How OnlyFans Work – Its Business Model Explained (OnlyFans 101)

Onlyfans Business Model
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How OnlyFans Work – Its Business Model Explained (OnlyFans 101)

Last Updated on January 22, 2024

Creators can make money online through a small number of content-sharing platforms. However, OnlyFans is the most controversial option because it has allowed creators to upload any kind of content, including porn, and lock it behind a paywall for several years now.

As of 2016, OnlyFans has been used primarily by sex workers, though celebrities such as Cardi B and Bella Thorne have also used it to earn money. Others direct their followers to OnlyFans, where they promise exclusive content in exchange for a monetary payment.

As a result of its popularity, OnlyFans recently announced that it will ban sexually explicit content from its site as of October 1, 2021.

In case you are motivated to launch your own OnlyFans-like platform, you must have the essential information like how did it start, and how on earth did it become so big. So, let’s find out.

What Is OnlyFans? 

When it comes to OnlyFans, it’s a platform where creators sell original content, usually of the pornographic variety. They’re mostly influencers, which means they have a large social following.

On OnlyFans, they sell revealing and potentially harmful content. Using OnlyFans as a way to monetize their influence, the site’s tagline reads “Make your influence pay.” There are a number of influencers/creators who upload photos and videos behind a paywall. An additional $5-$50 per month subscription fee is required to access these resources.

It’s important to note that the price of a photo or video depends on the influencer’s activity. People post bathroom selfies that their parents wouldn’t approve of, and some even engage in explicit self-entertainment or baby development activities.

The Origin Of OnlyFans

According to the site, OnlyFans was founded in 2016 by British entrepreneur Tim Stokely, who is now the CEO. Its main objective is to assist content creators and artists in “monetizing their content while developing authentic relationships with their fanbases.”

A paywall is essentially a barrier that prevents fans from accessing content that has been posted by other users. If they wish, they can also “tip” to have content created on-demand that is specifically tailored to their interests and tastes by paying more to communicate with the creators.

The Success Momentum OnlyFans

It may be difficult to find the number of content creators on OnlyFans without the official number. The numbers presented on the Internet usually depend on the freshness of the document. However, a clear growth pattern can be seen. It is reported that 

In fact, OnlyFans had gathered about 60,000 content creators in 2019. 

Mashable reported that OnlyFans representatives said in March 2020 that the total number of users and creators “nearly doubled” to 350,000 creators at this stage. However, Variety revealed that by the end of August 2020, OnlyFans currently has 700,000 content creators. 

According to reports, OnlyFans reached a user base of 7 million in 2019. There are 12 million registered users on OnlyFans, according to an article in the Economist from January 2020 (written on Lucy-Anne Brooks, the British star of OnlyFans).

Mashable reported only 26 million registered users in March 2020.

Variety, on the other hand, reported that by the end of August 2020, OnlyFans had over 50 million registered users. Many people went to OnlyFans when they were locked in COVID while they were away, as evidenced by a large number of users.

Moreover, Tim Stockley, the founder of Fans, was quoted in 2019 by the Western Australian as saying that OnlyFans has 1,000 registered users every hour.

At the time, that might have seemed like a lot. Despite this, users continued to flock to the platform. Mashable quotes a representative from OnlyFans, who claims that new users and content creators nearly doubled in March 2020 alone.

As Tim Stokely points out, multiple reports from December 2020 indicate OnlyFans has an average of 500,000 new users a day on an average.

Who All Use OnlyFans?

It’s a place where you’ll find trainers as well as writers, artists, and chefs. In any case, this is only one side of the story that hasn’t been explained. In addition to sex workers and amateur pornographers, who upload videos and images and interact with fans via direct messages, OnlyFans allows people to post content that would be prohibited on other social media sites such as Instagram, Facebook, or TikTok aims to help designers earn money by creating and sharing content, building a sequence, and earning money on a design platform. If you’d like to dress up as a literary character, Caroline Calloway has a page on OnlyFans where she’ll do so in costume

Other real TV stars, such as Erica Mena and Safaree Samuels as well as Chad Johnson are on the platform. It’s also worth mentioning that not every creator sells explicit content through this site. OnlyFans commissioned The-Dream to create his new album, SXTP4. It’s a way for him to connect with his fans and encourage them to create their own sensual choreographies for his songs.

  • Cardi B – Musician
  • Amber Rose – Internet personality
  • Tana Mongeau – Influencer
  • Bella Thorne – Actress
  • Jordyn Woods – Internet personality
  • Blac Chyna – Reality TV star
  • Dorinda Medley – Reality TV star
  • Larsa Pippen – TV personality and former wife of an NBA legend
  • Bhad Bhabie – Internet personality
  • Farrah Abraham – Reality TV star
  • Aaron Carter – Musician
  • Tyga – Musician

How Does OnlyFans Work?

Onlyfans, a subscription-based content sharing platform, is very user-friendly. Let’s take a closer look at how Onlyfans works.

Create an account on Onlyfans’ official website and start earning by uploading content to the platform. To what extent the creator wishes to charge for their content is entirely up to them. On a monthly basis, the fans must purchase a subscription to the paid content.

Because the content can’t be shared outside the platform, the platform ensures that its creators are completely protected. Users who attempt to take a screenshot or record a video of the content will be banned if they are caught. A strict privacy policy is part of the platform’s commitment to the safety of its creators, and why wouldn’t they be? 

After all, creators are the only thing that drives their business. When users report privacy violations on the platform, the company has set up a special DMCA team that issues formal notices to violators and takes strict actions against them.

As a business model, OnlyFans is superior to Airbnb and Uber. Anyone who rents out property or drives for Uber can only accommodate one group of people at a time. It is possible to broadcast content simultaneously to a large audience as an OnlyFans creator. You can always do one more ride or host one more visit to make money on Airbnb and Uber. One selfie on OnlyFans can serve 10 adoring fans or 1,000. 

Social media platforms like OnlyFans and Clubhouse are helping people easily make money through social media and increasing popularity. This is why more and more users are joining this platform.

To build your own social media platform you can first make a basic MVP with the must-have features and gradually introduce premium features as per user feedback.


    With Customized On-Demand Solutions by OyeLabs

    OnlyFans Famous Referral Program

    For the first 12 months, a content creator can earn about 5 percent of their earnings up to the first $1 million earned by the creator through OnlyFans’ referral program. There are no restrictions on the number of referred creators or the total referral earnings. Paid on the first working day of every month.

    Due to the popularity of the platform, references to the first $1 million earned by the creator in question are limited to the year following their subscription to the reference scheme.

    There are some creators who want OnlyFans to reinstall the old system, as many sex workers rely on OnlyFans as a means of earning a living. OnlyFans already takes 20 percent of creator revenue, so it’s not unreasonable to expect them to take 20 percent more.

    The Type Of Content You Can Push-On OnlyFans? 

    Every person has the ability to create an account on OnlyFans and post whatever they want, whether it’s sexually explicit or not. Creators post lewd content on the platform, which has made it famous. 

    “Hips TikTok when I dance/On that Demon Time, she might start an OnlyFans (OnlyFans)” is Beyoncé’s verse in Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” remix. There is a paywall for porn on this platform, according to The New York Times. 

    However, besides sex workers, fitness instructors, dancers, and artists also use the platform to post paid content and connect with fans. Porn appears to be a focus for OnlyFans. As reported by Bloomberg reports that the platform is trying to attract investors who can help it become more mainstream and make more money: It’s like YouTube and Cameo combined, a place where celebrities and athletes can connect with their fan base through video.

    The Functioning Of OnlyFans 

    Within the app and website of OnlyFans, there are 5 major sections you need to be aware of:

    • Homepage

    Here, you can see your feed, which is made up of content shared by people you follow, including your closest friends. On OnlyFans, you’ll also find suggestions for new people to follow. To find other creators and users to follow, you can use the search bar at the top of the Home page.

    • Notifications

    You can see your notifications on the Notifications page. It’s funny how things work out, right? Included are past interactions, likes, subscriptions, tidbits, and others.

    • Create 

    Are you ready to start sharing with others? Create a new post on the Create posts page and share it with your followers. If you’d like, you can even add media or create a survey.

    • Chats

    The Chats page allows you to start a direct message with someone you know, such as someone you subscribe to or a fan. Self-explanatory.

    • Menu

    From the right, a menu slides out, displaying your display name, user name, and the number of fans and followers you have accumulated. A dark mode can be enabled and you can access your profile from the Menu. You have the option to log out as well.

    How To Earn With OnlyFans

    Your payment information, account verification, and subscription price must all be completed before you can start earning on OnlyFans. In the end, you’ll be able to create posts and hide them behind your paywall.

    1. Add Your Bank Account

    You can add a bank by going to the menu in OnlyFans after you’ve logged in. You must be at least 18 years old, and your account must be verified. In addition to your name, address, and birth date, OnlyFans will also ask for a photocopy of your passport or driver’s license. 

    It also asks if you plan to post pornographic material on the site. In addition, US creators will have to fill out a W-9 form.

    1. Setup Your Subscription Fee

    To set your subscription price, go to the Menu, select Profile, click the Edit Profile button, and then look for Subscription Price and Bundles in the Subscription Price and Bundles field. You can set a monthly amount there. Before you can set a price or accept tips, you must add your bank account or payment information.

    1. Earn Via PPV (Pay-Per-View)

    Pay-per-view messages, or PPVs, are another way to make money on OnlyFan. Content that you share with your fans via message, but they must pay to see it! As soon as you’re in your messages, you can send PPVs to specific accounts by writing a message to the account and attaching your media, then clicking on the price tag in the bottom right to set your price.

    You can send PPVs to all of your fans at once by going to the messaging page and clicking on New message and All subscribers, respectively. Set the price by adding a message, attaching media, and clicking on the “price tag” icon. When you click send, your message will be sent to all of your recipients.

    Wrapping Up

    Creators’ talent has been brilliantly tapped into by Onlyfans. Pornographers and sex workers were the company’s most profitable decision, as previously mentioned. Everyone knows that sex has always been a good seller. It is not uncommon for amateur pornstars to post exclusive content that can only be accessed by paying fans.

    The pandemic and lockdown have had a huge positive impact on the platform’s performance and popularity. There has been a massive increase in the number of searches on Onlyfans since then, as well as an increase in the amount of traffic. Even without the involvement of external investors, Onlyfans is currently making a name for itself in the industry.


    Have an idea for a content sharing platform? Create Onlyfans like app. Get in touch with Oyelabs today

    Frequent Asked Questions About OnlyFans Business Model(FAQs)

    Q-Which is the country where onlyfans have the most users?

    A. Currently the United States of America has the maximum number of OnlyFans users. 51% of OnlyFans users are based in the USA.

    Q.Are there any Cons of Onlyfans?

    A.There are many cons of OnlyFans, some of them being:
    Easy target for criticism
    Difficult to build trust with your customer
    No Safety net.

    Q. Are there any other apps like OnlyFans?

    A.. Fanzly,Loyal Fans are some apps providing similar services like OnlyFans

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