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Elizabeth Renstrom for TIME

Instagram’s Newest Feature Is a Bigger Deal Than It Seems

Feb 09, 2016

Instagram announced Monday that it’s finally adding a much-desired feature: The ability to switch between multiple accounts without having to log out.

The photo-sharing app's new functionality is an obvious boon for the social media managers of the world. But it’s likely to see adoption from Instagram’s everyday users as well, as there's a growing contingent of people actively living double lives on the platform.

For some of Instagram’s youngest users, maintaining the carefully edited, jealousy-inducing persona that a successful Instagram account requires—every post showing you living your best possible life—has become tiring. So they have taken to creating fake Instagrams, or “finstagrams,” which are private accounts not tied to their real names. You only share your finstagram account with your closest friends, so you have the freedom to share pictures that are not agonizingly framed to get the maximum number of likes.

“You post things you wouldn’t want people other than your friends to see, like unattractive pictures, random stories about your day and drunk pictures from parties,” Amy Wesson, an 18-year-old Trinity College student, told The New York Times last fall. The spontaneity and freedom of a finstagram is similar to the vibe of Facebook in its early days, before the parents invaded, or Snapchat, whose disappearing photos encourage a certain level of visual honesty.

Stacy Kranitz Is TIME's Instagram Photographer of 2015

Butterfly in Dani's hair, Whitesville, WV
VIEW GALLERY | 37 PHOTOS
Butterfly in Dani's hair just before I saw my first rattlesnake. Whitesville, WV@stacykranitz
Butterfly in Dani's hair, Whitesville, WV
We are both feeling lost with all this rain, Logan, West Virginia
@l.haymes backflip. I've stolen @littlebigmangallery muse, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Sometimes we trap ourselves, Pikeville, Kentucky
Morning fog, Lost Hills/Paso Robles
Grand Canyon National Park
Dupont Belle West Virginia
Capturing spider webs onto paper, Hambidge
Rain on the Mountain, Great Smoky Mountains National Park
Rutland, Ohio
Stuff, City of Maryville, Tennessee
Cherokee, North Carolina
Colby and I found this picture on the ground at Skatopia
Instead of sleeping in my car, I get to stay at the Hatfield and McCoy Bed and Breakfast in Williamson, West Virginia
Carvers Gap, Roan Mountain Road, Parking Lot
West Columbia, WV
X ray of Black Lung
American Legion, Logan, West Virgina
Logan, West Virginia
Burn out apocalypse, Boone County, WV
Hi, West Columbia, West Virginia
The Ohio, Country Corner Cafe
Because I love you, 7-Eleven
South Bluefield, West Virginia
Logan, West Virginia
Sometimes I come to Pine Mountain
Santa Rosa, NM - Grandma Tita's House
I want one of these babies, Matewan WV
Opening night of the football season for the Miners at Mingo Central High School
Morning Swim, Bell's Cove
The Bear Zoo makes me sad, Cherokee, North Carolina
Charlie is drinking a beer called Natty Daddy, East Beckley, West Virginia
West Columbia, West Virginia
Castro Ville
Hook rug horse training day, Hambidge
Put the cured Queen Anne's lace from the press in a pile, Hambidge
Boone County, WV
Butterfly in Dani's hair just before I saw my first rattlesnake. Whitesville, WV
@stacykranitz
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Is this a change that will massively increase Instagram’s user base? Probably not. But it’s likely to keep teens more satisfied with the platform and less likely to grow restless and move on to the next hot social app. Now they'll have the best of both worlds: a place to show off and a place to communicate intimately with friends.

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