First there was the Instagram profile, and then came the one-size-fits-all Business Profile. Now the Creator Profile has been added to the mix. This begs the question, who should have which profile?
While there’s no denying that influencers are some of the most prominent players on Instagram, they’ve been stuck in a mysterious grey area between being considered a business and a typical Instagram user. Many influencers and other celebrity personas opt for business profiles to gain access to follower insights, call-to-action buttons on their profile, and other exclusive tools that aren’t available to regular users. Although business accounts provide beneficial tools to influencers, they have been an umbrella solution for everything under the sun, from micro-influencers to celebrities, and conglomerates. So, it was due time that Instagram launched an alternative with influencers and content creators in mind.
Instagram first launched the Creator Profile option as a test at the end of 2018, and now any user can elect to have a creator account. You heard that right—it’s not exclusive to users with a certain number of followers, or who have been blessed with the sacred blue checkmark. The launch of creator profiles was primarily aimed at users who have been using a business account, but don’t operate under a traditional business model. Think: influencers, celebrities, politicians, authors, or any household name. Many of these users have larger audiences than companies, and often leverage Instagram to build personal brands and to earn a little extra dough. This makes access to analytics to understand follower growth and trends on their account important to finding success on the ‘Gram.
Since brands have been leveraging Instagram as a revenue generating channel with the opportunity for a link in bio, shoppable links, and paid partnership tools, Instagram is acknowledging that there is another category of users who require a unique set of tools to get the most out of the visual channel.
Creator profiles equip users with a set of tools to “control your online presence, understand your growth and manage your messages.” The three key features that come with a creator account include a streamlined inbox, growth insights, and alternative options for displaying contact information and category labels. Ashley Yuki, a product manager at Instagram, says that creators are "an important part of our community." She adds, "we want to make sure that Instagram is the best place, and the easiest place to build fan communities and also build [creators'] personal brands."
The introduction of creator profiles ultimately gives users with a side hustle or who have earned a name for themselves, the chance to have an Instagram account with the best of both worlds. Users don’t have to sacrifice the analytics of a business account for the privacy and personal benefits of a regular account.
Let’s get down to business: how does a creator profile differ from a business profile? Instagram refers to the two types of accounts as "Professional" accounts, and the differences between the two options are not significant, but the nature of the creator profile is designed for an individual user, whether it be an actor, athlete, or designer for example, while the business profile is aimed for accounts that represent companies that are selling products or services.
The social media landscape never stops evolving. The introduction of creator profiles is evidence that Instagram sees how the space is changing, and is addressing the features that are needed to make the social world a better place. The birth of influencers has pushed us all to reconsider what it means to be classified as a “business," and the launch of creator accounts appears to be Instagram’s answer to the nontraditional business category of influencers. The creator profile provides a clearer path for influencers to leverage all that Instagram has to offer, while differentiating individuals from business entities.