Finstagrams and the Reality Behind Them

Fake + Instagram = Finstagram

Yes, it’s that simple. A relatively new phenomenon in the ever-evolving world of social media, Finstagrams are used by users to share content that doesn’t typically fit with regular, or “real” Instagram accounts. Largely private accounts that are popular with teenagers and other Gen Z’ers, Finstagrams usually showcase funny, embarrassing content centered around the user’s daily life. Follower count of these “fake” Instagram accounts are in the low numbers, as they are largely private and only followed by the user’s close friends. Nowadays, Finstagrams are almost as popular as regular Instagrams (or, Rinstagrams if we’re following that nomenclature) – at least, among today’s teenagers.

A Chance to be Real

With the fine-line distinction between real and fake Instagram accounts, it’s no wonder we’re trying to figure out what the reality is behind it all. An oxymoron in itself, Finstagrams offer users a chance to actually be real – there’s no filtering, no FaceTuning, no stress. Simply put, some young adults are creating Finstagrams to present more authentic versions of themselves than their highly curated, edited, and scrutinized Instagrams. One user put it as such: “Finsta gets rid of the stressful element of Instagram, but in a familiar environment.”

So what’s the big deal?

Social media has always been full of trends that have come and gone throughout the years, so why do we care about this one? Will it stick? Though the latter is more difficult to predict, it is clear that the phenomenon of Finstagrams is teaching us a whole lot about the importance of voice and authenticity in the sometimes unbelievable, heavily fabricated world of social media.

Teens and other Finstagram users are seemingly craving a space and a platform through which they can share an authentic, unfiltered version of themselves – in other words, a believable representation of what is essentially human in the very inhuman world of digital media. Finstagram accounts almost serve as a way for users to shrink their digital world, as evident by the private nature of the accounts and the low follower counts they possess. It’s an act of rebellion, really, a way for users to carve their own voices and paths in the oversaturated market of perfectly edited photographs and selfies.

Should marketers take note?

With the introduction of any new social media trend, there are hundreds and thousands of marketers trying to figure out if and how they might use the trend to market to their respective target audiences. What about Finstagrams? What should marketers take into account given this fascinating digital trend? The most crucial takeaway from all of this is the importance of voice in today’s social media world. Brands should take a hint from the honest, forthcoming, and authentic presentation users are putting out there via Finstagrams – brands should be hinting at their true selves.

By communicating an authentic, original brand identity and personality through published content and interactions within the community, brands can hop on the trends of authenticity and personality that are put forth by the phenomenon of Finstagrams today. In fact, a number of well-known brands are already putting this into practice. Brands such as Dennys, Wendy’s, and Charmin engage in unique, engaging dialogue in the social space that forms a distinctive – and key: authentic – brand personality. If you don’t believe me, check out the history of the Wendy’s Twitter account for a prime example of how brands can use social media in a playful, honest way to create a following, foster a dialogue, and engage in relevant digital trends.

The Big Takeaway

Yes, engaging with followers in a unique and authentic way is one way to utilize the changing digital landscape to your brand’s advantage. But if all you’re doing is roasting other Twitter accounts for the sake of building a funny or entertaining brand personality, you’re missing the big insight. Both the phenomenon of Finstagrams and its resultant trends of authenticity and personality point to how important it is to speak to your audience with the right tone of voice. Cater that voice to your audience through your brand’s social media presence, and the engagement, success, and following will come.  Developing a voice and sticking to it makes your brand more human – and after all, what’s more real than that?

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