What does your Instagram profile look like? If you’re like most people, you probably curate your Instagram posts to make you look flawless, happy, and generally at your best.
But let’s be real for a sec: The reason your Instagram account looks so impeccable is because you don’t exactly post everything you do. You’re careful to post only the images and information that you definitely want associated with your name.
Whether you’re looking for a job and don’t want to show off selfies from last week’s kegger or you want to share inside jokes with a handful of friends, sometimes you need a little anonymity on Instagram.
That’s where a finsta comes in.
What Is a Finsta?
“Finsta” is short for “fake Instagram” (and yes, “rinsta” is its opposite and stands for “real Instagram”).
And no, finstas aren’t run by bots. At least, not usually. More often than not, real people start finsta accounts because they want to be anonymous.
With a finsta, the user changes their name and profile pic so their account is anonymous. Most people use their finsta as a secondary account that shields their identity. This means you’re free to post different content, interact with different users, and generally mask yourself from your normal following.
Finstas have been around ever since Instagram started allowing people to access multiple accounts through the app — and the word “finsta” has had an Urban Dictionary entry since 2015.
4 Legitimate Reasons to Have a Finsta
Finstas clearly aren’t new, but they’re definitely raising eyebrows. Sure, maybe it’s a little sus to have a real account and a fake account, but there are plenty of legit reasons to create a finsta:
- You want a private account to connect with your close friends. Sometimes you don’t want to share a weird inside joke on your Instagram, especially if your mom and judgmental aunt are following you. A finsta lets you be super-selective about who’s following you, so you have the freedom to be as weird with your squad as you want. Plus, if you want to share more personal updates that are a little overshare-y for regular Instagram, a finsta makes it okay to share.
- You’re famous. Celebrities like Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga have public Instagram accounts, but did you know that Lorde used to run a finsta that reviewed onion rings? Sometimes celebs just want to share things with their family and real friends and a finsta gives them the room to do that.
- You don’t want finsta activity associated with your real name. I get it. If the content you create or the pages you follow are a little too spicy for your rinsta, you might want to put it on your finsta instead. This is a great idea if, say, you like taking bikini pics at the pool but don’t want those to come up when prospective bosses are checking out your socials. And for people who are gay and still in the closet, finsta gives them a chance to be part of the LGBTQ+ community with less fear of judgment.
- You don’t want to filter yourself. Finstas are great because nobody knows it’s you! You don’t have to worry about making everything look perfect. Save your more curated pictures for rinsta, and you can share the more raw, goofy, or weird stuff you do on finsta without worrying.
Show me a pic from your insta, next to a pic from your finsta. pic.twitter.com/ILVVFSlWYV
— Élise🐣 (@eliseosafo) August 12, 2019
Negative Reasons People Use a Finsta
Of course, any time there’s the opportunity to be anonymous on the internet, there’s the chance people will take it too far. There are a few bad reasons people might use a finsta, too:
- For spamming or trolling people.
- For stalking an ex or someone who’s already blocked your rinsta.
- For bullying other users just for the thrill of it.
Bottom Line: Finsta Accounts Can Be Freeing — If Used Responsibly
You can definitely take a finsta to a dark place, but there are plenty of legitimate reasons why people create finstas. Actually, most of your friends probably have a second Instagram account.
What’s cool about finstas is that they make social media real again — which is ironic, considering you’re masking who you are. But when you’re not so focused on gaining more followers and can simply create fun, authentic content that you enjoy, it can be really freeing.
Ultimately, Instagram accounts are tools that can be used for good or for evil. Just be smart about who you’re sharing your life with online and know how to spot a bot or a troll if you see one.
As long as your finsta gives you the freedom to express yourself without tearing other people down, go for it!