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Finstas are the new Rinstas

An increasing number of Instagram users are making second accounts

Finsta Story

 "Fake Instagram accounts may provide a better look into your life." Illustration published on Sunday, Nov. 19, 2017.

No more searching far and wide for the perfect selfie lighting and no more taking photo after photo until the perfect picture arises, it’s Finsta time and in Finsta-land, there are no rules or social standards. 

Finstas are Instagram accounts open to a small community of close friends that people make alongside their main accounts. The content posted is personal, random and does not typically fit the regular standards that lie within Rinsta (aka real Instagram) territory. For example, one's main Instagram account usually features family-friendly, aesthetically-pleasing content, whereas, for Finstas, anything is game. 

According to Instagram’s website, there are over 800 million people active on the app monthly and over 500 million active daily. And like many social media platforms, college-aged students and millennials are a sizable demographic. 

Finstas are known for their clever handles that have to do with a user's nickname or hobby, which is twisted in a typically comedic, sexual or random fashion. Finsta accounts are almost always private, with a limited group of followers. This is a result of the “be careful what you post online” concept and a way to post pictures and captions that do not typically fit the standards for Rinstas. 

People use Finstas in a variety of ways. Some people post funny selfies with captions summing up their day, others post photos of art or selfies they want to put out but aren’t perceived as Rinsta worthy. There is no limit, theme or restrictions, besides Instagram’s nudity policy of course, but that’s only if one gets reported. 

Freshman biological sciences major Rachel Taylor has had her Finsta for almost two years now and limits her followers to around 70 people, whereas her real Instagram has racked up about 1,200 followers.

“I use Finsta to keep my friends up to date on my life since we all go to different colleges now,” Taylor said. “I also use it as a way to vent and let go of some stress. My friends also use Finsta to rant or provide quality memes.”

Perri Collins, the social media manager for the W. P. Carey School of Business, believes that people feel more comfortable expressing themselves when there's less risk of rejection, which is why individuals allegedly turn to Finstas so frequently. 

“In certain parts of the world, like China and Japan, it’s common to refer to this dichotomy as your private face versus your public face,” Collins said. “Your public face is what you show to the world. It’s how you want to be seen or how you show that you’re living up to society’s expectations, but often times it’s a façade. Your private face is what you share only with your closest friends and family, people you feel comfortable sharing your true feelings with."

"Many times people have two Instagrams because they feel pressure to show that they’re living an above average life filled with beauty and adventure at every turn. But constantly being on is not healthy. A second Instagram account allows them to be less than perfect in what they perceive as a safe environment," Collins said.

Danielle Vermeer, sophomore sustainability and urban planning student, has had her Finsta since 2012. She created her account in order to keep in contact with friends who were moving away and now she continues to use it in a similar way. She said she has grown to appreciate the concept of Finstas as it has transformed throughout the years.

“I like how Finsta feels more intimate and real as opposed to the almost fake versions of ourselves that we post on our real Instagrams,” Vermeer said. “I like my Finsta more because it is more real and an accurate depiction of my feelings and thoughts.”

Users claim that Finstas appeal to those who want to share content comfortably and without judgment.

“My actual Instagram makes my life look like it’s perfect and put together and my Finsta is mostly about how my life is falling apart,” Taylor said. “I like that it’s just my close friends. I have no filter and can be myself. I use my Finsta more because it is actually more true to who I am.”

People are turning more of their attention towards Finstas and leaving their real Instagrams behind. 

“There’s a famous scene in the movie 'The Matrix,' where the main character, Neo, is faced with a choice to swallow a blue pill and continue living in an illusion, or to swallow a red pill and uncover reality," Collins said. "Even though illusions can be pleasant for a time, deep down, people want to connect with other real people."

Reach the reporter at or follow @jessiemy94 on Twitter. 

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