What is OnlyFans?
OnlyFans is a subscription-based content website (there is not an app). Content creators make money by sharing photos, videos, etc. to their subscribers. The content creators on the platform are diverse: musicians, chefs, fitness professionals, photographers, makeup artists, and celebrities.
However, what OnlyFans is most known for is the content from adult entertainers.
OnlyFans has revolutionized the adult entertainment industry. Smartphones and the internet have made pornography extremely accessible and therefore less profitable. OnlyFans has become a source for additional revenue for adult entertainers to give fans a more intimate experience. Some even describe themselves as their fans’ internet boyfriend or girlfriend.
How do you access OnlyFans?
Signing up for OnlyFans is easy. Use an email, Google, or Twitter login. OnlyFans’ policy is that users must be over 18 years old. Content creators are required to go through an identity verification process. The third-party verification providers require a passport or other government identification, and one of them requires the creator to take a selfie while holding their identification. They use facial analysis software for verification.
However, there are reports of teens under 18 years old who are providing fake identification and bypassing the verification. A BBC documentary called nudes4sale investigated the rise of minors selling explicit content on OnlyFans, Twitter, and Snapchat Premium. OnlyFans reserves the right to remove underage accounts.
Once on the OnlyFans website, content cannot be seen without paying for a subscription, which requires a credit card. There is a profile discover section as well as a search option. Profile pictures and cover photos can be seen. Most profile pictures and cover photos are semi-nude. A lot of accounts had free subscriptions but solicited additional content through tips (another way for content creators to get money—many profile descriptions encouraged fans to direct message, but direct messages with tips get top priority).
Bottom line is if your teen does not have a credit card, then they will not be able to see explicit content.
Why is OnlyFans so Popular?
OnlyFans was created in 2016 and skyrocketed in popularity during COVID lockdowns. According to the BBC, the number of creators in the United Kingdom increased by 42% between March and July 2020. Forbes reported that there was a 75% increase in new sign-ups in April of 2020 compared to the projected monthly growth of 15%.
It’s easy to see why OnlyFans thrived during COVID:
- Easy money.
- Easy access to porn.
TikTok Fuels OnlyFans Use
TikTok has become an unofficial advertiser for OnlyFans creators. Because TikTok is the most popular social media platform with more than a quarter of users under 18, OnlyFans creators are using it to bring users over to the paid content, which no doubt also includes teens.
In December 2020, TikTok updated its community guidelines and began banning accounts that link OnlyFans accounts in their profiles. Most creators have found a way around this by linking a Snapchat, Twitter, or Instagram account that directs people to OnlyFans.
Hacks for Downloading OnlyFans Content
Google Chrome Extensions – For those using Google Chrome, there are over a dozen Chrome Extensions designed to make downloading images and videos from OnlyFans easier.
One online forum mentioned that these extensions don’t always work and can be removed by OnlyFans developers.
URL Downloaders – Another recommendation for downloading OnlyFans content is using one of the many online downloader sites. Searching “best URL video downloader” will result in a variety of sites ranking the available options. This allows anyone to store content on their device and save it in a variety of folders (hidden or public) or vault apps.
VPNs/browsers – App stores are FULL of VPN’s and alternative web browsers that contain their own VPNs. One such browser is Aloha. A unique feature about this particular browser is that you can download any image or video by “long-pressing” the content and selecting download. I tested this with a sports highlight from ESPN and it worked flawlessly. To learn more about VPNs read our blog post for parents.
What can parents do about OnlyFans?
There are several steps parents can do to prevent their teen from viewing explicit content or creating explicit content.
- For the WiFi, use a strong router to block OnlyFans: Having a great router is always the foundation for internet safety in any home. Our testing points to Gryphon as one of the best routers on the market.
- For the device, use a clean DNS solution and/or Apple and Android’s parental controls: here’s how to block porn on any device for free. Here’s how to set up Screen Time on Apple and Family Link on Android. Using a clean DNS like CleanBrowsing + Screen Time or Family Link is a great double-layer of protections against explicit content like OnlyFans.
- Have a great conversation with your kids about pornography: our Protect App has talking point for each age and stage of kids.