You've probably noticed that everyone has a link in their social bios across Instagram and TikTok. Most creators with a sizable fan base use Linktree or Beacons, the two most popular link in bio tools used by millions of creators.
If you have a ton of different social profiles and links to products and pages, you might want to consider Beacons. While Linktree is more popular than Beacons, Beacons could one day overtake Linktree as it's still early.
Here's a link to our review of Linktree, but this one is focused on Beacons. Let's dig in.
At a high level, Beacons helps creators by giving them the easiest way to build a link in bio website to share links and more efficiently monetize their following. This robust tool is created explicitly for creators so you can seamlessly make a central online profile.
Beacons lets you put all your links on one page, gives you potential income streams and even enhances your online presence by letting your followers find you across platforms. Millions of creators from all over the world, including the biggest TikTok creators, use Beacons. Using Beacons (or another link in bio app) might be one of the easiest ways to grow your following from one platform to another: you're letting your followers know how to find you on other media.
If you're already on Beacons, check out our inspiration piece showing 17 different examples of creators and pages using Beacons.
There are a lot of reasons to use Beacons and a ton of features the platform offers. This review will discuss the product, its history, key segments, and why you should or shouldn't.
Popular, Advanced Link in Bio App
Beacon is an advanced link in bio tool or a mobile website builder for creators. It's made specifically made for creators and small businesses. Beacons helps creators organize their TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram links into one page. With Beacons, you can make an interactive and professional-looking link in bio websites in just a few minutes.
The tool offers built-in eCommerce monetization features so you can sell products, courses, and other forms of creator engagement. You can promote events, accept donations from your fans, offer shoutouts, and book appointments with a single link.
Beacons enables you to build your website and get many useful features for free. You can get more features to take your brand to the next level with its pro-plan, which is just $10 per month. But we'll get into why you might want to consider upgrading later.
Founded by Stanford Grads and Funded by Silicon Valley Heavyweights
Beacons were launched publicly in 2020 and was founded by Neal Jean, David Zeng, Jesse Zhang, and Greg Luppescu. The founders were classmates at Stanford and realized the link in bio space was heating up and wanted to build a competitor to the existing tools. They felt that the existing tools weren't great.
Specifically, Neal, David, and Jesse met at Stanford during their Ph.D. program, where they studied highly technical fields like artificial intelligence, signal processing, and machine learning. Greg, also a graduate student at Stanford, did a masters before joining Apple, where he worked on the Apple Watch team.
Neal has mentioned that, as a team, they wanted to help creators monetize instead of going to work for Meta or Google and working on serving more targeted ads. Subsequently, this highly technical and well-educated team set out to build a product that could help creators first and foremost.
Two years later, in 2022, the company raised $6.3 million of funding publicly announced over three funding rounds. It wouldn't be shocking to find out the company has already raised its next round but hasn't announced it yet. However, their last funding round was in May 2021, a seed round of $6M. The company is backed by notable investors, including Night Ventures, the firm behind MrBeast, and then top creator economy investors like A16Z, The Chainsmokers, Y Combinator, and Atelier Ventures. [Atelier was eventually merged into the Variant Fund but was initially founded by Li Jin, a prolific creator economy investor.]
From the biggest creators to millions of nano and micro creators, Beacons has cemented itself as one of the leading options for creators looking for a link in bio tool.
Beacons Top Features and Benefits
Why should you use Beacons over the 100s of other links in bio tools? To understand this, you'll want to understand the features Beacons offers to make life easier for creators.
Mobile-First Link In Bio App
At its core, Beacons is a link in bio or website builder solution. That means Beacons allows you to create a simple, custom website from your phone seamlessly. You can set up a well-designed landing page from your phone or laptop in a few minutes. It's fair to say that most creators likely prefer building their page from their phone, which is not a feature all the link in bio competitors offer. While Beacons doesn't yet have an app, the experience of setting up and managing your Beacons profile from your phone is a seamless and native experience for creators.
Variety of Customization Options for free
Beacons offer many free customization options: you can add links, videos, GIFs, and custom fonts to your profile page. You can use the page to sell content and add buttons for buying and subscribing. The product offers access to over 1,000 fonts, unlimited colors, customizable backgrounds with animations, and complete layouts so you can create interactive & eye-catching websites.
In 2022, building an eye-catching link in bio web page is table stakes. Thankfully, Beacons makes it easy.
All Your Links, In One Place
The core value of using Beacons is that you can place all your links in one place and guide your followers across the platforms you're part of. If you have 1,000,000 followers on TikTok and then decide to create a YouTube channel to monetize better, you can include a link to your YouTube channel on your Beacons page. Effectively, Beacons is a tool for monetization when you realize that by increasing your engagement across platforms, you'll be able to monetize more quickly from a larger following.
Beacons allows you to give your site a custom domain. With this, you can choose a unique name that matches your brand and creative style and help your fans find your content easily. Note: this is only available on the pro plan, which costs $10 per month.
Beacons offers you six monetization tools or 'blocks' through which you can monetize your digital presence and make money without leaving the Beacons platform. The blocks concept is unique as it makes it very simple to understand what you're adding to your page, and then you can customize each block to your liking as a custom piece of functionality. Let's take a look at some of these blocks.
The Appointment Block lets you monetize your time. You can add an Appointments block on your page so that your fans can book a session with you and pay you for it. You can customize your rates, offerings, and session durations. As a creator, depending on your niche, this can be a very valuable offering: especially for creators in the career, fitness, or mental health space.
As well as the Appointment Block, Beacons also has a Requests Block, where your followers can submit requests and pay for them. The requests can be questions and answers, one-on-one discovery sessions, feedback, messaging, or something else. You can set a custom request block, and followers can purchase it; then, you can quickly fulfill it without worrying about the logistics of payments.
The Store Block allows you to sell digital downloads such as eBooks or paid video content. To utilize this, if you have digital merchandise you want to sell, you can set up the Store Block and let followers know they can buy your course or content through this link.
The Store Block will be a good fit for creators focused on personal finance or making money space. These creators often have high-value digital content their followers can buy to understand how to make or save money.
With the Support Block, you can accept donations from your fans who want to support you. It depends on what type of support you want to take: it can be having fans that buy something on your behalf, send you money, or any other kind of support. Also, you can customize the price, description, and call-to-action text.
The Support Block might make the most sense for creators that run channels about specific literary interests or creators focused on activism. It might also make sense for creators that focus on the arts, so their followers can support their work.
TikTok Shopping Block
One of the more unique blocks is the TikTok Shopping Block, which lets you sell products through a shoppable TikTok feed. Namely, you link products (TikTok videos) from your TikTok account on Beacons and can arrange those videos alongside the purchase link. With this feature, your followers can see what you have to say about a product and if they want to purchase after hearing your commentary.
This block is a great fit for lifestyle creators that talk about their favorite products.
Using the Marketplace Block, you can market others' products too. With the Marketplace Block, you can connect with brands and sell their products by adding affiliate links, and you'll receive a commission on every purchase.
Top Creators Using Beacons
Millions of creators use beacons. The list includes heavyweight celebrities and musicians like Russel Brand, The Chainsmokers, Fall Out Boy, Sia, Greenday, and The Call Her Daddy Podcast. With the company's site getting over 12M visitors per month, up for 7.5M half a year ago, it's fair to assume that millions of creators continue to use Beacons. However, knowing how many users pay for the pro plan is hard.
Beacons: Free With an Affordable Premium Tier
Beacons offer two pricing plans: a free Creator Plan and the pro Entrepreneurial Plan, which costs $10 per month if paid monthly and $7 per month if paid annually ($84 one-time payment).
When you're just getting started, the Creator Plan is a great place to start trying out Beacons. Even with this free tier, you get plenty of features. As you start growing as a creator and want to utilize more premium features, the Entrepreneurial Plan might be worth exploring.
Let's take a look at both tiers and the features they offer.
With the Creator Plan, you get the following functionality:
- Add unlimited links: no limits to how many links you can share
- Sell digital products: can use the platform to sell digital products
- Customize your links: can customize the design of your links
- Customize your pages: can customize the look and feel of the overall page
- Embed YouTube videos, TikTok videos & Tweets: custom embedding from the top social platforms
- Accept donations: be able to accept donations from your followers
- Track your views, link clicks and CTRs: analytics dashboard to see how you're doing
- Can add sensitive content warnings in content: all profiles can add a sensitive content warning
- Email & in-app support: any Beacons user can email the company's help email
- 9% commission on store transactions: you'll pay a small fee when someone makes a purchase
If you're ready to upgrade and try out the Entrepreneurial Plan, if you pay $10 a month, you'll get all the above plus more:
- Custom domain: no more "beacons.ai/you", you can use a custom domain
- Google Analytics, UTM parameters, and Facebook Pixels: more advanced analytics
- Premium support: extra priority support from Beacons
- Extra blocks: never run out of blocks, you can add as many features and integrations as you like
- Team Access: have multiple log-ins to your profile if you have a manager or team
- Removal of Beacons Branding: get rid of the Beacons logo at the bottom of your page
- Email & SMS integration: integrate and utilize email and SMS features to engage with followers
- 0% commission fees on any sales: no more commissions on the pro plan
Beacons Partnerships + Integrations
In today's world, market-leading companies usually have a strong partnerships and integration strategies, and Beacons is no different. The company has more than ten integrations with other creator economy companies that serve other parts of the creator ecosystem. Some of these partnerships are mentioned below.
BuyMeACoffee is one of the simplest ways to get money from your fans. Namely, BuyMeACoffee does exactly what it sounds like. You can share your link, and your followers can purchase a coffee for you. Beacons is integrated with the platform, so you can easily connect your BuyMeACoffee account with your Beacons account.
QuikPlace is a competitor to Collabstr, which we've written about before. The platform allows you to sign up and set up a rate that will enable brands to purchase a collaboration with you. You can link your QuikPlace account with your Beacons account.
Pietra allows creators to launch their merchandise store. The company has raised over $10M from the same investors backing Beacons. Connecting your accounts lets you showcase your Pietra products to your followers on your Beacons profile page.
We haven't written much about OpenSea, but OpenSea is the leading NFT platform. For creators, especially that who make art, integrating with OpenSea means you can showcase your original art on the blockchain to your followers. They can purchase it through your Beacons link once your profiles are connected.
There are more integrations, but the above are just a few of the top ones that might interest creators.
Sneak Peak: Early Pay by Beacons
While doing research for this review, we uncovered a new, yet to be released feature within Beacons: Early Pay. Available on the left navbar once you're logged in, the Early Pay button seems to be a competitor of Willa and Lumanu. The feature has a waitlist right now, so creators can't actually access it, but once it's available, it'll be easy for Beacons to provide this functionality to its millions of users.
Sounds like trouble for Willa and Lumanu. You can read our product comparison of these platforms here.
Other Link In Bio App to Consider
Outside of Beacons, there are other link in bio apps and similar website builders that can work well for creators and influencers. If you're not convinced about Beacons, here are some products similar to Beacons.
Linktree is another popular link-in bio website on the market and the most significant competitor of Beacons. Linktree was founded in 2016, three years before Beacons, and it was one of the first link in bio tools. As a result of its first-mover advantage, Linktree has tens of millions of users and is the market leader. Here are the features that Linktree offers:
- Can create a QR code
- Allows users to collect email signups for fundraising, newsletters, and eCommerce
- Unlimited links
- Video links customization
- Users can track marketing performance and revenue-based insights
- Powerful analytics
Unlike Beacons, Linktree has four pricing tiers: Free, Starter, Pro, and Premium. The upgraded plans offer all the free tier features plus more. The price range of paid plans starts from $5 to $24 per month. Besides this, Linktree charges a commission rate on transactions for the free tier - although, as of September 2022, they have set commission rates to $0 for a limited period. Compare Linktree and Beacons directly here.
Linkin.bio by Later
Later's Linkin.bio tool is another competitor of Beacons which might be an excellent fit for creators and small businesses. Linkin.bio has more features and functionality than Linktree. Linkin.bio is a sub-product from Later, which is a large editing platform similar to Canva.
Linkin.bio allows you to make a fully customizable link in your bio and drive traffic from TikTok, Instagram, and other platforms. Setting up Linkin.bio with your Later account is straightforward. For it, you need to create a web page, drop the link, and help your fans discover more about you and your brand.
Compare Linkin.bio and Beacons here.
Here are some of the features of Later's Linkin.bio tools:
- Customize your page with a lot of customization options
- Unlimited links
- Enhanced analytics
- Track sales & revenue
- Schedule social media posts
- Manage multiple platforms with one link in bio
Despite being owned by Later, Linktree and Beacons have the upper hand in the link in bio space because of their aesthetics and appearance, which makes them creator-first. Likewise, Linkin.bio is not great for allowing monetization on a landing page. Finally, Linkin.bio has fewer features in its free plan than its competitors.
The tool has five paid plans along with a free program:
- Basics $8 per month
- Starter $18 per month
- Growth $40 per month
- Advanced $80 per month
As Later is a larger platform, its link-in bio tool is expensive. Overall, it's not a great fit if you want a lot of control over the appearance and design of your page, which most creators care a lot about.
Another prominent link in bio tool is Milkshake. Like the other link in bio apps, Milkshake allows you to link all your social media profiles in one place, but it has a slightly more streamlined approach to building profiles. Namely, Milkshake uses a 'cards' system. You can add whichever cards you want to your profile and then modify the card. It's very similar to Beacon's block system.
See the differences between Beacons and Milkshake here.
Milkshake is also tailored for creators, bloggers, or influencers. They have a free Android and iOS app, which makes it easy for creators to create a website on phones. Some of the key features include:
- Create multiple pages
- Cool range of designs
- Make a free website on your phone in minutes
- Customize your site with your fonts, colors, and images
- Pretty good user insights & Stats
- Create multiple sites and switch to different websites easily
- Create a call to action and sales funnel
Like competitors, the app has a free tier, but you can upgrade to a paid plan for some more features. The paid plan costs $2.99 monthly. This mini website builder is easy to use and cool in terms of money.
Overall, Milkshake is cheap and simple but lacks some of the more advanced features of Linktree or Beacons. There is no autosave option, and there is an issue reported about this app with the link not working or the app freezing and crashing. Yet, the company deserves credit for having a mobile app, which, for instance, Beacons still doesn't. Milkshake might be an excellent fit for someone that doesn't have access to a laptop to make changes to their pages.
Carrd is another simple website builder that you can use to make a simple landing page that looks clean and professional. This simple yet responsive platform is a strong fit for freelancers, creators, small businesses - really, anyone who wants a neat single-page website to promote their brand with the generous free plan. The tool allows you to create a one-page site very quickly. Here are the features of Carrd:
- Create a one-page site quickly
- Create up to three sites for free
- Responsive templates
- Custom elements and styles
- Custom domain (in pro plan)
- Straightforward editor
- Embed code
- Mobile site optimization
The pricing of Carrd is pretty simple. The platform offers a free plan and three affordable paid plans, which are charged yearly, not monthly: Pro Lite is $9 per year, Pro Standard is $19 per year, and Pro Plus is $49 per year. The pro plans allow the extra number of sites and offer more features.
If you want to compare Carrd to Beacons, jump in here.
Comparatively, Carrd might be the best fit for someone on a budget - you can't beat $9 per year, which is less than $1 per month.
Final Take on Beacons: Try It Out
Beacons is an industry-leading link in bio app designed specifically for creators. This link in bio tool is a perfect fit for creators interested in monetizing their following, and you can set up a stunning page in a few minutes. The platform offers tons of customizations, block options, and other worthy marketing and monetization features for creators to boost their brand awareness, get more followers and maximize their income.
Beacons is one of the easiest to use with a high value on aesthetics, speed, and functionality. The premium tier is also relatively affordable, significantly if the platform's features can help you bring in more revenue. These factors are significant in your branding, so if you're a creator or influencer, you should consider Beacons. Despite having a robust feature, it's still early for the company, so inevitably, they'll have more features over the next few months and years.