which sent waves of resentment through others in the OnlyFans community, the platform has instituted a pricing cap of $50 per post and limited tips from new fans to a maximum of $100 each.

Conclusion

Since its launch in 2016, the OnlyFans subscription based model has created a new paradigm for online content creators, giving voice to previously marginalized workers, granting access to a powerful online platform and creating an entrepreneurial model for others to follow.

 With top creators on the platform earning tens of thousands of dollars a month, the earning potential of the OnlyFans model is already quite clear. While not exactly what its creator had envisioned, it is hard to argue with the success of this increasingly important and successful site.

In the end, the best way to get to know the OnlyFans model is to see it for yourself. If you are intrigued by what the internet has created and ready to take a look, just head over to OnlyFans and check out the many creators who call the platform their home.

LA Weekly