If you haven’t heard, last year Instagram released a new feature to pay their creators to make new Reels. Today, we’re talking about the Instagram Reels Play Bonus program. From how it works, to how to use it, and even why I think it’s not as great as everyone else thinks it is – we’ve got a lot to cover. Let’s jump right in!
First of all, the Reels Play Bonus program is invitation only. We get questions all the time about how to join and get started, but the reality is: you have to be invited. There are a few things that you have to be or have done to be invited. First, you have to have the invite in your professional dashboard under bonuses. If you don’t see it, you can’t join. They make it super easy to find the invitation once it’s sent, so don’t worry – you won’t miss it. Additionally, you have to be a business or creator account, located in the US and at least 18 years old. You also have to have less than 1 million followers.
Out of the creators I’ve seen join the program, it’s generally people who are consistently creating content within the app – and that it’s performing well. If you don’t have the invite, it will just take some patience and continuing to show up. I want to say, though: don’t make Reels just to be invited to the program. Continue to use them in a way that truly benefits you and your community online.
MAKING REELS FOR THE BONUS PROGRAM
Once you start the program, a time period for your bonuses begins. It lasts for 30 days. Whenever you start those 30 days, any Reels you make within those 30 days count towards your bonuses. It’s important to remember that you only get bonuses from the views within that time period though. So, for example if you post a Reel on July 1 and your bonus ends August 1, but your views don’t start picking up until August 5th, those views won’t count towards your bonus payout – which is something I personally feel is a huge downside to the program. Your payout dates and deadlines will vary based on when you were accepted into the program.
Something else to be aware of is that the Reels you create during that time frame for the bonuses cannot be branded content. That means collaborations and sponsorships are not eligible. Neither is anything with a watermark. Be aware that you can also only create up to 150 Reels during these time frames – anything more will be ineligible for the bonuses. There is also a maximum number of views they’ll provide a payout for. This all varies person to person, so just make sure you check your limits. I’m not 100% sure how they determine all of these numbers…But, all that to say: just be aware of the limits on the program before you go too crazy making a ton of content.
Let’s talk about how getting paid works exactly! First, to make sure you get paid, don’t forget to select that the Reel is also to be counted towards the bonus when you post it! In order to get your first payment, you have to make $100. This can be cumulative across the months or all within one Bonus period. Honestly, I usually make that first $100 pretty quickly so that’s not a huge issue for most people. It takes a lot more time and effort to hit the next $100, though.
That first payment will be paid to you on the 21st of the following month once you’ve hit that amount! It can take 1-7 business days to see it in your bank account, so don’t worry too much about that. Make sure you add your payout account at least 10 days before a scheduled payment or it won’t work until the next month. If you need help setting up your payout accounts, follow our tips HERE!
MY THOUGHTS ON THE REELS BONUS PROGRAM
Now that we’ve discussed the details of the program, I want to share my thoughts with you – as someone who has been using the Reels Play Bonus program. It’s been about a year now, I started participating pretty early on. I think it’s a good bonus on top of what you’re already doing. Remember, you should already be monetizing your Instagram account and Reels already by making content that fits your niche and converts followers to customers. We don’t want to rely on only one source of income – like simply relying on this Bonus program for money.
What have I made?
I have had months where I make $800, but I had to work really hard to get that to happen. In my YouTube video, I break down each month I’ve participated in the Reels Play Bonus program. Some of it is surprising – like I doubled the amount of views one month but didn’t make that much more money. As you can see, it’s not totally fair. In fact, the app does tell you that your earlier views will count more towards your bonus than later ones. They want to incentivize you to make more new content and have it be good enough for those initial hits and views. By reviewing my account, you can see that in order to have a good payout, you need to post really good quality Reels that will get millions of views!
It can be an easy way to make an extra $100 or $200, but to get more than that, you have to work pretty hard in those 30 days to create super high quality content regularly. I like to think this money is just a nice bonus – I don’t rely on it as a source of income for me. This is obviously different from something like YouTube that provides a pretty steady stream of income each month (upwards of $1800 a month!).
HAS IT BEEN WORTH IT?
I’d say yes! I’ve made a nice chunk of money – it hasn’t been nothing. But, it’s not as consistent and the limits on the program can make it tricky. Sometimes I find myself holding out on posting content that I think will do well so that I can make more in the next cycle from it. In the end, it’s a nice bonus to add onto what I’m already doing on Instagram to grow my account but it’s not the only thing I want to count on for income. Oh, and I don’t think this will hurt your views if you do turn it on!
Remember to focus on your niche and create Reels and content consistently for your brand. Don’t just make content to make money. It will show – and hurt your growth. Instagram’s goal is to keep you engaged on their app with high quality content. Creating content for your audience like this is the best way to see consistent results in growing your brand. PS. Wondering what to make for your next Reel? Free quiz to find out what type of reel idea you should make next!
Other Resources You May Like
I also offer a free one-hour Instagram Reels class if you want more help with how to grow your reach, followers, and customers with Reels in 2 hours a month! You can sign up for that HERE. And, if you have questions or want some extra support, I’ve got a FREE Reels Growth Facebook Community that you can join. I absolutely love getting to chat with everyone and help them work through their questions about Reels!
We’ve started a podcast! If you haven’t checked it out yet, now is the time! This has been such a fun project since maternity leave and I hope you’ll tune in.If you’re listening and you have ideas about what to talk about next, please send in your requests! I really do want to know what you want to hear about in future episodes. Email me at [email protected] with your questions!! I can’t wait to hear from you!