While millennials and social media go hand in hand, it is interesting to see that out of all the apps, Instagram is their go-to one for all their online needs. While the photo-sharing app started later than Facebook and Twitter, it has successfully managed to beat those and become the app millennials most prefer to spend their time on.
A study by Sprout Social gives an insight into how much millennials love their Insta. 64 % of 18-29-year-olds use Instagram. On an average, those under the age of 25 spend more than 32 minutes a day on the social media platform. Knowing my friends’ usage patterns, I can safely say we use Instagram way more than that.
It’s pretty hard to keep up with all the social media trends that go on nowadays. Be offline for a little more than 2 hours, and you can fully expect to come back and see a viral video that’s already been converted into thousands of memes and has been reposted across all the accounts that you follow.
But one interesting trend that has been around for what seems like forever and has refused to go away is the curious case of f.instas. Finstagram profiles, spam accounts or f.instas as they’re mainly called are essentially secondary Instagram profiles. If we go by the Urban Dictionary, it essentially means this. “A finsta is a secondary, usually private, Instagram account where users are more lax in deciding what they post.”
While to the common user, the entire act of having a secondary profile to post pictures, which is essentially the same thing that one does on their main account, may seem trivial and unnecessary. But for the millennials a finsta is much more than that, serving purposes that their normal accounts just can’t.
There are numerous reasons that contributed to the birth of the finsta.“I initially just made it because all my friends were making it. I didn’t think that much before making it honestly” said Shailja. However, the fact that everyone is making it and it’s the cool thing to do is not the only reason millennials started making their second profiles. “I simply made a spam account because I wanted to post more pictures. It just contains pictures that I would want my close people to see” says Prachi.
If you think millennials online are all about memes, cat videos and stories, you’re wrong. There’s actually a set of users using their finsta for unconventional purposes. Sumit says “So I follow various work-related pages from my finsta. It’s because I wouldn’t want to see these pages casually, so I use my finsta for whenever I need to see specific posts and photos for work.”
Sometimes, however, the reason as to why one makes a spam Instagram account are not for the noblest of reasons. Parth confesses, “I made my finsta under a pseudonym and used it to follow my ex-girlfriend’s main account. I then sent her current boyfriend’s pictures to her mom.” Jhanvi has a similar purpose for her secondary account. “I used it to follow my ex-boyfriend and find out what he’s up to. He’s kinda blocked me everywhere else!
While what prompted people to make a finsta differs from person to person, there’s one thing that all fnista account holders can agree on. The pictures they post on their fake accounts are always ones they’ll never think of even posting on their main accounts. Finstas are used as a screen to filter out people you wouldn’t want to see all your posts. This essentially seems to be the core reason as to why people still continue to operate two accounts on the same platform.
“My main account has a lot of people. Friends, friends of friends, classmates etc. It’s essentially become a second Facebook! So my spam account only has my close friends who I know won’t judge me, and I can post anything random on it.” says Navya. Shailja builds upon the same argument“My finsta is full of posts and captions with jokes on myself and jokes on my friends. I wouldn’t want everyone to see that and I’d rather restrict that to my close bunch of friends. So that’s why I have a finsta.”
The Difference Between An Finsta And A Normal Profile
“My main account is perfectly curated. All pictures are edited and proper, they’re following a curated scheme and whatnot. If you look at my finsta, it’s anything but that” says Shailja. “So I post my best pictures on my main account which are for everyone to see. My spam account, on the other hand, is full of random stuff that just comes on my mind. I can use my spam account just for fun and post whatever and however I want it” Navya said. “ I think the starkest difference between my two accounts is the number of followers I have on both. I’m really selective about who I let in on my spam account, as it’s just full of random stuff that I wouldn’t want everyone to see. I have like more than 500 followers on my main Insta, but only about 35 on my fake one” said Aashna.
At a time when Instagram accounts have started looking more like professionally curated portfolios than a personal collection of one’s pictures, it’s enlightening to see millennials shed away their inhibitions and show their real crazy selves online. With Finstas all the rage right now, long may that continue!