Have you heard of Instagram live badges? Are you intrigued by the special heart badges in Instagram and want to find out more? FACT: Many influencers wish for an easier way to monetize their growing follower base on Instagram, and luckily, the social platform offers such a way already in the form of live badges. Let’s learn more about it, how it works, and all the reasons why you, as a creator, should give it a try. What Are Instagram Live Badges? Image Source Instagram introduced Live Badges in 2020 to support creators and their work on the platform. Badges are essentially a monetization feature that allows people to “tip” their favorite creators. The idea behind badges is to simply allow fans to express their love through badges that they can purchase while watching a live video. And there is a reason for targeting live videos. You see, Instagram live usage increased by a whopping 70% at the start of the COVID-19 crisis. Such a boost in usage raised the need to support creators to make money and connect with their audience even further. Hence the idea to introduce live badges on Instagram. So how do they work, both for a creator and a viewer? How Do Instagram Live Badges Actually Work? Instagram Live Badges make it easy for creators to discover their most loyal fans. They are able to see their badge holders and access information about how many hearts each viewer purchased. This, in turn, makes it easy to give them a shout-out, if needed. Viewers are able to purchase a badge during a live video to show their support for their favorite creators with their fans’ badges. It allows them to stand out in the comments with a special visual icon, based on the number of hearts they have purchased. Moreover, they are also able to unlock additional features, such as being on the creator’s list and accessing a special heart icon. There are three different levels for the badges, based on the number of hearts viewers are buying. You can buy one heart for $0.99, two for $1.99, or 3 for $4.99. Instagram live badges show up next to a person’s name for the duration of a live stream. Can Others See My Badges? Creators are able to see a list of badge holders on their live videos for up to 90 days. All viewers are able to see your badge during the live streaming when you purchase it. The badge is displayed along with your username and it is highlighted differently based on the number of badges that you purchase. So what are the benefits for using Instagram live badges? Why Should Creators Try Instagram Live Badges? Instagram live badges are still new. You may not have seen them yet on many accounts but they are still here to stay. Here’s why you should consider using them soon. Monetization The most obvious reason to use Instagram live badges is to capitalize on your influence. As a creator, you’re probably putting a lot of effort in your content and you want to be rewarded for it. It doesn’t necessarily mean that it could turn into your full-time job, but it’s still a nice way to gather tips during your live videos. If you haven’t thought of monetizing your work in the past, this could be a good opportunity to experiment with it. Discover Your Top Fans Instagram live badges are not useful just for monetization. They can help you discover your top fans as part of your live streaming. The option to access a list of those who bought badges during a live video allows you to learn more about your viewers, their favorite content, and the number of badges they are ready to purchase to support you. You can even consider offering special features for those who purchase a set number of hearts (badges) or give them a shout-out to connect more with them. Relationship building and engagement are going to be easier! Review Your Most ‘Loved’ Content Another good reason to use Instagram live badges is to improve your future content. The number of badges you’re receiving on every live streaming can indicate how much your viewers enjoy your content. For example, if you try a DIY video for a change and it earns more badges from your viewers, then it probably means that they want to see more similar content. Use this metric as part of your valuable learnings for content planning and future growth. Expand Your Influence Measuring your influence as a creator is not always easy. But there are many indicators that can help you review it. Live badges can help you measure your success during live streaming and your earnings over time. As you are growing your audience, you will also be able to explore whether you’re expanding your influence (and your revenue stream) while improving your content ideas. Who Can Use Instagram Live Badges? Instagram started rolling out live badges early in 2020 to a limited number of creators. Later in 2020, it was expanded to 50,000 more creators internationally. Creators from Brazil, UK, Germany, France, Italy, Turkey, Spain, Mexico, the US, Australia, and Japan are now able to use them while they are expected to roll out to more creators soon. Ideas On Making the Most Out of Instagram Live Badges Image Source Thinking of how to use live badges to boost your account? Here are some ideas to help you prepare the ground for them. Focus on Community Building Before you think of your account’s monetization, you need to focus on community building. A growing and engaging community has more chances to buy live badges during your live sessions. Start by building authentic connections with your viewers, get them excited about your content, and be as interactive as possible. As you’re growing your community, it will be easier to get them to ‘tip’ you by purchasing more live badges. Give Your Viewers a Reason to Buy a Badge Your viewers need your guidance to start using live badges. Give them a reason to start purchasing them. It’s not enough to go live and expect your followers to start purchasing Instagram live badges. Chances are, you’ll need to guide them on how they work and why they need to purchase them. Present the benefits through add-ons and special features or even give shout-outs to the first ones who buy badges in your live sessions. Try Out New Ideas Interested in being more creative with your live streaming? Use the live badges as an opportunity to try out new ideas. Find out what works best for your audience. What would convince them to buy more badges? Which types of live videos work better? The more you learn, the easier it will be for your future content. Takeaway Instagram live badges seem to be an exciting feature for creators who want to monetize their influence. It’s a great opportunity during challenging times to turn your passion into a living simply by being yourself and creating more content. If you still don’t have access to live badges, keep working on your content while building your community. If you’re ready to start using them, enjoy the process!