Emily Baines
February 06, 2016 6:31 am
Instagram

You guys, I have been thinking about giving my cat her own Instagram account for years. Her lack of online presence has nothing to do with my laziness, or her shyness. No, what’s stopped me in the past is how annoying it’s been in the past to switch between Instagram accounts. It’s a real pain, the signing in, then signing out. Well, it looks like my kitty’s time to shine is on the horizon: Instagram has confirmed that it is indeed running a test involving multiple account switching for iOS. Yes! I’m already researching cat outfits.

This news follows reports this past Thursday from users who claimed they saw the feature go live in their app. The company would not speak to its further plans regarding a public rollout, but this is really, really promising news.

Last November, Instagram tested the feature on Android with members of its Instagram beta test group. This latest news hints that Instagram is preparing to make account switching an actual honest-to-goodness feature. A feature that’s available to all of us. I seriously couldn’t be more excited.

Instagram users who have this new account-switching feature enabled will find a “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 which Instagram account necessitated the alert.

For the casual Instagram users, the ability to switch between multiple accounts may seem inconsequential. You’d be wrong, but don’t worry– I don’t blame you for thinking that. What you may not realize is that the majority of Instagram’s teenage and 20-something users (aka, us millennials) commonly create multiple accounts. They even have their own slang for this: “finstagram,” or “finsta” for short, stands for “fake Instagram account.” Ironically, the “finsta” account displays a less polished and, yet, more real version of their lives . Finstas are private, with access only given to a select group of friends. Meanwhile, an Instagram user’s “rinsta” account is the one they show to the world, where photos are carefully selected and edited to present a certain image.

Of course, Instagram isn’t adding the multiple account switching feature just to make me (and my feline friend) happy. This decision will likely increase millennials’ engagement with the Instagram app itself. And with the possibility of increased session times, Instagram has a chance to better monetize its user base.

None the less, this is a company’s monetary decision I can get on board with. After all, Instagram is listening to their users. Now I might not just create an account for my cat. Maybe I’ll experiment with giving my alter-ego one, too. She’s a super-hero librarian, like Clark Kent, but a bibliophile.

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