For Instagram users with more than one account, life has just gotten a lot easier.
On Monday, Instagram released a new feature to allow switching between multiple accounts on its iOS and Android apps. Instagram users are now able to add and switch between five different accounts. Instagram had started testing account-switching for iOS users last week, according to TechCrunch. Back in November, Instagram tested this feature for Android users.
Instagram users who updated to version 7.15 of the app will find an “Add Account” option in the app’s settings. Once you add a second account, you’ll be able to switch to it quickly by selecting it from a new menu at the top of your profile page. Whenever you get a push notification, you’ll also be able to see from which Instagram account.
Before this update, people could not store multiple Instagram account logins at the same time. If you wanted to switch between accounts, you had to log out of the current account and log back in under the different credentials. It seemed that Instagram really wanted people to maintain only one Instagram identity, but as the photo-sharing app became more prevalent, the need for multiple accounts also grew. People who already had a personal Instagram account perhaps wanted to start another one for their small business, or they were tasked with maintaining an Instagram profile for their company or brand.
Why this matters: TechCrunch notes that Instagram was probably also influenced to create this feature by how younger people use the app. According to the New York Times, kids these days like to compartmentalize their social presence with multiple Instagram accounts. One is a “fake” private account, or a “finstagram,” where they share unflattering selfies, drunk pictures, and funny memes. Then they have a “real” public account, or a “rinstagram,” that they consider their official grownup profile in case their parents, teachers or employers look them up. By making it easier for these young users to switch between accounts, Instagram might increase how long they remain engaged in the app and boost ad revenue.
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Oscar writes about iOS, mobile culture and digital music. He also hosts 'The iPhone Show' from Macworld's San Francisco HQ.