What is OnlyFans?

Introduction and User Base

Founded in 2016, OnlyFans is an internet content subscription service based in London, UK. It has significantly expanded its user base, boasting over 150 million registered users by January 1, 2022, a substantial increase from 8 million users in July 2019. The platform experiences approximately 500,000 site registrations per day.

Creators on OnlyFans

As of August 1, 2022, there are more than 1.5 million creators on OnlyFans, a leap from 70,000 creators in July 2019. These creators vary widely in their earnings, with some making hundreds, thousands, or even millions every month.

What is Only Fans

Financial Performance

In 2020, OnlyFans generated more than $2 billion in sales, with $400 million in annual net sales. The platform pays out over $200 million monthly to its creators. This surge in revenue growth was particularly pronounced after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

Earnings Distribution Among Creators

The earnings on OnlyFans are unevenly distributed. While the vast majority of creators make between $0 to $5,000 a month, over 100 creators earn more than $1 million. Notably, the top 1% of accounts make 33% of all the money, and the top 10% of accounts account for 73% of all earnings​.

Platform Traffic and Popularity

As of January 2023, OnlyFans.com receives an estimated 328 million monthly visitors. It ranks as the 101st most popular site globally and the 53rd most popular site in the United States. The majority (43%) of its traffic comes from the US.

Platform Features and Content

OnlyFans operates as a subscription-based video-on-demand service, allowing content creators to upload videos, photos, and live streams. While it is known for hosting adult content, the platform also supports a wide range of creators, including fitness trainers, musicians, and other public figures. Creators monetize their content through subscriptions, tips, and pay-per-view options, receiving 80% of these earnings.

Recognition and Influence

The platform’s influence and innovation have been recognized by reputable publications. Time Magazine included OnlyFans in its Time 100 Most Influential Companies list in 2021, and the Financial Times named it one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies in 2022 and 2023.

Controversies and Policies

OnlyFans has faced controversies, particularly around content moderation and underage content. In August 2021, it announced a ban on sexually explicit content, later reversed due to backlash. The platform has been criticized for not doing enough to prevent underage users from selling and appearing in explicit videos but has taken steps to enhance its verification processes.

Comparison with Other Platforms

Unlike social media platforms such as YouTube, Instagram, and Snapchat, OnlyFans uniquely allows explicit sexual content. This has positioned it as a distinct player in the digital content landscape, catering to content types that traditional social media platforms typically do not address.

Impact and Future Directions

OnlyFans has had a significant impact on the digital content landscape, offering new avenues for content monetization and consumption. While it continues to be associated predominantly with adult content, its role in the broader digital economy reflects changing attitudes towards digital content creation and monetization. The platform’s future will likely be shaped by ongoing challenges and opportunities in content moderation, user safety, and ethical implications of content monetization.

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