OnlyFans is facing an exodus from sex workers who dominate the online subscription service, after a ban on sexually explicit content was revealed.
Users who generate thousands a month have told the PA news agency they plan to find an alternative platform, saying non-sexual nudity will not be enough to keep people interested.
They believe the London-based company “thrives” off explicit material and will ultimately fail without it.
“Virtually everyone uses OnlyFans in some capacity because, even as a passive income stream, it’s worth doing and for those who are at the very top it is quite a comfortable living,” Myles Jackman, an obscenity lawyer, told PA.
“Sex workers are already talking about migrating to other platforms.
“It’s difficult to see that OnlyFans will survive purely as an influencer site – it’s possible but considering the entire content base has been pornography and now it’s not going to be anymore, I think it’s going to go the way of Tumblr.”
A 24-year-old from Sussex, who goes by the name of Yasmina Khan, joined OnlyFans in April 2020 just as lockdown started.
She claims to generate about £22,000 a month at present, with a following of more than 2,000 subscribers.
But she fears other platforms could be pressured by banking partners and pay-out providers in the same way OnlyFans has.
“I’m just going to have to go to another platform but then, are other platforms safe as well?,” she told PA.
“I’m a little bit anxious about it but I think everyone is very anxious right now.
“I’ve already chatted to my subscribers about this and they’re like, ‘OK, wherever you’re going, we’ll follow’.”
Another user, who calls herself Arabella Amyiah, said moving to another platform will not be easy.
The 23-year-old, based in the south of England, joined OnlyFans in January to pay for her make-up artist course and earns between £7,000 and £8,000 a month after tax.
“A lot of us have had a lot of backlash since the whole news came out, saying ‘oh, you’re going to have to get a real job’,” she said.
“It will have to be starting up from the bottom and working our way up again.”
Under new guidelines, which come into effect from October 1, people will still be able to post nude content on the site but it will need to be consistent with the company’s updated policies.
But the pair said even non-sexualised nudity will not work.
“I know what people like to see and that’s not something they would like to see and get very bored of,” Khan added.
“The majority of people want to see more, they want to see explicit videos.”
OnlyFans has around 130 million users, with around two million creators who post content for subscribers.