OnlyFans boosts nudity-free content with SFW iOS and Android apps

The company is ready to break out of the NSFW bubble it’s created for itself.

UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - MARCH 27:  Bella Thorne takes selfies with fans at "Extra" at Universal Studios...
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OnlyFans is, like all creator-centric platforms, home to a diverse selection of content. A large chunk of it is porn, though. Amateur pornography is what launched OnlyFans into its chart-topping success, and amateur pornography is the reason why the vast majority of OnlyFans users flock to the site.

But porn apps aren’t allowed on either Apple’s App Store or Google’s Play Store — so OnlyFans has spent its nearly five years of existence in browser-only mode. Now the company has a new plan: Launching a safe-for-work version of the site as an app.

Called OFTV, the app allows users to access content from their favorite OnlyFans creators, as long as there’s no “adult content” involved. Right now it has “more than 800 videos,” including those from popular creators like Bella Thorne and Holly Madison.

OFTV actually launched in January of this year, according to Bloomberg, but OnlyFans didn’t make any effort to really promote it until now. It’s by far OnlyFans’ most significant attempt yet to shift its image away from adult content by which it’s long been defined, and with which is name is inextricably linked for most people.

Trying to create mainstream appeal — OnlyFans is already very, very popular. The platform now reports more than 130 million people accessing its services every month. Much of it is still adult content, yes, but plenty of celebrities now use it for behind-the-scenes photos and videos, and there are fitness instructors and chefs aplenty monetizing their content via the service, too.

OFTV allows OnlyFans to finally have a presence on the world’s largest app stores, potentially reaching lots of new customers who otherwise wouldn’t have gone near the site. Unlike the main OnlyFans page, OFTV has a discoverability bent — it’s designed to showcase creators you might not know about but could want to subscribe to, in the style of the YouTube homepage. And it’s free to use, right now at least, in the hope that it will drive users to the main OnlyFans site to subscribe to these creators’ full pages.

Looking just like everyone else — The OFTV app could prove a savvy move for OnlyFans’ business moving forward. It’s already dominating the homemade porn market; further monetary growth will mean moving outside the realms in which the company is already comfortable.

In moving away from porn, though, OnlyFans also sacrifices some of its identity. The monetization of plain-old SFW content is something the average person can do on any number of platforms in 2021. Patreon is a prime example, but platforms like YouTube, Instagram, and even Twitter are offering similar monetization programs for would-be creators not interested in nudity.

Why would SFW creators choose OnlyFans over these other platforms? That’s the question company will really need to pool its creative resources to answer.