What is a Finsta and why are teenagers changing the way that they use Instagram?
Instagram is easily the most important social media for teens around the world, as many of you know from recent studies. Whether it be my 13 year old sister or my 19 year old cousin, we all check Instagram constantly. The stream of infinite content and the simple concept and idea behind the product never gets old. When I post a photo on Instagram I know that just about every person I am connected to in the real life will see my photo, decide whether or not to like it, and then judge me subconsciously. Because of this, Instagram is seen as a huge stressor for many teenagers.
Your Instagram defines who you are.
However, at the same time that Instagram continues to push through in building up one’s online identity, there is a dramatic change that is coming to the way that Instagram is used.
I first heard the term ‘finsta’ a few months ago, my friend, Caroline, pulled out her phone, we snapped a funny selfie and she immediately uploaded it to Instagram. I was horrified, how could she post a selfie of me onto Instagram without asking! She didn’t add a filter, she didn’t have a clever caption, and it wasn’t a photo I wanted everyone I know to see! I immediately said did you really just post that, she then told me don’t worry I only put it on my finsta. I was so confused.
What she did completely went against all that Instagram has been for me in the past 2 or 3 years I have been on the social network. I have learned that Instagram posts are an art. It can take a lot of time for me to post a photo on Instagram. I need to decide the photo to post, ask friends for advice on captions, make sure every blemish is not seen, and edit it.
I, along with other teens, spend this time because we know that everyone will see it and it can define who you are.
Finstagram (Finsta for short) is defined by Urban Dictionary as “a mixture of Fake & Instagram. People, usually girls, get a second Instagram account along with their real instagrams, rinstagrams, to post any pictures or videos they desire. The photos or videos posted are usually funny or embarrassing. Only your closest friends follow this account.” If you still are not getting it, finsta is sort of a combination between the content you would post on snapchat inside the instagram app.
At my school I went from only just hearing about this internet phenomenon a few months ago to hearing people talk about finsta accounts everyday.
It is not just normal to have a finsta, it is expected.
Teens are now not just checking and maintaining one Instagram account a day, they are consistently monitoring and updating two accounts, their rinsta and their finsta — one public and open for any acquaintances they may meet and one for just close friends.
Finsta gets rid of the stressful element of Instagram, but in a familiar environment.
The fact that so many people are building second accounts for a different purpose on the same social network shows just how strongly teens are connected to Instagram and how much more potential network actually has.
Instagram has the potential to not only continue to grow in users, but also in time spent online, if people are checking two accounts they are doubling the amount of time they are spending on Instagram making them more likely to see and respond to ads.
In addition, finstagram could be the dark horse in Facebook trying to find a Snapchat Killer. Perhaps letting users log into 2 accounts at the same time, similar to Tumblr. Perhaps letting people have the option of only letting someone see a photo once where it is unable to be viewed after you pass it in the dashboard.
So for everyone out there watch out for finstagrams, they may just change the future of Instagram, and the social networking world as we know it.
A little about me
I love reading about technology and social media. But, as a 17 year old in high school I think it is especially interesting how people my age use social media and how little people in the technology field know exactly what we do on these sites and how we use social media. In a quick google search I couldn’t find one mention of finsta/finstagram and thought that this is a perfect example of how technology writers sometimes miss out on big changes in the way social media is being consumed.