The OnlyFans Funnel and the Birth of MACs

The new way to use algorithms against themselves.

The OnlyFans Funnel and the Birth of MACs

The first time I experimented with multiple accounts online was in 2006. This was the pinnacle of World of Warcraft, and I was full-on addicted. To this day, I'm still not sure how I passed my junior year of high school.

gif of warcraft character dancing

In the game, every player could create multiple characters. Each on its own server and with its own friend's list.

It enabled you to play as different people whenever you wanted. Feeling social? Great, log into your main (your primary character) and go raid with friends. Want a more relaxed session? Choose an alt (any character other than your main) and knock out some solo questing.

I could play the game on my terms. I could experiment, take risks, join multiple niche communities, and avoid or invest in relationships as I wanted — all within a single game, and my experience was better for it.

Today, I believe the same opportunity exists in social.

“We massively underestimate the quantity of content needed to grow and massively overestimate the quality that content needs to have.”


A multi-account strategy on a single social platform is more effective than the traditionally recommended multi-channel/platform one. This is even more true for small-to-medium creators who have struggled to reliably grow their audience.

MAC = Multi-Account Creator

How I first noticed this trend

Here's a pro tip for trendspotting: never discount a weird occurrence.

My first encounter with this trend was purely by accident. I was scrolling on TikTok when a video of a girl dancing popped up on my feed. Nothing strange here.

The strange part is what happened next.

I swiped up only to see the same girl dancing. This time in a different outfit and with a different name.

I swiped back up to make sure I wasn’t mistaken, but I was right. The TikTok algorithm had just served me the same person’s content twice from separate accounts.


How to find TikTok examples

The next day, I used a block of time to research those accounts and see if any other creators were using the same tactic. I had no idea what I would stumble into.

This strategy was deeply embedded in the OnlyFans (OF) creator community. The top creators I studied appeared to maintain anywhere from 6 to 15 separate, active accounts. That's not counting the fan accounts others had spun up either in their honor or to siphon away traffic to their own sites and offers.

I found the easiest way to locate these "alt" accounts was to search TikTok for their Instagram handles. Nearly every OF creator uses the same basic funnel (which I'll break down below), where moving viewers from TT to IG is step one.

So, the next obvious question is why?

Why go through all the work of posting 1-3 videos for each of your 10+ accounts daily (yes, we’re talking about a massive amount of publishing)?

The answer is necessity.

Necessity is the mother of invention

As early as 2020, TikTok started banning en masse any creators with a connection to OnlyFans.

screenshot of article that displays two onlyfans creators
Original article on Rolling Stone.
  • If they mentioned their OF page in a video.
  • If their profile linked to an OF page.
  • If they had a similar following as another OF creator who was banned.

To say that TikTok banned liberally is an understatement. However, it is their platform, and they have every right to encourage and discourage the type of content they want to exist on it.

The first response to this onslaught was to create dozens of individual TT accounts, like a digital version of whack-a-mole where your survival relied on your ability to create accounts faster than the admins could ban them.

It worked, to a degree. But it was wholly unsustainable. They had to find a better way.

Fortunately, these bans gained considerable media attention because, on paper, these creators hadn't broken any content guidelines. They had played by every rule and still lost, which made people angry.

And what do angry people on the internet do?

They start a subreddit.

Communities such as r/onlyfansadvice started to pop up in mid-to-late 2020 to address these issues and offer creators workarounds as they were discovered.

line graph showing subscriber growth
The advice subreddit just passed 300,000 members at the time of writing this report.

What appeared to work best was a distancing strategy (the second response). The more layers a creator could put between their TT content and their OF page, the less likely they were to have their accounts banned.

This organic, albeit convoluted, process is how the OF funnel came to be.

How the OnlyFans funnel works

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