A few months ago Instagram began trialling the new Creator Account. Until then, there had been two different types of Instagram account available - a personal account or a business profile. The business profile had been developed with businesses in mind and it includes certain statistics and analytics which business owners can find useful when running their account.
In a personal account, there is no access to analytics, so a lot of people using personal accounts - who don’t have a business and therefore haven’t converted their account to a business profile - have used third party apps to track their followers and other stats such as engagement rate.
For the influencers among us, the only way the success of their posts could be tracked, or other key posting stats such as the best time to post and follower rates could be found was by converting their account to a business profile… even if they weren’t running their own business.
As the Instagram community continues to grow, and Instagram continue to change up their algorithm on a regular basis, it seems like the app is working against influencers. Many influencers have complained about a drop in engagement recently and many have wondered whether to abandon the platform completely.
I mean, if Instagram doesn’t show their posts to their followers then why should they spend all their time and effort producing content for it to be ignored?
Who are they influencing if no-one sees it?!
But... Instagram seems to have listened.
Ashley Yuki, a product manager at Instagram said in an interview with the Hollywood Reporter that creators are ‘an important part of our community’ and ‘we want to make sure that Instagram is the best place, and the easiest place, to build fan communities and also build personal brands’.
Therefore a Creator Account has been launched to meet the needs of Influencers and other creators in the community.
How Is A Creator Account Different To A Business Profile?
As I mentioned earlier, business profiles were created with businesses in mind, giving business users a selection of analytics to help them with their content and their business.
The Creator Account is similar to the business profile but it has more detailed analytics and provides creators with more specialised tools to manage their accounts. So if you’re a influencer or creator then I would definitely recommend switching to a Creator Account.
There are 3 main features of the Creator Account:
Detailed Growth Insights
Flexible Profile Controls
Let’s look at each of those in more detail:
1) Detailed Growth Insights
A business profile provides insights into follower number, post reach, post engagement and follower demographics etc. but doesn’t go into much more detail than that.
The Creator Account provides more in-depth analytics on followers and unfollowers which allows the creator to see which content resonates with their audience and which doesn’t. A weekly and daily summary of changes in follower number also removes the need for third-party apps which creators have used in the past to track this information.
The more detailed insights are also readily available for influencers to provide to brands they are partnering with - not only for feed posts but also stories and IGTV too. So there’s no need to screenshot stories to demonstrate engagement rate when negotiating collaborations. Everything a brand could need is there in the Creator Account insights.
2) DM Filtering
Another feature exclusive to the Creator Account is the Direct Message filtering. An influencer’s inbox is regularly filled with messages from followers sending love, or asking questions, brands wanting to discuss collaborations, and friends and family keeping in touch. It’s therefore not surprising that messages can be missed or buried under the hundreds of DM’s flooding their inbox everyday.
This is where the filtering tool comes in. Creators can now rank their pending requests by relevance or time so they don’t get pushed to the bottom as new messages file in. There’s also the option to filter messages in the inbox into ‘Primary’ and ‘General’ so the creator can quickly find and reply to certain messages.
Whilst this all sounds great for the influencers, it can make it a little harder for brands to get in touch with the influencer - brands might find their messages have been ‘filtered out’ by this new tool, so connecting with the influencer by other means might be necessary.
But that brings us nicely on to the next feature...
3) Flexible Profile Controls
This feature gives creators a much greater power when it comes to being contacted, as they now have more control over how they’re their audience can get in touch.
Creators now have the option to quickly designate their preferred method of contact on their Creator Account which will make it easier to filter out spam and other cold messages.
So whilst the DM filtering might make it more difficult for brands to send a quick DM to the influencer, the new contact options make it easier by telling brands exactly how they should contact them in order to receive a response.
What Are The Benefits Of Switching For Influencers?
The main benefit is the more in-depth analytics which are provided with no extra work on the influencer’s behalf. There’s no longer a need for any third-party apps, everything an influencer should need is right there in the Insights tab of their Creator Account.
Influencers are provided with greater insight into which pieces of content are performing well and which aren’t, to allow them to tailor their content accordingly and make sure they are always sharing content that their followers love.
Also, when it comes to arranging brand partnerships, relevant insights are readily available to be shared with the brand, again without having to use any third party app, websites or even screenshotting Instagram stories.
Are There Any Disadvantages To Switching?
At the moment as the features are fairly new, there haven’t been many disadvantages aired. I switched my profile and all I can see is that I’ve gained valuable statistics and other features, nothing has been removed.
The only difference which may cause problems for certain users is that the new Creator Account is not connected to the API which means tools like Auto publish and the Analytics tool can’t be used right now. It’s not clear whether this will be changed in the future.
Can Anyone Switch To A Creator Account?
Currently Instagram is only rolling out the Creator Account to influencers who have reached a specific account standing, like with the swipe up feature you can use when reaching 10,000 followers.
However, Instagram has said that the Creator Account is slowly being rolled out as an option for all users on Instagram. Therefore all influencers and creators should have access to these brand new features, regardless of the size of their following.
How Do I Switch To A Creator Account?
As the Creator Account is rolled out, the option to convert a profile into a Creator Account should be available - at the moment, not everyone has the option to convert profiles. But once it’s made available, the switch is super easy.
It doesn’t matter whether you are currently using a personal account or a business profile on Instagram - both can be converted to a Creator Account. However, if you are using a personal account and have it set to private, switching to a Creator Account will make your account public - so if this isn’t something you want to do then a personal account is probably best for you.
For some users, when the feature becomes available, Instagram will let you know that you’re able to switch accounts and ask you if you want to do so. This is what happened with my account, so I will walk you through how I switched my account and then explain how to make the switch if Instagram doesn’t prompt you.
1. Click start now when the prompt appears on the screen
2. The features of a Creator Account will be shown on the screen - Click next.
3. Choose the category which best describes what you do. I chose ‘Blogger’. Click next.
4. Choose whether to display your category and contact info on your profile (this can also be changed at any time in settings). Click Done.
5. The account is then switched to a Creator Account. Instagram prompts you to view audience insights and check out the new tools which are available.
To switch profiles without a prompt…
Click the 3 lines in the top right of your profile and select ‘Settings’ at the bottom of the menu.
When the account menu opens, the options will differ depending on whether you currently have a business profile or a personal account. If you have a personal account, choose the option ‘Get more tools’ and if you have a business profile, choose ‘Switch to a Creator Account’.
Select the category which best describes what you do. Click next.
Connect your Facebook account if you haven’t already got it connected (it should be connected already if you are using a business profile). Or you can skip this step.
Review your contact information and choose whether you want to display this on your profile.
The account is then switched to a Creator Account!
Is There Anything Else We Can Expect From Instagram For Creators?
Instagram is currently trialling a new feature for creators which allows their followers to shop the items in their posts without leaving the app. Creators will be able to tag their items in the post and followers will be able to purchase those items using Instagram’s new in-app checkout feature.
This has not yet been rolled out to all creators so more details will follow.