Instagram Testing Creator Accounts With Direct Message Filters, Growth Insights (Exclusive)

Instagram logo on August 3, 2016 - Getty -H 2018
Carl Court/Getty Images

A small group of high-profile Instagram users are testing the new "creator account" profiles, which offer tools tailored to influencers.

Instagram is testing new creator-specific accounts that will give the app's high-profile individuals specialized tools. 

The "creator account" designation, much like the business-focused profiles that Instagram introduced in 2016, is meant for the traditional talent, digital influencers and artists who proliferate on the platform.

Creator-specific tools that will be part of the new accounts include growth insights such as data around follows and unfollows; direct messaging tools that allow users to filter notes from, for example, brand partners and friends; and flexible labels that allow users to designate how they want to be contacted. The new features are being tested with a small beta group before they roll out to the wider community next year.

Ashley Yuki, an Instagram product manager who oversees media solutions and IGTV among other products, notes that creators are "an important part of our community." She continues, "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." 

Until the introduction of these creator accounts, these artists and other high-profile individuals didn't have a customized Instagram experience. Yuki says that some creators chose to designate themselves as businesses but that the feature wasn't tailored for them. The idea, Yuki explains, was to "create this space where we can now start to specialize the experience for the needs of creators." This first set of tools is just the first step in a broader vision to support creators, she adds. 

The new growth insights will give creators weekly and daily data around how their follower count has changed. The feature, which works across the feed, Stories and IGTV, will also show creators what content they created so that they can understand what may have led to a spike in new followers or a decline in that fan base. Meanwhile, the direct messaging tools will allow creators to filter their messages by read, unread and flagged messages. They will also be able to rank their pending requests by relevance or time to make sure they don't miss important requests. Finally, the flexible contact and category labels will, for example, allow creators to remove the ability to click to call or email.  

Facebook-owned Instagram, which is run by Adam Mosseri, reached 1 billion users in June.