Teenagers have secret Instagram accounts called Finstas that they only share with their closest friends
On stage at Business Insider's Ignition conference on Tuesday afternoon, a panel of teenagers explained which apps and digital trends they think are cool today.
One thing the teen panel talked about was the emergence of "Finstas."
For the uneducated, a "Finsta" is a portmanteau of the words "fake" and "Instagram."
"You'll have a regular Instagram, and you'll have hundreds of followers there, and on your Finsta you'll have a fake username and it'll just be your best friends, the people you're friends with, and you post funny or embarrassing pictures," one teen on the panel said.
On your normal Instagram account, you might have 500 followers. You'll post carefully filtered and manicured pictures of you and your friends, or something pretty that you ate that day, or a sunset. The goal of your main Instagram account is to present a polished version of your life and to rack up as many likes as you can.
But a Finstagram is just for your close friends. You use it to post unfiltered selfies and funny pictures. Likes aren't that important; a Finstagram account is a cross between Snapchat, where it's almost expected that you'll send ugly selfies to your friends, and an Instagram account.
"It's not that I necessarily like [Finsta]," a teen named Dylan said at the teens panel at Business Insider's Ignition conference. "It's just that it's required when you're on instagram. You put stuff up on instagram you want people to see and your finsta is just for photos that your close friends enjoy."
Teenagers who talk about their Finsta accounts acknowledge the fact that they have two digital selves. "What we put to our close friends is so different than what we show the entire world," one said. "You have an ugly one for just your friends and family, and a pretty one for everyone to see on Facebook."
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