OnlyFans has been around for five years this September, so it's about time we knew exactly what it is, what it's used for, how people make money on it and exactly what the rules are when using the app.
Firstly, if you thought OnlyFans was just where sex workers go to post pictures of them scantily-clad and get paid for it - think again.
There's a broad spectrum of talent on there ranging from high-profile celebrities to fungi-enthusiasts sharing "spicy mushroom recipes" - yep really. There's also a fair amount of influencers taking the traditional route of selling nudes too.
What is OnlyFans?
Quite simply, OnlyFans is a content subscription service which allows creators to make money on what they post. There's a website and an app for it which you can download in all the obvious places.
The social media platform allows users (fans) to subscribe to creators' content, which is how they make money on it.
The platform is based in London and was created and founded by Erika Heidwald and Tim Stokeley in September 2016.
By December 2020, OnlyFans reportedly had more than 1 million content creators and more than 50 million subscribers. That's according to Influencer Marketing Hub.
The numbers for both users and creators joining the service doubled during the pandemic - no surprises there.
How does OnlyFans work and is it safe?
To make money as an influencer on OnlyFans, you just sign up for an account and provide your bank details so you can get paid. Then start creating content and hopefully see some money coming in. The creators are responsible for setting the price for subscribers to view their content.OnlyFans recommends that creators use a "stage name" and avoid posting out any personal identifying information to protect themselves - as you're advised to do with any social media accounts.
If you're using the platform as a subscriber, set up an account and then you can choose to follow people and subscribe to their content. Some influencers might also offer a subscription messaging service for their followers - so fans can pay to talk to them.
How much do girls make on OnlyFans?
Some of the top influencers on OnlyFans - such as Bella Thorne, Belle Delphine and Lucy-Anne Brooks - have been known to make six-figure salaries. But most average creators make much less than that.
According to Influencer Marketing Hub, the average content creator earns around $180 (£130) a month, with "most" accounts taking home $145 (£100) or less a month. OnlyFans takes a 20 per cent cut from transactions on the site.
Can guys make money on OnlyFans?
Absolutely! As mentioned above, there's a broad range of influencers - both men and women - on the platform and contrary to popular belief, it's not just a site for sex workers. It all depends on whether you've got something to offer that fans are willing to pay for - even if it's spicy mushroom recipes.
OnlyFans says, "As far as we're concerned, if you use social media and produce your own content, you should be using OnlyFans. Whether you're uploading tutorials, tips, behind the scenes footage or endless selfies, a lot of your followers will be willing to pay for them!"
OnlyFans highest earners in 2021
Reality TV star and model Blac Chyna - who's also Robert Kardashian's baby mommy - is the highest earning creator on OnlyFans in 2021.
From highest to lowest, here are the OnlyFans influencers bringing in the most most from the site in 2021, according to Influencer Marketing Hub:
Bella Thorne set an OnlyFans record in 2020
In August 2020, actress Bella Thorne earned more than $1 million (around £72,000) in her first 24 hours on OnlyFans, setting a record for the site.
But her stint on the platform was short-lived. She was banned after offering a $200 pay-per-view subscription for nude photos, which actually showed her still wearing underwear and led to her having to refund a lot of subscribers.
After this, OnlyFans changed their policies on payment rates and chargebacks, which apparently caused some controversy with sex workers earning a living on the site.