A few years ago, you’d have to ask someone to check up on another person’s Instagram if you wanted to find out what they’re up to – especially if the other person is your ex or a former friend.
Soon after, the term ‘finsta’ was born. Finsta – a portmanteau of fake Instagram – is an anonymous and untraceable method of conducting yourself on Instagram freely. You can use a finsta to stalk someone and post stuff that you wouldn’t do on your real profile all in one sitting.
These days, you can have at least one or two Instagram profiles – one for showing off, and the other for the real you where you share real stuff about yourself.
Finsta is an inimitable part of the social media lexicon, as it allows people – especially teenagers and youth – around the world to have secret accounts that others don’t know about.
What Is A Finsta?
Finsta is a secret account that only those who know the username can access. It’s more exclusive and private than your real Instagram profile.
For example, if you enter someone’s name in the search field, you may find their real Instagram profile. However, you won’t easily find their finsta, because these accounts are kept anonymous, compared to the real profiles, which are associated with the person’s real name.
The rise of finstas is a relatively new one compared to Instagram, the platform on which people create them. People use the photo-sharing platform to display photos of different things from food to their own dramatic selfies.
Finstas on the other hand are where users share a more unfiltered experience – the good, the bad, and the ugly. It’s a more multifaceted version of a person compared to what they share on their real Instagram account.
How Finstas Developed?
As Instagram users grew more followers, and the platform expanded, privacy continued to shrink. Instagram users have also multiplied and have more comments and likes on the stuff they share with the public.
With such increased engagement comes the quest for increasing more likes and followers. Consequently, many young people have become choosier with the photos and videos they post. It takes a lot more courage today to share personal selfies with many followers than it is to post to just a group of 5-10 people.
Add to that the pressure to look perfect and cultivate a curated collection of photos and you have a recipe for disaster. Many teens are feeling like they need to hide behind veils to look and be like everybody else on Instagram.
When finstas came on the scene, they offered a glimmer of ‘hope’. This hope provided a more exclusive and smaller alternative that teens can use to relieve themselves of the pressure to be like everyone else.
Why Finstas Are Popular?
One of the main reasons why people use Finstas is to hide from people who they don’t want to see their real selves, and that includes the fear of monitoring from employers.
To them, such self-surveillance acts on digital platforms make sense against the widespread media coverage of gaffes on social media.
People have lost jobs after publishing tactless posts or distasteful images on Instagram or other social media platforms.
Unlike real Instagram profiles, which may have several thousand followers, finstas have a smaller fan base or following, which mostly consists of family and friends.
The downside with using finstas is that someone may screenshot your posts and post them to the web, even if you’re hiding behind a faux username that isn’t tied to your real name.
Finstas are reserved for their very closest inner circle of friends compared to their real profile, which is open to their family, friends, teachers, coaches, and other members of the public.
With a lesser group of followers, teens can be more open and comfortable to share the real stuff about their lives, with silly, provocative, more edgy, or rebellious photos and videos.
They post what they don’t want others to see because they’re conscious about their reputation.
Unfortunately, having finstas also means you’re susceptible to darker issues like cyberbullying, drugs, sex-related content, and pornography.
That’s because they don’t have to think twice about posting videos of their first time doing something they’re not supposed to do – it’s only their besties seeing the photos and videos of course – so no need to worry about consequences.
Finstas’ private nature also means some adolescents will share their personal struggles with mental health, anxiety, and depression because it offers a personal diary of sorts to them.
They share pictures of slit wrists, teary face closeups, which they wouldn’t share on Insta, but generate lots of sympathy for them on their fake Instagram profiles.
Also Read: Best Artist Bio Examples For Instagram
How To Make And Use A Finsta?
It’s easy to create a finsta using a simple process. However, you’ll still need to look for a
The unique username that doesn’t use your real name – first or last name – and that you don’t use the profile picture that’s a real photo of yourself.
With your unique username and photo, you can use the steps below to create an additional
account or a finsta account.
1. Open Instagram and select the menu (three-line icon) on the top right side of the screen.
2. Next, select Settings at the bottom of the screen.
3. Select Add Account.
4. On the new page, select Sign Up at the bottom to create your new account.
5. Enter your phone number. A popup will ask whether you’d like to sign in to the existing Instagram account.
6. Select Create New Account to continue creating the new finsta account.
7. Add your username. Remember that you should have a unique username that’s not your real first and last name. Get one that only your friends and inner circle will know it’s you.
8. Ignore the option to link to an outside account option or your finsta to your Facebook account. This way, it’s easier for others to link your finsta to you.
9. Add a profile photo and select Next.
Now that you have a finsta account, you can begin posting photos and videos and inviting your inner circle of family or friends to follow that account.
With your finsta up and running, you can switch between accounts on the Instagram app by going to your profile and tapping the username at the top left side to select the account to switch to.
That’s all there is to creating a finsta. You can select Privacy Settings and then set your Instagram account or finsta to Private if you want to hide it from strangers.
You can have up to five accounts on the Instagram app so it’s possible to create finstas also for anything else – including your own pet.
Check Out: Best TweetDeck Alternatives
Best Finsta Examples
If you feel the pressure to look like yourself and still have the perfect Instagram feed, job, or life, you’re not alone. Many people have finstas, and that includes celebrities.
Here are some of the best finsta examples we found to give you an idea of how they give you privacy or creative freedom.
1. Gigi Hadid
Gigi is a supermodel with a following of over 70 million people. The in-demand runway model is famed for her catwalk and iconic runway moments, which have been her career highlights so it’s understandable that she would want a finsta of her own.
Besides her super modeling career, Gigi is also a pro behind the lens, which is why she created Gisposable, her finsta account dedicated to showcasing her photography.
She has some great work that features photos of Bella Hadid, her sister, and Kendall Jenner. Like her rinsta (real Instagram account), the finsta also has a relatively active following of 480,000 people.
2. Justin Bieber
Justin Bieber is a pop music heartthrob whose real Instagram account boasts a huge following of 200 million people.
Like other celebrities, Bieber also has a finsta account called Skylark Tylark, made under his alter ego. The account has only 12 posts so far, the first one being himself hanging with Thorne, finsta queen, at Coachella.
Explore: Best WhatsApp Alternatives
3. Sophie Turner
Sophie Turner, an English actress who made her acting debut in Game of Thrones, also has a known finsta account.
Currently, the finsta has a following of almost 30,000 people and 9 posts compared to her rinsta that has 15 million followers and 426 posts. However, this account is not associated with her acting career, her relationship with her husband Joe Jonas, or her favorite pastimes.
Instead, she dedicates her finsta to food and reviews of sausages like the fancy Disneyland sausage, which she doled out a 2/10 rating even though she said it tastes good.
4. Bella Hadid
Like her supermodel sister Gigi, Bella Hadid also has a finsta account. Her current rinsta has a following of more than 13 million people, and her finsta has a little over 30,000 followers.
In her finsta, Bella, who calls herself Rebekka Harajuku, documents her romp through Japan and shows off some killer styles.
The account isn’t as active as her rinsta account, but the popular model captures many photos of her 2018 trip that you wouldn’t see in her rinsta.
5. Bella Thorne
Born Annabella Avery Thorne, the award-winning American singer, model, and actress is also a fan of finstas. Her current rinsta following is just under 25 million followers with over 5,400 posts to boot.
She has two finsta accounts, the most active one being Thatweirdb*tchbella, where she posts several memes, party pics, and NSFW images.
Her second finsta is called avree1997, which is now defunct, but she used it to post moody photos and stuff.
6. Cole Sprouse
Cole Sprouse is a brilliant actor and brain behind Camera_Duels, an Instagram account with over five million followers. The account is created for people who take photos of Sprouse secretly, and how Sprouse takes photos of them first.
On this finsta account, you’ll find images of people trying to get Sprouse’s paparazzi type of shots, as they attempt to take a picture of him and be immortalized on his finsta.
The Riverdale star’s rinsta is chock-full of stunning images, but you’d think that his finsta is the real deal based on its works of art.
In the captions, Sprouse dramatically details the duel between other photographers and himself, as he gets some light revenge on those he thinks are invading his privacy.
Check Out: Best Sites Like Behance
7. Joe Jonas
Like his wife, Sophie, American singer, songwriter, actor, and dancer Joe Jonas also has a finsta account dubbed Cup of Joe.
On this account, Joe shares his passion for film, like his ex-girlfriend Gigi Hadid. The page is a mix of quirky cultural spectacles, travel photography, and snaps of his favorite person – Sophie Turner.
Lorde is a New Zealand songwriter and singer who is known for her introspective songwriting and unconventional music styles.
She also has a finsta account dedicated to food reviews, like that of Sophie Turner, but instead of sausages, she reviews onion rings. The account has over 9,300 followers and only four posts compared to her rinsta, which has amassed 7.9 million followers.
Interesting Post: Best Professional Twitter Bio Examples
Princess Beatrice of York has a rinsta with over 200 posts and more than 72,000 followers. Her finsta account, which she has set to private for only family or close friends, has about 678 followers and about 158 posts, which are much more compared to other finstas listed here.
The princess’s undercover finsta was unveiled by supermodel Karlie Kloss — accidentally — who tagged her when she announced her engagement on Instagram.
Melissa Viviane Jefferson aka Lizzo is an American rapper, singer, flutist, and songwriter born in Michigan, but moved to Texas and Minneapolis, where her recording career in hip hop music started.
Her rinsta account has 11.6 million followers and over 2,400 posts while her finsta, which is dedicated to her flute – Sasha Flute – has a following of 313,000 people and 129 posts.
The hilarious finsta page is an account of the instrument’s perspective of Lizzo’s rehearsals, performances, hangout sessions with other celebs, and backstage musings, showing the active finsta almost has a mind of its own.
You probably know when someone has a real Instagram account, but it may not be obvious when they have a finsta.
However, there are a few telltale signs like the number of followers and posts that can give you a hint of whether they have a finsta or not.
For example, you’ll find a finsta with fewer followers than the real Instagram account, which people maintain for their family or friends – closest inner circle – and are pretty exclusive about who they allow to follow them.
Sometimes they add “for friends only” on the bio, which lets them know that it’s a finsta. Some people are open with their family and allow them to know they have finstas, but most people prefer to keep it a secret.
If you’re a parent, you may want to stay updated on what your child posts on social media. You can ask if they have a finsta or check their devices once in a while. If they have a finsta, check what they post there, and have a conversation about what’s allowed and what isn’t.
Monitoring your child or teen’s social media usage is important because they may need help when they’re feeling the effects of too much social media exposure.
Most of these platforms are breeding grounds for peer pressure and competition based on curated realities, which may or may not be real.
Some kids or teens may be left wondering whether they’re the only ones not living a perfect life like others they see on social media. This can be stressful and exacerbate pre-existing social and mental health issues or cause anxiety and depression to develop.
If you feel that your child could use a finsta to get away from the fake realities of social media, discuss with them or see a mental health professional to get an evaluation.
Check Out: Top Marketers To Follow On Instagram
Finstas are usually anonymous, secretive, and full of images that aren’t necessarily related to someone’s primary Instagram profile or account.
Most people tend to have a single Instagram account, but extra accounts like finstas are a useful way of maintaining privacy, having a bit of fun online, or acting anonymously. They’re an iteration of a trend that’s been around since IRCs and bulletin boards.
But there’s no strong reason for having secret or anonymous user accounts just to keep private photos on your profile. Instagram provides settings that allow you to set your account to friends only or private.
Most private media files are also just private – not necessarily offensive, raunchy, or embarrassing.
But many people don’t want strangers, acquaintances, or potential employers looking into their lives. A finsta allows people to share private and personal videos or photos that would have been shared in a picture frame or scrapbook in the past.
While a finsta doesn’t sound like a bad thing, parents of teens think it’s not a good idea. Plus, Facebook has received backlash for their non-commitment to ending finstas.
Facebook has been critiqued for hiding and downplaying how their company’s services affect teens and youth and for not implementing any changes that would avert such adverse effects.
In fact, Facebook’s Antigone Davis, head of safety, faced harsh questioning before the Senate about the effect that Instagram has on teens. He said this as he addressed accusations that Facebook had known for years that Instagram caused emotional and mental harm.
On the part of parents and guardians, fake Instagram accounts could be a good thing because it shows the child has considered what they’d like to share with a few friends versus a wider audience.
However, one of the areas of concern that has been noted generally is the notion of the finsta account. What that means is that the real Instagram account already shows the person’s real life, so there’s no need to have a finsta, which shows the person’s fake self yet the finsta is still a real account of the same person.
Teens are feeling the pressure to have finstas or be left out of the trend. And, as with anything else posted online, everything they post to a finsta – photos, videos, or other things – are still out of their control the moment they post them.
Even though the finsta is shared only with people they trust, it could still be used against them and shared outside their inner circle. And that’s something parents need to discuss with their kids.
A finsta is a great tool for anyone who wants to steer clear of the harsh fake realities of Instagram or other social media platforms and show their more genuine side.
Here they can interact and connect with friends while prioritizing being themselves instead of the fake person they’re not.
If you’re always worried about what you post on the gram, others’ perception of you, or that it isn’t good enough, a finsta may be perfect for you.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.