Teens may also use finstas as a way of boosting their real Instagram accounts, for example using them to likes posts or add flattering comments as is seen with You Tube activity.

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The rise of the finstas (sometimes referred to as “privates” by teens) began in 2017 when for the first time, Instagram allowed users to create and switch between multiple accounts.

Unlike other social media platforms such as Facebook, which states “it’s against Facebook Community Standards to maintain more than one personal account”, Instagram has embraced multiple accounts.

The idea is that the accounts cannot be traced back to them.

Adults may be inclined to assume that finstas are created by teens to hide scandalous and/or overtly sexual behaviour. Growing up in the social media era, members of this age group are acutely aware of the pressures on them to create and maintain the picture-perfect online profile.

The friends that teens select for each of their finsta accounts depends on the type of content they want to post on there.

There are at least three reasons why teens create finsta accounts: Teens commonly create finstas as a space to show their silly or more vulnerable side with close friends, without being judged by others.It also allows teens to get more perspective on what their friends are doing, especially after combining the information from their “official” accounts and their more authentic finstas.On the flipside, however, these accounts usually engage with a closed circle of friends, so inappropriate content – such as sexual or highly intimate remarks and posts – can (and does) get posted.They can move away from posting perfect photos, and garnering high likes and quick compliments, to a focus on presenting themselves and their ideas in a less edited and more authentic way.Their use of these accounts can potentially give teens more control over their digital identity, protecting themselves from users viewing and possibly misinterpreting their posts.Semi-anonymous and closed-platform posts also bring the potential for bullying, sexting, revenge posting, illegal activity and amplified drama that can easily spill over from finsta into other social media accounts and real life.