All you need to know about OnlyFans

While OnlyFans has been around since 2016, it only really “shot up” in 2020, thanks in large part to a pandemic and quarantine. In 2019 there were only 60,000 creators on the site, and in 2021 there will be more than a million. So what is this phenomenon? Today we will try to explain as fully as possible what and how OnlyFans does, and who came up with the genius idea to create this kind of platform.

A bit of ahistory

One of today’s most popular online platforms, OnlyFans was created in 2016 by Tim Stockley, an English entrepreneur, and former top manager at Barclays Bank, who was 33 years old at the time.

OnlyFans wasn’t his first foray into adult entertainment and porn industry territory. Before that, he had launched a site about BDSM and a service where subscribers paid porn stars for personalized content. It was the rather famous GlamWorship portal. A little later, Stokley tried to launch another project, Customs4U, where visitors could pay the porn stars registered there for posting personalized content.

In Stockley’s own words, as a Cambridge student, he realized how lucrative erotic pictures and videos could be.

Stockley’s first two erotic sites are no longer in operation, but OnlyFans has been written about and talked about by every major media outlet in the world since 2020.

In 2018, Leonid Radvinsky, an American of Ukrainian descent, bought 75% of OnlyFans from Stockley. Leonid is another entrepreneur who has made a fortune in adult content. For example, he owns, one of the most popular platforms for erotic webcam models and their clients.

After Radvinsky got into the business, OnlyFans got a boost, but the biggest boost to the platform came from COVID-19. Between March and April 2020, amid a general quarantine, the number of registrations on the portal increased by 75 percent, with about 200,000 new users creating accounts on it every day.

Today, more than 85 million people worldwide use OnlyFans, a platform where erotic content can be accessed for a fee.

In the five years of its existence, the OnlyFans platform has grown into one of the largest media companies in Europe and the United States. It allows content creators to share their creations with subscribers and get paid for them. This business model is similar to another platform, Patreon, but, unlike its competitor, OnlyFans is particularly popular because of the large amount of adult content. Both platforms are valued at one billion USD or more.

What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is an online content-sharing platform that is becoming increasingly popular. While creators of OnlyFans can upload any content, such as photos, creative work, or recipes, the platform is especially popular with sex workers.

From a technical standpoint, OnlyFans is a social platform that connects creators with their audience. However, because the site doesn’t restrict explicit adult content, it has largely become a hub for porn industry workers and amateurs making money from their content. While not all creators of OnlyFans offer sexual content, the vast majority of them are sex workers.

OnlyFans’ features are identical to other social media platforms. The homepage is a content curator from all the people you’re signed up with. There is also a messaging service that allows fans and creators to chat, and users can like and comment on posts. The main difference between OnlyFans and other social media sites is that users can make financial transactions directly through the site.

On OnlyFans, people can pay for content (photos, videos, and live streams) through monthly subscriptions. Content is mostly created by YouTubers, fitness trainers, models, content creators, and public figures to monetize their profession. It is also popular with adult content creators. According to the OnlyFans policy, users must be over the age of 18.

OnlyFans’ official pitch is “to help creators monetize their content.” In reality, the business model is to sell content banned on other platforms. Much of the demand for OnlyFans is created by the fact that Instagram doesn’t allow 18+ content, such as porn, to be published.

By 2016, there were already subscription-based online erotic content services on the market. For example, FanCentro, Fansly, IsMyGirl, MYM, and others. However, today it is OnlyFans is considered one of the most recognizable and fastest-growing platforms.

This is large because, unlike its competitors, OnlyFans is not just a gallery of nude bodies and amateur porn. A profile on OnlyFans can be seen as a personal blog.

How does it work?

How does it work OnlyFans

The user is offered to register with a Google account, Twitter, or simply via e-mail. It is also necessary to register a bank card and top up a wallet on the site.

To earn from content, it is necessary to go through a deeper verification – to provide the platform with documents confirming identity and age: selfies with a passport and a scan of the passport itself. Content creators are required to provide other financial information: it is necessary to bind not a card number but bank details to an account – and the account must be in foreign currency.

Users who want to sell content, assign the price themselves: it may range from 4.99 to 50 dollars. It can be a price per photo/video or a monthly subscription for all content. Content creators can also charge tips and set the price for private messages – also from $4.99. The platform charges 20 percent.

OnlyFans users are attracted to the easy monetization process: each creator sets the price for their photos, videos, or subscriptions. The content creator gets 80 percent of the profits, and the platform gets the remaining 20 percent.

Despite the affordable monetization, the vast majority of creators earn up to five thousand dollars a month on OnlyFans, with an average of $180, and only the top creators make about 100 thousand USD.

According to a Bloomberg report, the total user revenue turnover is two billion dollars. And 33 percent of all money on OnlyFans is taken by the one percent of creators who are part of the so-called “top creators.”


OnlyFans Money

In 2020, OnlyFans users paid more than $2 billion for the service. Net income was $400 million. The platform pays its creators more than $200 million monthly.

The most popular and, consequently, profitable accounts in 2021 recognized the pages of the American model Black China, actress, and singer Bella Thorne, and hip-hop singer Cardi B. The former’s photos on OnlyFans brought in $20 million, the latter $11 million, and the third $9.34 million.

OnlyFans has a subscription system – if you want to see unique author content, you have to pay. There are also free accounts – usually, they don’t have explicit or unusual content. Most often, models through free profiles invite users to subscribe to paid accounts. Subscriptions can be monthly, three-monthly, six-monthly, or yearly, and their cost is chosen by the models themselves.

The platform takes 20 percent of each subscription, with the remaining 80 percent going to the creator. Bloomberg reports that since 2016, the company has paid more than $3 billion to more than 1.25 million authors. And the number of users for 2020 has reached the 130 million mark. Total transactions on OnlyFans in 2020 were $2.36 billion, generating more than $400 million in revenue for the company. The top 100 most successful models earned more than $1 million for the year. For example, American rap singer Bhad Bhabie alone earned $1 million in the first six hours after signing up on the site.

Celebrities and OnlyFans

Celebrities and OnlyFans

As of August of this year, OnlyFans has 30 million followers and 450,000 performers. The latter includes a growing number of celebrities. They don’t post any shocking content – rather, they use the platform as another platform for promotion.

Despite OnlyFans’ dubious reputation, many international celebrities use the platform. For example, American rapper Cardi B. publishes backstages from her magazine shoots on the platform, which are available to subscribers for only five dollars.

In August 2020, former Disney star Bella Thorne created an account on OnlyFans and earned a million dollars in 24 hours. After Thorne signed up, the OnlyFans administration imposed a cap on how much you could pay for content, which also drew the ire of the models.

But perhaps the real moment of glory for OnlyFans was the mention Beyoncé made in her remix of the track Savage, recorded as a duet with Meghan Thee Stallion: “In these demonic times, she could have had a page on OnlyFans.” Within 24 hours of the song’s release, traffic on the platform was up 15%.

The list of celebrities who have created OnlyFans also includes model Black China, whose posts get more than 15 thousand likes: instead of intimate photos, she publishes videos for foot fetishists, where, for example, she crushes grapes with her bare feet. The portal is also used by famous men, in particular rapper Tyga, actor Tyler Posey, and singer Ansel Elgort.


In short, OnlyFans is a new social network. It stands out by the fact that the author of the page can legally earn on their subscribers. Or rather not – users to subscribe to a particular person must necessarily pay a commission. It is small, the amount is set by the account owner individually.

What is the secret of popularity? First of all, it’s unique content. What the viewer can see on OnlyFans for a fee is not hackneyed porn, where all the plots, poses, and practices are already tried and tested. On the fan platform, you can get exactly what you want. For a certain amount of money, the model will fulfill any of your wishes, take any photo, and so on. It’s because of this personalized approach that OnlyFans has managed to gain such rabid popularity among users.