We’re all about diversification at Oh Snap! (#girlboss). Woo multiple income streams! So if you’ve seen the Bonuses option pop up on your Instagram recently, we totally get the appeal of opting in and cashing out. Sounds great, right? Money for stuff you’re doing anyway! 

But before you hit that “accept” button, here’s what to know. 

Rewind: the 411 on the IG Reel Bonus Program

Okay, so we know that Instagram is throwing a ton of resources behind its goal to Make Reels Happen. Basically, it’s side-eying short video competitor TikTok, and is trying to build up enough Reels content (and incentivization) to keep people from migrating to its younger, cuter challenger. One way it’s encouraging users to create Reels is by offering a pay-per-view financial incentive (Bonuses).

This program is being rolled out to select users at the moment – mostly to “content creators” (ie influencers), people whose whole job it is to create, well, content. But biz owners and regular peeps are also starting to get invites. (Is the line between content creator and business owner blurring for you? Here’s the difference.)

So is it worth it?

We checked in with a few IG-famous people to see what their thoughts were on the program, and their response, hate to say it, was to basically check your expectations at the door. 

First up, Instagram growth coach guru Brock Johnson – who has more than 600k Instagram followers – shared that his 5.5 million (!!!) Reel views last month netted him a whopping $651. Add in YouTube and TikTok, and his income from a total of about 6 million views added up to $750.

Okay, so that’s not nothing. That’s like a whole week’s groceries! (Sob.) But let’s face it, if you’re looking at ROI, you’re probably better off using your IG presence to land a new client rather than as an end goal in and of itself.    

IG and Reels coach Brittney Batla added that there’s another factor to be super mindful of. And that’s that when she opted into “Bonuses” her Reel views started to tank – but rose again when she turned Bonuses back off.

As she said, “Creating content is hard work, and if your reach is being limited because the app is paying you per view, then the $25-150 isn’t worth it for the amount of time it takes to film, edit, write a caption and post a Reel. I’d rather my content go further, help more people, and raise more awareness about my biz, brand and products/offers so I could convert a viewer to a customer/client than Instagram give me .0002 per every 1k views.” 

If your whole thing is being a content creator, then those payments might start adding up – especially if you have a large following on other platforms. 

But if you’re a business owner, the goal of your social media is to attract new customers and clients and funnel them over to your website or landing page. Limiting your reach isn’t going to do that. There’s also the risk that once you start shifting your focus away from your marketing funnel and towards creating income-generating views, you’ll actually dissuade people from clicking through to your website!

So basically my advice to you is this: if you’re a biz owner, stick with that great social media strategy and double down on that sales funnel. The goal is to get people off social media and over to your website, not to become an internet celebrity. Because if the potential ROI is a whole new client vs 0.0002 cents, I know what I’m aiming for!

Want to see what a non-monetized Instagram Reels strategy looks like? Follow me, and then let’s take this offline!