Urban’s social media subculture: Finstas

Jack Gallo, Staff Writer

Finsta: its short for fake-Instagram. According to Instagram’s official website, the photo-based social media app consists of over 400 million users sharing more than 80 million photos a day. Popular among teens and young adults, certain privacy settings allow for users to post photos more confidentially, giving them control over who can view their photos.

The trend of Finstas consists of setting up an alternative, private account accessible only to one’s closest friends. Through these accounts, some users find themselves liberated from any social pressure to post a high quality photo or the stress of receiving a certain numbers of likes. “I care about getting likes on my other Instagram but on this Instagram, I don’t really care,” said Eleanor James (‘16).

Phoebe Yusim (‘16) said, “I created an account where I could post more of my updates for just my closest friends.” Yusim went on to say, “my normal Instagram has become more a work of art and less of myself.”

Sam Johnson (‘16) said, “I just take a bunch of funny photos that I want my friends to see.”

While having an alternative account can be a fun and easy way to connect with friends, it can also be a place to post incriminating photos of oneself or of others. Urban Dictionary, a user generated slang website, states that users of Finstas “often post (pictures) of (themselves) partaking in illegal activities.” This use of a private account stands in stark contrast to the more common use among Urban students of sharing goofy or embarrassing photos.

The private account is used for photos that users do not feel comfortable sharing otherwise, ranging from embarrassing selfies to self-incriminating evidence. Whether it’s escaping the judgement of hundreds of followers or simply sharing funny photos with one’s closest friends, the trend of a Finstagram offers exclusive privacy on social media, a feature that is rarely found.