If you’ve ever been around a sorority girl, I’m willing to bet you’ve heard the word “Finstagram.”
Like me, the word may have eluded you for many years, until you finally learned its meaning: fake instagram.
It took me two years to create my own Finstagram. It led to the discovery of a weird world. Finstagram is an entire Instagram subculture in its own right, alongside #bossbabes and #instagays.
With Instagram’s recent announcement of its new “Close Friends” feature, a question has been on everyone’s minds: what will happen to Finstagram?
I think it’s safe to say that Finstagram isn’t going anywhere. Here are some of the reasons why Finstagram is here to stay.
What is a Finstagram?
A Finstagram, finsta for short, is a fake Instagram. They’re separate, usually private accounts that people can use to post things they might not want their moms to see.
Say you want to show off a picture you look hot in but might give your grandmother a conniption, or a video from a party that Great-aunt Mary would definitely disapprove of if it was shared on Facebook. Enter Finstagram.
Finstagrams, for obvious reasons, are particularly popular among college students – especially those in Greek life. But everyone could use one!
Why You Might Want a Finstagram
Let’s face it. Instagram comes with a lot of pressure. Even if you don’t have a lot of followers, the fact is that you’re making yourself publically available to the world.
And that’s terrifying.
A Finstagram is having an Instagram account that you don’t have to care about. If you have content that’s not 100% suitable for your main account, whether that’s racy or just off-topic, put it on your Finstagram.
It’s totally freeing. For those of us old enough to remember the days when anonymity on the internet was the given, the constant race to be recognized can feel totally removed from our modern experience of the internet.
Finstagram, in some ways, brings that back. You get to be in charge of who sees what you post. And you get to post whatever you want.
What is “Close Friends” Going to Do to Finstagram?
At the time of this article, Instagram has recently introduced a feature called “Close Friends”. Close friends allows you to put certain Instagram users in a pool so that certain parts of your Instagram story is only visible to them.
Naturally, people are freaking out about what that’s going to do to Finstagram. But I don’t think Finstagrammers have any reasons to worry.
The thing about “close friends” is that it’s only for your story. So if you want to share something more long-lasting, Finstagram still has your back.
There are plenty of reasons someone might want to stick to Instagram posts over Instagram stories.
Finstagram Posts Or Finstagram Stories?
Posts and stories on a Finstagram account may be less of a debate than a main account, but there are still pros and cons to consider.
Because a Finstagram account is all about escaping the image other people have of you, it can be a lot more freeing to use posts. You can look back at them to cherish private memories. You don’t have as much pressure to keep a story up to date throughout every day.
You can also rest easy that posting something on your Finstagram means it won’t be spread around. (Provided you trust your followers, of course.)
The best part about Finstagram is that there are no rules. You can use it however you want. If you want to post a story, post it! If you want to post an Instagram post, post it!
The decision is totally in your hands. And you can always look at other people’s Finstagrams to get the right idea.
Finstagram Is Its Own Instagram Subculture
Finstagram culture is a wide, wide step away from Instagram culture. If Instagram is about living your best life, Finstagram is about living your messiest life.
And honestly? It’s great.
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Finstagram almost feels like having a club of friends who are allowed to know the most earnest parts of your life. Having a space where you can put things you might want to talk about – but not want your parents to talk about – is really freeing.
Add onto that the fact that your friends probably also have Finstagrams, and you end up with a tighter relationship than before. Finstagrams reveal some of the most private parts of our personalities.
Having someone you can trust that with is a game-changer.
The Finstagram Aesthetic
Besides the culture, Finstagram also has a very particular aesthetic.
As much as we shy away from it, Instagram really is about presenting the most palatable aspects of our lives. I mean, who’s ever looked in the mirror after a long night out with running makeup and thought “I should Instagram this?” Nobody, that’s who.
But I could show you at least seven of those types of posts on my friends’ Finstagrams. They used them to document the reality of their lives.
Where Instagram is all about making things look pretty and appealing, Finstagram is often exactly the opposite. It’s not uncommon to see Finstagram posts that are totally unedited, with no filter.
The fact that we love these images anyways is a testament to the strength of Finstagram. It’s a great place to escape overproduced images, and just get back to reality.
What’s the Difference Between A Finstagram and A Snapchat?
There’s the unavoidable question: Isn’t there an app that already does that?
Well, yes. Many people use Snapchat instead of making a Finstagram. While I can’t speak to others’ personal preference, I can say that if you, like me, prefer Instagram to Snapchat, what’s stopping you?
Snapchat’s widely used among Americans. But if you live outside of the U.S., Finstagram is where it’s at.
Finstagram also allows you to preserve posts rather than have them disappear in twenty-four hours. And you can even have them do that, if you want!
It’s really up to you, but my vote’s been cast. Finstagram all the way.
Finstagram Removes the Stress of Private and Public Life
I’m a person who often feels a lot of stress about how I’m perceived online. Even though I love Instagram, it can feel like a lot of pressure to constantly think about my public image.
When I made my Finstagram, I felt a lot of that pressure lifted off my shoulders. I could focus on travel on my main account, and express insecurities, doubts, and of course, post memes, on my Finstagram. I no longer had to carefully screen content.
In other words, I wasn’t always thinking about what everybody else was thinking about me.
As great as social media is, worrying too much about how others see us definitely a trap a lot of us can fall into. By constantly policing what we put on the internet, we’re constantly policing ourselves.
A Finstagram is a fantastic way to take some of that pressure off.
Take it From a Finstagrammer…
I’ve had a Finstagram for a little over a year, and I can honestly say it’s made my relationship with social media as a whole healthier.
We underestimate the toll of a public life on ourselves. If you’ve felt the pressure of Instagram at all in the last few years, I encourage you to try it out!
We all need somewhere to let a little loose.