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OnlyFans has, over the last few years, become one of the most famous and most-visited websites in the world. It’s managed to become well-known in popular culture, despite the fact that it is most well-known for users creating adult content.
Whether you’re someone who has tried using OnlyFans yourself, or you’ve just heard it namedropped in music or TV shows, there’s a lot to the platform that’s worth explaining to someone who isn’t familiar with it.
So let’s take a look – this is everything you need to know about OnlyFans.
What Exactly is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a sort-of social media platform that allows content creators of any kind to post their content and receive payment directly from their followers or fans.
Fans can gain access to the content offered by the creators on the platform by subscribing to that particular creator – usually for a monthly fee of between $5 and $15, but creators set their own rate.
OnlyFans was launched in 2016 and began with a steady growth, but the platform exploded in popularity during 2020 as it not only became more famous, but people began seeking alternative ways to work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the main reasons why OnlyFans is so popular is the fact that it has very little restrictions on what creators can share – meaning that a lot (well, most) of the content is adult in nature. Obviously there are some restrictions for legal and ethical reasons, but hardcore sexual content is permitted. But many creators use the site for non-adult work too.
Even though OnlyFans is a social media platform, it doesn’t have an app due to the restrictions on nudity that Apple and Google put in place on their respective app stores. You can view the websites on mobile, but not via an app.
Is OnlyFans a Porn Website?
This might surprise you, but no, OnlyFans is not a porn website. However, a large percentage of the content on the website ranges from softcore nudity to hardcore sex.
OnlyFans is open to anyone that wishes to create original content for their subscribers’ viewing pleasure. Some of the other content creators found on OnlyFans include chefs, artists, fitness instructors, gamers, and so on.
The whole intention of the founders of the platform was to help creators connect more directly with their fans, and have their fans pay directly for their services. This way, creators don’t have to depend on the revenue from ads and sponsorship placements like they might have to on other platforms.
But in popular culture, OnlyFans does have a reputation as being a pornographic website, since so many of the creators on the site are making that kind of content. Sex sells, funnily enough.
That in itself has created a few different controversies – more on those below.
How Does OnlyFans work?
OnlyFans pay their content creators 80% of the total revenue earned by a creator. The remaining 20% goes to OnlyFans, and after paying for site maintenance, and processing fees, OnlyFans gets 12% of your total earnings. At least, that is what they say.
In terms of setting your subscription price, that's completely up to you – within certain limits. The minimum subscription fee is $4.99 per month and the maximum is $49.99 per month. Most people tend to stick to the $5-15 range, but if you feel your content is worth more than that, you could ask for more.
You'd better be offering the most premium content on the planet though, if you want subscribers to stick with you.
OnlyFans allows content creators to have customized and very personal interactions with any of their fans.
As a creator, you can have free pages that your fans can view for free, and then charge them to have access to premium content.
OnlyFans allows content creators to have customized and very personal interactions with any of their fans. This is probably one of the main features that made it popular during the coronavirus pandemic.
Fans are allowed to ask for private content for extra charges and can even give content creators gifts or donations. Most of the creators on OnlyFans.com say that the real money comes from the gifts, extra service charges, and donations that they receive from their fans.
What makes OnlyFans different from other Social Media Platforms?
The fundamental difference between OnlyFans and other social media platforms is that OnlyFans lets you charge people to see your content.
It's not really comparable to your Facebooks, Twitters, TikToks and so on – this is your opportunity to offer a more premium level of content, and to earn money while you do it.
OnlyFans is very popular for the high level of interaction that it offers. Fans can get a much closer connection with the creators they love. And as well as allowing its members to upload and share explicit sexual content on the platform, OnlyFans also lets you host live performances.
Creators on OnlyFans can send messages to their fans privately or en masse. Private performances that allow content creators to offer services that are curated just for a particular fan can be performed on the platform.
OnlyFans is very popular for the high level of interaction that it offers.
A lot of subscribers want a personal interaction with the creators that they are subscribing to, and OnlyFans allows just that. Subscribers can vote, make requests, and gift creators for their services.
For instance, some creators can offer exclusive photos of themselves to a fan depending on the service selected on the top menu.
It is recommended that if you want to be a creator on the platform, you should have fans already from other social media platforms already. This is because OnlyFans does not have an explore menu that allows fans to search for creators.
How much can you make on OnlyFans?
This depends largely on the amount you set as your subscription fee. According to the prediction model provided by OnlyFans, at the lowest subscription fee of $5, the earnings can range from $50 to $250 monthly.
…the highest earners on the platform right now are adult entertainers. Many of them earn more than $20,000 every month.
However, the estimate given by OnlyFans doesn't factor in things like extra charges for special services, tips, and gifts. The point here is that the possibilities are endless.
The highest earners on the platform right now are adult entertainers. Many of them earn more than $20,000 every month. But you shouldn't expect that level of success, especially not immediately. Earning that amount requires a massive social media following, and a lot of hard work to provide consistent, quality content.
Signing up on OnlyFans
Anyone aged 18 and above is allowed to open an account with OnlyFans.com.
To ensure that child protection and privacy laws are not broken, OnlyFans verifies the age of their users with the use of a government-issued ID.
To sign up on OnlyFans, you need an email, name, and password. After providing all these details on the signup page, you would need to verify your email by clicking on the link sent to your email.
You also have the option of signing up with your Twitter or Google account. This method is way faster.
For content creators, before you open your new account, you need to verify your identity and provide some personal information.
Here is a list of steps involved in signing up:
- Add a bank account or payment information
- Confirm your country of residence from a drop-down menu
- Tick the box that states that you are more than 18 years old
- Provide your personal information like name, address, city, postal/zip code, and date of birth.
- Upload a government-issued ID
- Upload a picture of yourself holding up the government-issued ID.
- Enter the expiration date of the ID.
- Answer the question about the kind of content you intend to upload.
- Click the button that says, “Send for Approval.”
After completing the steps above, you should receive an email saying, “Your Account Approval is Pending.” In less than 72 hours (3 days), you should receive another email saying that your account has been approved.
It is at this point that you would be able to add a bank account and set your subscription price.
OnlyFans is not a website without controversy. Indeed, it is far from perfect. Here's why:
Banning adult content?
In 2021, OnlyFans tried to ban adult content from its website. The site argued that banks were forcing their hand due to restricted payments, and that as a viable business it needed to become more mainstream.
The ban lasted less than a week before it was reversed due to an incredible backlash from creators. It's no surprise, since adult content creators have formed the backbone of the website's success.
It's still a touchy subject and we don't know if OnlyFans will ever try banning adult content again. But OnlyFans does have alternatives that have spawned following the platform's success, many of which guarantee they will never ban adult content creators.
There have been investigations into OnlyFans and its poor methods for verifying performer ages and screening content, with concerns raised that some underage models have performed on the site.
There are also concerns about well-known social media influencers joining the site just as soon as they turn 18, often announcing their site in advance. While this is more legal, it's still sketchy from an ethical perspective.
Celebrities and OnlyFans' reputation
Because OnlyFans has a reputation as a site where people will primarily find adult content, there have been some backlashes when celebrities sign up and then post content that is quite tame in comparison.
Because you can't see what you're subscribing too until you've paid and unlocked it, there's an element of risk when you sign up to a creator. You can't ask for your money back in most situations, unless you've been outright lied to.
Some of the higher-profile cases have caused people to question the value offered by OnlyFans.
Lack of features/support
OnlyFans was the first fan platform to become a massive success, but that doesn't mean it's necessarily the best option.
Indeed, many people have criticized the lack of features that OnlyFans has, particularly when it comes to discoverability – users can't easily browse the site to find creators, they need direct links to their pages.
Plus, OnlyFans' customer support has often been questioned for its slow and automated responses. For a site this huge, they often seem overwhelmed.
OnlyFans Frequently Asked Questions
Is OnlyFans Subscription anonymous?
You can remain anonymous on OnlyFans as a subscriber by using a username and an avatar as your profile picture. However, your bank records will show payments to "OnlyFans" so if you want to keep your subscriptions completely personal, make sure you don't use a shared bank account or leave any bank statements lying around.
Can OnlyFans see who Paid?
When you pay on OnlyFans, the creators can only see your username on the OnlyFans website and not your actual name or the name on your billing card. This is possible because your payment is not stored on the OnlyFans website. So you will get all the benefits of being a subscriber, without your personal info being revealed.
What company owns OnlyFans?
The parent company is Fenix International Limited, a company based in London. Since OnlYFans launched, the parent company has sold 75% to Leonid Radvinsky, the owner of MyFreeCams, which has helped to drive the adult content of the site.
Should I make an OnlyFans account?
If you already have a following on other social media platforms of at least 1000 followers and have special services that you can offer, then you should. However, if you intend to gather a following on OnlyFans, this would be difficult as it is somewhat harder to gain new followers on the platform itself. The search bar and the explore page might make it easier to gather fans on OnlyFans. However, the easiest way to increase your following on OnlyFans is by linking your OnlyFans account with other social media accounts such as Twitter - as long as you make sure you follow the rules. You can also use our Promote service to expose you to new potential fans.
Can OnlyFans see if you screenshot?
It is important to note that OnlyFans does not allow screenshots of any kind on the platform. This restriction was put in place to ensure the privacy of the users on their platform. This does not completely mean that the content on OnlyFans cannot be recorded, but it would require a third-party application. There is a Chrome extension that can be used to screenshot content posted on OnlyFans, but users shouldn't install it - it's not ethical to steal content from someone.
However, OnlyFans can remove any screenshot of their content posted online if reported by a creator or member.
What was OnlyFans originally meant for?
OnlyFans hasn't changed much in its original intentions - to provide a space where creators of all kinds can share the content they make, but also earn money by selling access to it instead of relying on adverts or other unreliable methods of earning money.
What kind of content is not allowed on OnlyFans?
OnlyFans has only legal and ethical restrictions in place for its content - so users can't post anything that encourages illegal activity, encourages violence, is defamatory or fraudulent, or anything where the content itself would be illegal - so anything sexual involving children or animals, as an example. If it's legal and safe for regular pornography, you can assume it's allowed on OnlyFans.