Instagram confirmed that it has been testing a feature to allow switching between multiple accounts on its iOS app, according to TechCrunch. Instagram users first noticed this account-switching feature on Thursday. Back in November, Instagram tested this feature for Android users, but the company did not reveal how many iOS users were able to switch accounts or when account-switching would be made official to all users.
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 from which Instagram account.
Right now, you can’t store more than one Instagram account login at the same time. If you want to switch between accounts, you have to log out of the current account and log back in under the different credentials. It seems 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 switch between accounts, Instagram might increase how long they remain engaged in the app, and thus boost ad revenue.