What Is an Instagram Reels Play Bonus and How Does It Work?

Ever wanted to make money from your Instagram Reels? Brand sponsorships and affiliate marketing were some of the main ways to get paid for creating Reels. Now Instagram also gives creators the opportunity to earn money under the Instagram Reels Play Bonus program. 

In this post, we provide you with a detailed guide on what the program is, how it works, and how you can start making money with it. Let’s take a look.


What Is Instagram Reels Play Bonus?


What Is an Instagram Reels Play Bonus?

Reels Play Bonus on Instagram is a payout that creators receive after their Reels get a certain amount of views within a specified timeframe. According to Instagram, it’s a way for creators to earn money directly through Instagram instead of through a brand sponsorship or an affiliate program. Originally available on an invite-only basis to creators based in the U.S, Instagram plans to gradually roll out the program globally. 

 

 

Reels Play Bonuses are a way for Instagram to encourage users to create more Reels, allowing the platform to compete with TikTok. In a similar fashion, YouTube also introduced the $100 million YouTube Shorts Fund to compensate select content creators. 


How Does the Play Bonus Work?

Instagram pays out Play Bonuses based on the views you get on your Reels. Eligible creators with a business or creator account can earn money on Reels that generated at least 1,000 views within a 30-day period. Here’s a quick overview of how it works:

  • After the Reels Play Bonus is accessible to you, the opportunity is available to you for 30 days. You can find the expiration day by accessing the Bonuses tab on your Instagram app.
  • Once you get started, Instagram gives you a 30-day period to earn the bonus. 
  • You have the option to choose any number of Reels to count toward the Reels Play Bonus earnings during those 30 days.
  • Your bonus payout will be determined by the performance of your Reels. Keep in mind that the per-play earning may change over time, with the potential to decrease the longer you participate in the program.
  • The target number of plays and maximum payout amount varies from account to account. For example, the following creator had to hit 9.28 million plays in order to earn a maximum bonus of $8,500.

 

Your bonus earnings depend on how your Reels have performed during the 30-day period. Even if you don’t manage to hit the target number of plays, you can still earn a bonus if you manage to hit 1,000 views. As you can see in the example above, creators can still get portions of the bonus if they manage to hit the play milestones set by Instagram. 


How Much Can You Make from Reels Play Bonuses?

Now the big question is–how much can creators make from Reels Play Bonuses? Getting a fair idea of approximate earnings can help you understand the potential of signing up for the program. It can help you decide whether you should spend your time trying to meet the target number of plays.

As mentioned above, the exact details and requirements for earning a Play Bonus vary from account to account. In other words, Instagram personalizes the target number of plays and maximum earning potential for each creator. This makes it a bit challenging to pinpoint a specific amount that you might be able to earn under the program. 

While the creator in the above example had the potential to earn $8,500 for hitting 9.28 million plays, another creator reported that he’d have to hit 11.02 million plays in order to earn $1,200. However, Instagram seems to have been reducing the payout amount because the same creator only had to hit 1 million plays to earn the same amount of bonus.

During the initial rollout, payouts ranged from $600 to $35,000 depending on how many views the Reel generated. As the program became more established, Instagram has been slowly raising the threshold for earning bonuses. For example, one creator now has to hit 359 million views to make $35,000 when they only had to hit 58 million views to earn the same amount of money. 


Getting Started with Instagram Reels Play Bonus

Interested in getting a Reels Play Bonus payout? There are a few rules and eligibility requirements to follow to make sure that you can earn money under the Play Bonus program. Plus, you’ll also have to be set up to receive bonuses. Let’s take a look at the different steps needed to get started with Instagram Reels Play Bonus.

Setting Up Bonuses

Keep in mind that not every user is qualified to earn bonuses on Instagram. If you’re qualified, Instagram will notify you to get set up so you can enable bonus payouts. Once you get a notification, go to the app then review and accept the terms and conditions. Next, choose your country and select your business type (whether you’re an individual or a business owner). 

For business owners, the next step involves confirming whether you’re the legal owner of the business. You’ll also need to provide your tax and legal information.

After this, you can add a payout method and then view your available bonuses (including Reels Play Bonus). You can review the bonus opportunities and activate the ones you want to set up. In this case, choose the option to activate your Reels Play Bonus. 

Make sure you add a payout account if you want to start receiving a bonus payout. Otherwise, you’ll no longer be able to monetize through bonuses either after five months or after your earnings exceed $500. Moreover, you’ll be forfeiting your rights to receive payment if you don’t add a payout account within six months.


Selecting Reels for the Program

After activating your Reels Play Bonus, it’s time to choose the Reels you want to be considered for the program. The performance of these chosen Reels would determine your final payout at the end of the 30-day period. 

Before sharing a Reel you want to be counted toward your bonus payout, go to the Bonuses page and choose “Reels Play Bonus.” For Reels that you’ve already published, you can still make changes within 24 hours. Select “Edit” and go to the Bonuses page. Then choose “Reels Play Bonus” to apply the bonus to the Reel.


Understanding the Rules and Eligibility

In order to participate in the Reels Play Bonus program, it’s important to be informed about the rules and eligibility so you don’t face issues further down the line. As mentioned earlier, once Instagram gives you the opportunity to get started with the program, you’ll have 30 days to accept. And once you get started, you’re given 30 days to accomplish the goal and earn your bonus.

Although you may be unable to reach your target number of plays within the 30-day period, you can still earn a bonus payout if you hit one of the milestones in your progress bar. However, only the Reels that hit at least 1,000 views will be counted toward your Play Bonus. Additionally, a Reel is ineligible for a Play Bonus in case any of the following applies:

  • It’s branded/sponsored content. Content that needs to be published under the “Paid Partnership” tag is currently ineligible for a Reels Play Bonus.
  • It’s claimed by a rights holder. Instagram intends to reward creators for originality so Reels that have been claimed by a rights holder are automatically deemed ineligible for a Play Bonus.
  • You’ve received a Reel violation for the third time. Instagram gives you up to two strikes before making you ineligible to earn a Reels Play Bonus. The third strike will result in a 30-day cool-down before you can start monetizing your Reels for bonuses again. 

If you appeal a Reel violation and you win the appeal, the monetizable plays from that decision onward will be considered. However, if the win decision comes after the opportunity has expired, those monetizable plays will no longer be counted for your payout.


Tracking Your Performance

From your Bonus settings, you can go to your Reels Play bonus page and take a look at how much progress you’ve made toward earning a bonus. It’s important to constantly check the progress bar so you can adjust your content strategy accordingly.

For example, if you’re close to earning a bonus but still haven’t quite hit the target number of views, you may want to reshare a popular Reel through your Stories. Or you may even want to create a new Reel altogether. Make it highly engaging so it gets a lot of views, interactions, and shares to help you hit your target view count.


Best Practices to Create Engaging Reels

Since Reels Play Bonus payouts largely depend on how your Reels are performing, it’s crucial that you create entertaining Reels that engage your audience and help you get more views. The Instagram algorithm tends to favor content that gets a lot of views and engagement so high-quality content is key to accomplishing your target view count. Here are a few tips to create more engaging Reels:

Create Something that Adds Value

First and foremost, your Reel should be able to add value to the lives of your audience. Whether it’s helping them learn something new, discover new things, or even just make them laugh–it should be able to make a positive difference in their viewing experience. 

The goal is to not only get them to engage and drive up your visibility but also to hit the “Share” button so that their friends can see the Reel too. Moreover, highly entertaining Reels could be the key to earning new followers, which will further boost the visibility of your future Reels.


Use a Popular Audio

Using trending songs or sounds in your Reels can boost your content visibility on the platform. They can improve the chances of your Reel showing up in the Explore pages of people who’ve interacted with the audio before. That automatically translates to increased view counts for your Reels, which will then count toward your Play Bonus.

If you notice that other creators are leveraging a certain sound regularly, try incorporating it into your Reels as well. Find a way to add a unique touch so that the actual video remains truly yours and helps to entertain your audience. Moreover, having fun or relevant background music helps to make your video even more engaging.

For example, the food content creator @pengveganmunch used Erykah Badu’s “I’ll Call U Back” in the following Reel where he makes fiery pasta. The audio is extremely relevant because there are phrases about cooking in the kitchen.

 

 


Participate in a Trend

If there’s a trend that everyone’s doing on Instagram, you might want to jump on the bandwagon so your Reels can get more visibility. Often, Reels trends involve using a popular sound and following a specific theme or format for your video. Think of the TikTok Euphoria trend that got users changing into exquisite (or sometimes absurd) outfits after a voiceover asks them why they aren’t in uniform.

Besides the added visibility due to the popular audio, participating in a trend is a great way to entertain your audience. Since most folks may be invested in the trend, coming up with your own twist or version of the trend can help keep them engaged.


Post at the Right Time

Another important aspect is your post timing. With Instagram moving at such a fast pace, you have to make sure that your Reels get tons of views and engagements soon after they get published. This increases their chance of showing up in front of the right users. So make sure you choose the best time to post on Instagram Reels based on when your audience is most active.


Start Earning Money from Instagram Reels

Now that you’ve had an in-depth look at how the Reels Play Bonus works and how to get started, it’s time to activate bonuses and create highly engaging Reels. Make the most of the tips and ideas given above to get a strong start.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does Instagram count plays on Reels?

Every time someone watches your Reel, Instagram counts it as a “play” or “view.”

Why don’t I get bonuses on Instagram?

Play Bonuses on Instagram are currently only available to select U.S creators. Instagram could make bonuses available to you depending on how your Reels or account has performed in the past.

How do I monetize my Instagram Reels?

You can monetize your Instagram Reels either by getting a brand sponsorship or by sharing an affiliate link. Alternatively, you may also be qualified to earn a Play Bonus through your Reels.

How many views do you need on Reels to get paid?

The target view count varies for each creator but at the bare minimum, you need to hit at least 1,000 views on each Reel to get paid for those Reels.

Can you get paid for Instagram Reels?

Yes, you can get paid for Instagram Reels through the Play Bonus program.

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