Why Does Instagram Want You to Create a Second Account?

Instagram

Instagram has been showing users a “try a new account” pop-up since the last year. The pop-up says this will help people “keep up with a smaller group of friends” and explore interests more quickly, but how does Instagram benefit from this?

The image-sharing platform has been showing this popup to single-account users when they long-press the profile icon a the bottom of their feed or tap on their profile username. From there, the user can easily select the option to create a second account and switch between it and the primary account easily. Users will not need to sign out of one account and sign in to the other.

An Instagram spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that people will have the choice of creating the second account as an extension to the first (like a new viewer profile on Netflix) or as a separate account with independent login credentials. If users pick the latter route, they can delete one account later without affecting the other.

Instagram’s spokesperson reportedly refused to divulge when exactly the company rolled out the tool and how many users created new accounts using it. However, the spokesperson said the notice to create another account is a reminder that “creating another account to serve other interests on Instagram is possible [and] can be seamless.”

Social media analysts opine that the move is a reaction to changes in the way people choose to interact online. Wedbush Securities analyst Dan Ives said that Instagram stands to get advertising, and hence monetary boost from users engaging with content using new accounts rather than stale interests in an older account.

Our Take

We believe that Instagram’s move to encourage users to have a second account is helpful for some but could spark mistrust for many others. For instance, people running businesses and hobby stores on Instagram may not prefer to interact with friends and acquaintances using the business account. Such people would benefit from having a second, more personal account.

On the other hand, Instagram aggressively prompting users to create a second account could lead users to believe the platform stands to benefit from multiple accounts per individual, as the analysts say. Moreover, the first question that came to our minds was “Why? What’s wrong with my current account?” and the platform’s unwillingness to share statistics regarding the prompt’s success (or failure) doesn’t help our unease.

What do you make of Instagram’s intentions with this prompt?

[Via the Wall Street Journal]