|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|Owner||Fenix International Limited|
OnlyFans is a content subscription service based in London, England. Content creators can earn money from users who subscribe to their content—the "fans". It allows content creators to receive funding directly from their fans on a monthly basis as well as one-time tips and the pay-per-view (PPV) feature.
The service is popular with and commonly associated with sex workers but it also hosts the work of other content creators, such as physical fitness experts, musicians and other creators who post regularly online. The highest-paid earners on OnlyFans are women.
OnlyFans was launched in 2016 as a platform for performers to provide clips and photos to followers for a monthly subscription fee. The parent company is Fenix International Limited. Two years later, Leonid Radvinsky, owner of MyFreeCams, acquired 75% ownership of Fenix and became its director. In 2019, OnlyFans introduced an extra safeguard into the account verification process so that a creator now has to provide a selfie headshot with their ID in the image in order to prove that the ID provided belongs to the account holder. The site has over 24 million registered users and claims to have paid out US$725 million to its 450,000 content creators.
After the site was mentioned by Beyoncé in the song "Savage" in April 2020, CEO Tim Stokely claimed OnlyFans was "seeing about 200,000 new users every 24 hours and 7,000 to 8,000 new creators joining every day." In the same line, Savage also mentioned Demon Time, a social media show, and shortly after the release of that song, OnlyFans announced a partnership with Demon Time to create a monetized virtual night club using the site's dual-screen live feature.
In January 2020, 20-year-old American Kaylen Ward raised more than US$1 million in contributions to charity during the wild bushfires in Australia. OnlyFans teamed with her for their first partnership for a charitable cause. This started a trend with some OnlyFans creators who have been raising money through their accounts.
As of June 2021, top OnlyFans creators Jem Wolfie, an Australian fitness model, and Mia Malkova, an American pornographic actress, reportedly earn over $7 million per month in subscription income through the platform.
A BBC Three documentary alleged that a third of Twitter profiles globally advertising 'nudes4sale' (or similar) belong to underage individuals, many of whom used OnlyFans to share their content.
In August 2020, Forensic News reported that the company is facing multiple allegations of fraud and theft after content creators and users said they had money stolen from their accounts. Forensic News later reported that Radvinsky's previous business ventures had been flagged by banks for indicators of money laundering.
Following the platform's rapid growth, many scam videos appeared on sites like YouTube, promising "free" content and purporting to show viewers how to hack creators' accounts. Several videos garnered over a million views before being removed from YouTube. None provided the alleged "premium" service but rather aimed to increase traffic on apps unrelated to OnlyFans. Around the same time, a massive supposed content leak occurred, though OnlyFans "found no evidence of any breach of our systems". OnlyFans material has been reposted for free on third-party websites where creators receive no compensation.
There have been conflicting reports on the safety of the OnlyFans site in terms of personal safety and economic security. Creators have been stalked and harassed by clients, sometimes resulting in the leaking of the creator’s personal information. Contributors to the site are hypothetically able to choose when and what they post and who receives it; however, the spike in users has caused competition and has forced contributors to post content that may be outside of their comfort zone to compete with others.
Bella Thorne set a new OnlyFans record when she earned over $1 million within 24 hours of joining the platform in August 2020 and more than $2 million in less than a week. Her activities on OnlyFans sparked controversy after she allegedly promised nude photos for $200 but instead provided lingerie-clad photographs, leading to a slew of chargebacks. Following the debacle, new restrictions were introduced that limited the amount that other creators on the platform could charge and how quickly they could get paid, though OnlyFans stated the restrictions were unrelated to Thorne but rather part of "an evolving process". Thorne's actions caused backlash among sex workers who felt Thorne had selfishly appropriated their profession.
Bhad Bhabie broke Thorne's OnlyFans record in April 2021 by earning over $1 million in the first 6 hours. This event sparked criticism on social media about her subscribers given that she had turned 18 the previous week.
In May 2021 the BBC reported that OnlyFans was "failing to prevent underage users from selling and appearing in explicit videos" after an investigation. This included reports from UK Police, schools and Childline.
As pornography is allowed on OnlyFans, the website is mainly used by pornographic models, both amateur and professional, but it also has a market with chefs, fitness enthusiasts, and musicians. Users must be at least 18 years old to register, regardless of the content consumed. In March 2020, at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the number of OnlyFans content creators increased by 40%, and the number of users on the site increased from 7.5 million to 85 million.
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- OnlyFans bills describing itself as a content-subscription service
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- Official website
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