What is OnlyFans? The NSFW social network shouted out by Beyoncé

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OnlyFans recently received a nice bout of publicity thanks to Beyoncé

It can be difficult to keep track of all the social networks out there. From mainstream apps such as Facebook and Twitter to the Chinese entrants such as QQ and WeChat, it feels like we’re at saturation point.

But one more under-the-radar site, called OnlyFans, recently received a healthy bump in publicity after Beyoncé referenced the site in her verse on Megan Thee Stallion’s song Savage. It’s reported that in the 24 hours after the single was released the site saw a 15 per cent spike in traffic.

“Hips TikTok when I dance/ On that Demon Time, she might start an OnlyFans (OnlyFans)”, Queen Bey raps during her second verse.

But what is OnlyFans and why did Beyoncé​ reference the song? Here’s what you need to know.

What is OnlyFans?

OnlyFans is a social media platform which allows content creators to post content and receive payment directly from their followers, or “fans” via subscriptions or one-off tips. It was founded by CEO Timothy Stokely in 2016 and has around 30 million registered users and around 450,000 content creators.

Fans can pay a subscription to a particular creator. The platform says that YouTubers use it as another revenue stream and fitness influencers will showcase their workout videos for instance.

( Former Love Islander Megan Barton Hanson reportedly uses OnlyFans / Ian West /PA Wire )

The company says that creators with 10,000 followers can earn between $499 and $2,495 a month. The platform does take a 20 per cent cut of any earnings, however it says it has paid out over $700 million to creators.

Since the global crisis hit, according to Vice, the platform has reported more than a 75 percent increase in new sign-ups for the month of April and has gained around 150,000 new users every 24 hours, due to, most likely, a combination of boredom and an attempt to make some extra cash.

What is OnlyFans used for?

OnlyFans has gained a large following in part because of its rather lax content policy, which allows creators to share revealing pictures of themselves — essentially a NSFW Instagram-type platform.

Love Island’s Megan Barton Hanson is known to use the platform, whilst a model named Kaylen Ward raised more than $1 million in donations to Australian charities following the wildfires by charging fans $10 to see explicit photos.

Sex workers also use the platform, with New York Times article in 2019 claiming that the platform “changed sex work forever”.

Following the Beyoncé shout out, OnlyFans told Rolling Stone: “Beyoncé, and any artist, are welcome to join OnlyFans at any time to foster a deeper connection with their fans.”

Is OnlyFans safe?

Only people over the age of 18 are allowed to sign up to OnlyFans and the website asks for proof via government-issued ID before they will allow people to use the site.

As well, the company uses a secure third-party payment provider, so the platform’s creators don’t see your credit card details and payment information isn’t stored by the company.

Obviously given a lot of the content on the website, it’s up to you how safe you consider the actual content to be.

Earlier this year, more than 1.6TB of videos and images from OnlyFans were leaked online. However, the company says this wasn’t a hack, but the leaked files appeared to have been “curated from multiple sources, including other social media applications.”

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