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What is a Finsta? Full Breakdown of the Instagram Trend

by Hung Nguyen

You can also read this article in German, French, Indonesian and Italian.

What is a Finsta account? Why is there a need for one? And whether or not you need one for yourself - we’ll break it all down, just for you.

What is a Finsta on Instagram?


TL;DR: ‘Finsta’ is a portmanteau for a ‘fake Instagram’ account. A secondary account in addition to your ‘main’ account where one is laxer with what content is posted.

In reality, though, it probably is a more accurate portrayal of yourself as an Instagrammer. In actual usage, these are commonly used by those with large followings. In a world full of influencers and insta models, the social media platform drives million-dollar businesses whose primary targeted audience is online, constantly scrolling through their feeds throughout their day.

Why is there a need for a Finsta then?


Depending on the profile, The ‘main’ Instagram account would contain branded posts, tailor-made photos, and captains relating to the content - connecting directly to the business or ‘influencer’. The account would be verified - depending on the number of followers. The posts would be scheduled at times to drive organic engagement and media coverage, overly polished, sometimes promoted, and are well-connected to prior posts. They could also be used to promote off-platform content - clock the frequent ‘link on bio’ content.

On the other hand, for celebs, well-known brands, and influencers, a finsta offers more remiss and intimate content, that may be off-topic to what is typically posted on the main account. For individuals, it may simply be a private account, and only available for close friends and family - cut off from your larger circle of connections. Regular Instagram accounts probably will not ever even find the need to create a secondary, ‘Finsta’ account. If you do, it’s a chance to let loose and post whatever content you want on your page, i.e., cat gifs, ugly selfies. ;)

For example, @lalamilan is the main account of a comedian who found her start on Instagram posting short, 15-second clips. The account has evolved to posting content surrounding the owner’s TV show, memes, and of course, new and re-posts of what drove the starlet’s popularity in the first place. Where @lalamilan only shows what is on the surface, the Finsta offers a closer overview of what the Instagrammer is up to, off the spotlight.


The primary, verified account

The obscure ‘Finsta’ account for the influencer is called @lalasizahands89, which is also the handle of the original main account. Anyway, the finsta offers BTS posts of the main account’s comedic efforts, post pictures and screenshots of random trending tweets, or merely an off-branded meme that is relatable to anybody on the social media platform.


The Finsta account

Is Finsta a new trend?


Not at all. Urban Dictionary reports that the term ‘finsta’ - a combination of the words’ fake’ and ‘instagram’ has been in circulation as early as 2013, with more than a handful of definitions popping up during the middle of the decade. However, the trend follows similar actions on other large social media apps such as Facebook and Twitter. I mean - have you ever not seen private Twitter accounts, or overly private, secondary Facebook accounts for those seeking a fresh start on the site; these accounts follow the same format.

The contraction here is that, as Instagram evolves from personal use to driving large enterprises and launching the careers of many, in many industries, i.e., music, entertainment, b2b, and b2c brands, these accounts are now being created to regress the usage of account owners to what Instagram was originally intended. Insta accounts are used to post photos and share experiences with your close ones. Who remembers when videos were limited to 15-second clips and photos could all be cropped into a square?


Another definition of Finsta

How to pick Finsta names and create a Finsta account


There are no rules to this - unless they would be used in conjunction with your real Instagram account, albeit the definition of what a ‘real account’ may differ, depending on your angle of thought. But as your ‘brand’ will not be heavily linked to your Finsta, you’re free to pick whatever you want to - the freedom is yours. You could use clever usernames that do not require any explanation (like the combination of words for ‘finsta’), the name of your high school science project, or one that only would click for you and your closest friends.

Since Instagram offers the option to alternate between accounts, a Finsta account can be created within a few clicks, by following the instructions below:

  1. Open Instagram, access your profile.

  2. Click your handle at the top and choose to ‘add account’.

  3. Choose ‘Create a New Account’ and follow all the necessary steps.

  4. All done - switch between your ‘real’ account and ‘finsta’ account anytime, with just 1-2 clicks.

Either way, whether you view it as your ‘regular’ account or ‘private’ account - don’t forget what the platform was created for in the first place! Post photos, DM your close friends, and share content with your heart content.

PS To all Instagrammers - we offer free PDF tools if you ever need to, say, convert, and share a link in your bio to a PDF form online. ;) #shamelessplug

Hung Nguyen
Hung Nguyen
Senior Growth Marketing Manager @Smallpdf