Can you imagine an OnlyFans without the atypical saucy content it has grown to become synonymous with? Neither can we.
For those of you who just left your shell and have never heard of OnlyFans, here is a quick background sharing. OnlyFans is a content subscription service that hosts content creators for all sorts of content ranging from fitness classes, musicians, online influencers, and of course, what the site is most well known for – sexual content. These content creators earn money from users who subscribe to them in the form of monthly subscriptions, one-time tips, and pay-per-view features. OnlyFans was launched in 2016 but only recently took off during the COVID-19 pandemic which saw an uptick in the number of people remaining in their homes and consuming online content. It currently boasts a user base of 130 million people worldwide.
No porn, what next?
The company said on Thursday (Aug 19) that it will be prohibiting creators from posting material with sexually explicit conduct, but creators will still be allowed to put up nude photos and videos, provided they are consistent with OnlyFans’ policy. Rather vague and confusing don’t you think? So what constitutes as sexually explicit and what does not? What is acceptable and what isn’t? These are the same questions that sex workers have as the sudden announcement of this move has left many in anger and confusion.
The unclear stance and inconsistent responses from the company further exacerbated concerns as creators and viewers said OnlyFans’ representatives responded with contradictory statements with purported messages telling creators on Twitter that the platform “does not plan to move away from adult content” and would have notified creators before the press.
All about the money
It should come as no surprise, it is business after all. OnlyFans has to make these changes in order to potentially pique the interests of investors, which it has struggled to do so all this while due to its association with sexual content. The company aims to raise money at a valuation of US$1 billion (S$1.3 billion) from external investors and changes are to be made, fast due to mounting pressure from its banking partners and payment providers due to the stigma surrounding sex.
Safe Haven, no longer
Many sung praises to the company for providing sex workers a safer avenue and outlet to carry out their jobs. The company takes a commission of 20% on total revenue made by its creators and has since handled more than US$2 billion in sales the previous year and is set to double two fold in the next year.
However, OnlyFans said that it will provide more guidance on its new policy at a later date. In the meantime., the livelihoods of many, especially sex workers hangs on a thin thread.