What’s A ‘Finstagram’ And Why Is Everyone Getting One? 

Do you have to be famous to have one?

Real Talk: 📱📱📱📱📱📱📱📱📱📱10/10

By now you probably have at least one friend who is posting candid double-chin selfies on their ‘Finstagram’ or ‘Finsta’, and offering a select few followers an ‘unfiltered’ view into their lives.

The hype comes with a wave of wanting to be more intimate (on the internet, nevertheless) and keeping a public image separate from a more private image. 

It’s a little confusing, not gonna lie. 

Cr: Morley via Pinterest

For many people who run a public account, or have many followers that they don’t know too well, posting personal things on Instagram can feel a little like overexposure. From funny blurry club vids over to morning-after bathroom snaps, it can be difficult to decide what to post and where to draw the line. Do I want my ex to see this? Better yet, do I want my current crush to see this? Future employers? Haters from high school? The list goes on… 

For all those purposes, the Finstagram, i.e. a ‘fake’ or ‘fun’ Instagram, has cropped up and spread through the Insta webs like wildfire. And it is so lit. 

Cr: Kirsten Kennedy

Where formerly it used to go down in the DMs, it really goes down in the Finsta. Just in a completely different and far more innocent way. 

It’s true liberation in the era of social media – there’s no pressure to be perfect, to look flawless, and to act like you don’t really love memes and ugly snap filters more than life. Where real Instagram profiles face constant scrutiny and selection (i.e., deleting those posts that underperform, or don’t look good together with the others), these ‘fake’ Instagram profiles know nothing of the sort, and are far more free and far more, well, real. 

Cr: scorpiondagger.tumblr.com

The follower count on a Finstagram is far lower than on usual public accounts, similar to your actual number of friends compared to your Facebook number of friends. Anyone with a Finsta usually follows the people they are comfortable with, and they in turn follow the Finsta. It’s like a really exclusive club, and randomers are definitely not allowed. Membership involves trust, and something that goes beyond shallow online friendships. 

In fact, the whole trend itself is opening up a whole new conversation about online friendships and online profiles. It was never a secret that people make their lives better than they are in their web world, yet suddenly it’s like we’re turning around and saying, “I admit it’s fake, and I’m dying to share something real” and also, “only for some of you, though.” 

Cr: Buzzfeed

It’s a careful tip toe between authenticity and genuine care for share, as we increasingly seek that external human validation, all the while admitting we seek it but want to appear less pathetic. 

Perhaps ‘pathetic’ is a harsh term to describe it. Finsta posts are a refreshing break from illustriously edited sunsets and perfectly angled selfies that still have the balls to name themselves ‘#NoMakeUp’. And social media is not something to be taken lightly in 2017. Entire careers can depend on it, with millions flowing into the accounts of those who can use it to their advantage. If you’re a famous Youtuber, maybe you don’t want your 12-year-old fans that look up to you to see you puke faced after a night out. If you run a company, you may not want your funnily failed Dubsmash to be associated with your brand. And if you’re Kendall, Cara, Gigi, or any of the likes, it may be nice to post private pics without a creepy inflow of comments or girls writing ‘lb lb lb’ on your snaps in seconds.

It makes sense.

Cr: kardashianempire.tumblr.com

Undeniably, a Finsta sounds like a far more interesting version of a ‘Rinsta’, and raises the question for all those who are not Kendall, Cara, or Gigi (even if they feel like them) as to why you can’t just incorporate your Finsta posts into your Rinsta. What’s stopping you from being real on your normal page? Isn’t candid always better than posed? Why can’t you share your honest personality and your true look/thoughts/screenshots? 

Cr: Dan Cretu

In some ways, we can blame ourselves. As acknowledged, social media is often used to create an illusion of a perfect life, and the pressure is high to do the same. Yet whilst we all point fingers and sigh about this issue, we’re often guilty of adding to it ourselves. 

“Look how edited her photo is! Look how she made herself skinnier!” “OMG he’s always travelling he’s so cool” “They have no friends, they do everything only with each other” 

When the Insta zoom function came out, it was like a physical finger-swiping metaphor/justification for how intensely we actually ‘stalk’ and examine Insta images. Pair that with some not so thick (and seemingly not so flawless, I guess) skin, and you get why somebody would want to be less public. People are judgemental, man. 

Cr: Amanda Oleander for E! Online

Whilst your account is certainly an expression of your persona, it is often also seen as your entire persona. From under a duvet at night or on the toilet during the day, your followers find it totally A-OK to pull apart that persona, and mentally rank and rate you according to it. It’s, to keep up with millennial speak, completely savage. 

In a world where users never wear the same outfit twice, where their families are perfectly harmonious at all times, and meals always look like something off a Michelin tasting menu, perhaps the Finsta is like a warm, inviting door to what is essentially a safe space. A safe space from becoming prey to the public, and a protective shield against the teeth of society’s pressures. 

On some very sad yet very social level, it’s a jungle out there. And butterflies need watch out.