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Whether you’re someone who is taking their first steps into the world of content creation, having seen just how much success people have had over the last few years (including maybe some friends of yours), or you’re someone with an established content creation background looking for your next steps in your career, there are a load of platforms you can sign up to.
OnlyFans may still be the most recognizable name, but it is far from the only option, and there are many alternatives making a claim to be the best option for creators.
Two of the more prominent of those are Fansly and iFans. They’re both cut from the same cloth as OnlyFans, not just in terms of being a platform for adult creators to share their content, but also in their style and approach. There are some distinctive features though, which may sway you one way or the other.
So let’s compare. Fansly or iFans – which is the best option for you?
Intro to Fansly
Content creator platforms for adult photos and videos haven’t existed in their current form for a huge amount of time. But Fansly is definitely one of the newest. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly when it launched, but there’s very little record of it before 2020, with the social media accounts of the site being set up in November 2020. It’s only in 2021 that it really took a foothold in the market.
Fansly started to grow in the first half of 2021 as rumors of OnlyFans banning adult content began to bubble up, and once they announced that they were in August, creators began flocking to other sites, Fansly included. While OnlyFans backpedaled and kept a large part of its creator base, a lot of people are wary of its future.
Fansly is essentially OnlyFans 2.0. It looks very similar and has a lot of the same features, although there are some improvements and extras. This does make it worth considering, although it’s not the most adventurous in its position. If you want something like OnlyFans but a bit better, Fansly’s a solid option.
iFans is another more recent entrant into the subscription platform field, and again it looks a lot like OnlyFans, although the actual interface for users probably closer resembles Facebook or Twitter – not to the point of ripping those sites off either, but in a way that makes it recognizable and simple enough to use.
iFans isn’t just a slightly better version of OnlyFans though. It has more of a unique proposition by really honing in on referrals. It’s designed for creators who want to leverage their existing social media following, not only getting them to pay for access to your own content but by earning you money when you point them in the direction of other creators too.
This has a lot of positives, and a few drawbacks, which we’ll cover in more detail as we get into this comparison.
One of the biggest criticisms of some of the adult subscription platforms is their usability. A lot of these platforms have been rushed through development to get them live as a way of making money off the back of OnlyFans. They succeed because OnlyFans itself is hardly a beacon of user experience.
It’s important that you understand why that is. A lot of these websites aren’t built for the casual user. Someone who thinks “I’ll sign up to OnlyFans or another platform, have a browse, and maybe subscribe to someone who I like the look of” isn’t the target audience. So the platforms aren’t really built to make it easy to navigate.
Instead, they’re designed for creators who already have an existing social media following that they want to start to make money from. Those creators don’t need to be ‘found’ – they provide a direct link to their fanbase, and they sign up. Job done, no need to worry about how easy they find it getting around the website.
The result is often a website that is bare-bones for usability. As long as it locks photos and videos away, makes it simple to pay, and then shows them to subscribers, that’s all it needs to do.
And Fansly and iFans both fall into this camp. There are other platforms investing more in site design and usability, both for users and creators, but neither Fansly or iFans break huge ground here. Instead, expect a site that is clear enough, yet basic.
Fansly is a little better – navigating through menus is a little more intuitive, and there are some creators on Reddit that feel it’s at least a cleaner experience than OnlyFans. iFans doesn’t have much in the way of positive or negative feedback, and would probably be viewed in the same way.
Ways to make money
At their core, subscription platforms work in a simple way – you add photos and videos behind a paywall. If someone wants to see them, they sign up for a recurring monthly subscription. You receive a majority of that payment, and the user gets to see all of your photos and videos – both older posts that you’ve put up on the profile already, and anything new that you add on an ongoing basis.
Then, most subscription platforms will also let you earn money through tips – extra payments that your fans can make at any time, normally because they want to encourage you to message them more, or maybe send them an exclusive clip.
Both Fansly and iFans follow this model. However, there are a few things to note.
Firstly with Fansly, you can offer different tiers of subscription. You might want to charge a lower fee for access to the bulk of your photos and videos, but add on a premium tier for extra access to longer videos or special interest clips.
iFans don’t have this option, but they do let you sell content on an individual basis – users don’t need to subscribe to buy one-off videos or photos. iFans also has live streaming where you can earn more, and you can charge for access to your DMs if you want to.
The biggest thing to note for iFans is how you can also make money referring your own fans to other creators. Any time you tag another creator either in a post, a comment, or a message and one of your subscribers follows that tag to the other creator, they become a referral. Any time that user spends money with the other creator, you earn a cut. Even if it’s a couple of years later.
Overall, between selling individual clips, live streaming, paid DMs, and the massive referral system, iFans wins this one.
How much can you earn?
While it’s good having lots of options for how you can earn money on a site, what that ultimately translates to is what really matters – how much will you make on a regular basis if you sign up as a creator to that site?
There’s no single answer, because much of it is down to your own social media following and how much work you’re prepared to put in. But there are some important factors to think about when deciding which platform to choose.
The first is their existing popularity. This isn’t the most important element, because ultimately you’re not convincing someone to sign up to Fansly or iFans. You’re asking them to sign up to your profile, that just happens to be on one of those sites.
But, the name and popularity of the brand can help – OnlyFans is a known entity to users, and that can help convert them into paying subscribers because they know what they’re paying for. Neither Fansly nor iFans have this advantage, which can make it a little trickier to convince people to sign up.
The more important factor is in the commission. This is how much the site takes as a cut of your earnings. All subscription platforms for content creators do this – they need to turn a profit, pay their staff, and cover the costs of hosting (which can be pretty hefty).
Both Fansly and iFans charge a flat 20% commission for people who pay you from a direct traffic source, as in someone that you have brought to the website. And for Fansly, that’s as simple as it is.
With iFans, there’s a lot more to it, because they have this deeper referral system, which has benefits but also drawbacks.
Basically, when one creator refers a fan to another creator, instead of just the second creator making money, both do. But they both split the same share. So instead of the second creator getting 80%, both the referrer and the referee get 40%, and Fansly still takes 20%.
This is great news if you’re able to refer your fans to other creators – suddenly you can make a lot more money. But you might feel disappointed to only make 40% of fees for people who sign up to your content if they’re a referral too.
Remember though that it’s a subscriber you might not have otherwise gained. Creators don’t have incentives to work together and refer users if they don’t take a cut. So making 40% from a new subscriber is better than 80% of a subscriber that isn’t referred to you, so you don’t actually get them to sign up.
It’s also worth noting that there’s a similar caveat for any money you make during live streaming. This isn’t a common feature, and your live streams are available to all users on the iFans platform, not just your own subscribers. In exchange, iFans takes a 50% commission from any sign-ups or sales through that live stream.
It might sound like you’re not making huge cuts, but iFans is offering you a lot more exposure in these ways. And so, because of that, there’s a lot more potential to earn bigger.
How often you are paid could be important to you. When it comes to pitting Fansly and iFans against each other, it’s a tie. Both hold onto your funds for a week before releasing them to you, obviously minus the commission fee that the site keeps.
Some other platforms, like OnlyFans, will make you wait longer. 7 days is pretty much the fastest payout available across creator platforms.
Which has the best features?
Beyond the amount of money you can make, the features on offer are a good way of comparing different fan subscription platforms. Some features are designed to help you make more, while others are useful tools that can improve your experience using the site.
Let’s start with shared features. There aren’t too many, although one that’s important (and that helps both of these platforms stand out against OnlyFans) is the option to let people follow your profile for free.
This lets them see a preview of the kind of content you upload, and how frequently you do so – hugely important when you want to convince someone that you’re worth signing up to. With other platforms, you may need a duplicate free account, but with iFans and Fansly it’s all just controlled from your main account. You can choose what you post for everyone, and what is only for the eyes of your subscribers.
Fansly has automatic watermarking – where a watermark is added to your photos and videos as you upload it (if you want it). This is useful because, unfortunately, a lot of content creators often have their photos and videos stolen and reuploaded for free elsewhere. It’s almost like pirating a movie – you want people to pay for it, not find it free elsewhere. Watermarking helps you with getting content taken down from these websites since it shows you clearly own it.
Fansly also offers geoblocking, which is where you can set certain parts of the world to be unable to find your profile and subscribe. If you don’t want your family or friends to know that you have an adult career – or you don’t care but you don’t want them seeing it – then you can block the areas where they live.
Fansly’s geoblocking is quite advanced as it’s down to city level – you can specify IP addresses down to a city. Some sites only let you block at a state or country level, which could lose you a large part of your audience.
The main features of iFans are those that we’ve already covered – it has more ways that you can earn money than Fansly does, including:
Selling individual videos or photos
There aren’t many other specific features for the site yet, although it is building a more robust Explore feature, which will make it easier for users to find you through the site organically.
Winner: Draw. Tough to call this one – Fansly has more usability features, while iFans has more ways to make money.
What’s the support like?
Support is a major consideration when you’re deciding which platform to go with. You might need help getting started, or you could end up with a problem subscriber further down the line. There might be a technical issue, or you might have a discrepancy with a payment. And you need to know that your problems will be resolved quickly and easily.
The support services offered on both Fansly and iFans’ websites aren’t exactly stellar. Both have an FAQs section, but they aren't the easiest to find. With iFans, there is a direct link from the footer – but that footer doesn't appear on your feed, you need to navigate through to other pages and then click the link.
And both let you get in touch via a contact form if you have questions – you'll get a personalized response, which is more than we can say for some bigger sites. iFans doesn’t have a positive or negative reputation either way yet, while Fansly has been criticized for not being the quickest to respond.
However, they’ve admitted this themselves, and said that the problems stemmed from growing too quickly. It’s admirable that they’re honest and that they’re addressing it. They also have excellent social media accounts where answers can normally be achieved pretty quickly.
We'll call this one a tie, until iFans proves itself either way.
So, which is best?
This one is really close, and it’s impossible to give you a definitive answer saying that one platform is better than the other.
iFans is probably the website that gives you better earning potential, but Fansly edges it in terms of being better to use and having more supportive features for blocking your profile and protecting your content.
Ultimately it’ll depend on your priorities, but both certainly have potential as your chosen platform.
Both Fansly and iFans offer a solid platform if nothing spectacular in terms of the overall experience. Choose Fansly if you want to make sure your content is safe or iFans if you have a large social media following already and you want to capitalize on the referral system.
Still not fully convinced either way? Why not check out some of the other alternatives to OnlyFans and see if any of those sound like they might be better for you.