Instagram's account switching: a pleasing attention to detail

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

So, we finally have it. Instagram now supports account switching from within the app. This is, of course, fantastic news for anyone who is managing a site’s Instagram account while trying to use the app for personal reasons, too.

Up until now they’ve been left with some variation of logging in and out, or having two phones. Instagram has never been very API-friendly. Those clunky approaches are a thing of the past, and that’s great news, I’m in the process of launching the web presence of a new venture – and it’s making my life easier from day one.

I’m not going to go other the details of how it works – that’s been well covered elsewhere. There are good guides on iMore and the Buffer blog.

Learning to switch

I’m more interested in one specific detail of the account switching process. Here’s a screenshot of the process mid-switch:

Instagram switching

All you do is press (quite firmly) on the user logo in the bottom right of the screen, and you switch accounts.

Switching from the top

Alternatively, you can go to your profile screen, and just click on the menu at the top.

Top switch

Tap on the account you want to switch to, and you’re away. It’s much simpler and more intuitive than other apps that allow account switching – like Twitter, for example, where the account switching mechanism feels clunky every time I use it. There, you have to go to the profile page, and hit a specific button. The almost universal availability of the switching mechanism – without making it too easy to accidentally switch – shows an attention to detail that’s characteristic of Instagram. They only add new features very slowly, and when they do, they tend to get them right.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.