Finstas - your other Instagram identity

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

There’s no small irony that the sheer manufactured fakeness of so many Instagram accounts has provoked a e]rsponse, with somewhat more real accounts called Finstas – for fake Instagrams:

But shaping your Instagram and Facebook accounts to appeal to potential employers is restrictive. Young people’s lives are often emotionally turbulent, messy, and perhaps a little bit wild; they want to share the parts of themselves that they wouldn’t necessarily list on a resume or post on LinkedIn. And so they have increasingly embraced “Finstas”—fake Instagram accounts where they can present a less polished version of their lives to close friends, while eschewing monitoring from would-be employers.

The fakeness arises from the fake name rather than fake content. I first came across the concept earlier in the year when it was mentioned to me by one of last academic year’s Interactive Journalism MA students. Interesting to note that awareness of it is creeping into the mainstream.

However, don’t take away the idea that this is an complete antidote to the airbrushed reality of many Instagram accounts:

You’re still performing a funny version of you, they said. Finsta isn’t tantamount to an “authentic” self. It’s instead a different sort of performance, in which people can admit to flaws so long as they’re softened by humor.

We’re still teaching our your to craft their image – they just understand (better than Zuckerberg at least) that we can have more than one identity we show the world.


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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.