The Instagram Creator Account feature is being rolled out as an option for all users. Access is not yet universal, but it appears to be available to users with over 10,000 followers who have their accounts linked to a Facebook business page.
According to Instagram, the Creator Account includes “features that make it easier to control your online presence, understand your growth and manage your messages.” Instagram Creator profiles are similar to Instagram Business Accounts, but they have a custom inbox, expanded growth insights, and contact information and new category labels that can be toggled on or off. The Creator Account is designed for influencers to help track follower growth and engagement over time.
This isn’t the only big change you might be seeing from Instagram and Facebook. They have also begun rolling out Creator Studio for both Facebook and Instagram – a change that is related to the work they are doing around Instagram Business and Creator Accounts. Like most things, Facebook and Instagram introduce, Creator Studio is rolling out slowly. It might not be available for your account yet, but keep checking because we think this is a new feature that is here to stay.
Today we are going to walk through the pros and cons of making the switch to an Instagram Creator Account. We also review what you can do with Creator Studio (and why we think it’s an important step towards some of Facebook’s larger goals). And finally, we discuss our big prediction for Creator Accounts that will make them an important part of influencer marketing strategies in the future.
How To Get An Instagram Creator Account
It’s easy to switch your account over to a Creator Account if it’s available.
Go to your Instagram profile and tap on the three-line button in the top-right corner. Then tap the Settings gear icon at the bottom of the screen.
From the Settings menu, select the Account option and then tap on the Switch to Creator Account option.
The setup process will take you through a few options screens. This is where you will select a category, and turn your contact options on or off.
That’s all you need to do - you now have an Instagram Creator Account! You’ll start seeing new insights and direct message features on your account immediately.
Feature: New Insights
Historically influencers have had to use third-party data tools to access data on both the increase and decline of followers. And Instagram Business profiles can only see their growth from week to week.
But with a Creator Account, you are able to see daily growth and loss stats.
This new growth graph can give you more insight into why your audience has shifted. By selecting a day on the Growth graph and tapping See Posts above the graph, you’ll see all of the stories and feed posts you shared on that day. You can then determine if the less popular posts in your feed led to lower engagement or both lower engagement and loss of followers.
Over time, it will be possible to find trends in this information that can give you a better understanding of how your content is performing overall. If, for instance, you see a follower increase every time you are using a specific hashtag, you will be able to incorporate it into your strategy more frequently.
Feature: Desktop Analytics
In addition to the new analytics available for your profile in the app, you can now access your analytics on your computer using Creator Studio. As we noted above, Creator Studio is actually available for both Business and Creator Accounts, so this isn’t within itself a reason to switch over to a Creator Account if you are on the fence.
Instagram Creator Studio - What You Need To Know for Desktop Analytics
Creator Studio is essentially a desktop dashboard management tool that allows you to view all of your Instagram (and Facebook) content and insights. The information isn’t any different from what you see in the Instagram app Insights, but it does allow you to access everything on the desktop without having to use a third-party tool.
When you open Creator Studio on desktop, you can connect your Facebook profile, associated Facebook pages, and your Instagram account. Creator Studio defaults to your Facebook pages when you first log in, but you can click the Instagram icon at the top of the page to connect and view your Instagram information.
Within the Instagram Creator Studio content library, you can see all of your posts and filter by date or type (video, photo, carousel, stories). You can also look for a post by keyword.
At this time, you can not post on Instagram or manage messages from the Creator Studio the way you can with your Facebook page, but that may change in the future. In fact, we think the move towards Creator Studio is part of Mark Zuckerberg’s larger plan to integrate the social network’s messaging services — WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook Messenger — so that people can communicate across platforms within the company’s ecosystem.
Instagram Creator Account Feature: Filtered Inbox
In Instagram’s mind, a personal account is only receiving personal messages, and a business account is only receiving business messages. But influencers receive both types of messages - personal from followers, and business from brands. This is less than ideal and can lead to a disorganized inbox.
Both personal and business Instagram accounts have a single inbox. (There is also a requests tab for potentially spam-related messages to land until they are approved or rejected.) But with an Instagram Creator account, your inbox is broken up into three sections – primary, general, and requests. This will allow you to organize your business and personal conversations.
When you first switch your account over to a Creator Account, all of your existing messages will be placed in the primary inbox, but they can be moved.
It’s up to you which messages you want to live in general and which ones are primary. Messages can be moved back and forth as needed. You can also set your notifications for each inbox separately. You can decide if you want to get a push notification for every message, or only the messages in a specific inbox.
Instagram Creator Account Feature: Shopability
Shopability is the Creator Account feature we are the most excited about. It is a feature that both influencers and brands have been wanting for a long time. Influencers will be able to tag products in their posts to make it easy for their followers to shop within the app.
There is a catch to this feature, though. It isn’t available to all Creator Accounts at this time. Instagram is currently testing it with a select group before they roll it out to more accounts. There is also a catch on the brand side; businesses must be part of the checkout feature which is currently in a closed beta test in order for influencers to tag their products.
As the program expands, we expect more influencers to receive access to the shopability feature. This will be an advantage to both influencers and brands for driving more sales.
Instagram Creator Accounts: The Cons
So far, we’ve talked a lot about the pros of switching over to an Instagram Creator Account. While these new features sound great, we do have a word of caution for influencers who plan to work with brands: be sure you’re ready to make the switch.
Early adopters know there’s always the chance of running into a bug or feature that’s no longer supported. In the case of Creator Accounts, there are a few known points that we’re currently aware of:
- Right now, Creator Accounts — unlike Business Accounts — have no API connection for third-party tools. This means you won’t be able to use scheduling tools, analytics tools, and any apps that require a business profile.
- The new inbox filtering options may make it more challenging for brands to reach influencers directly for collaboration. Email inboxes can lose important conversations by aggressive spam filtering.
- The action buttons (Start Order, Book, and Reserve) are only available to business profiles. Influencers who make use of these buttons should hold off on switching because Creator Accounts don’t support this feature.
Don’t get us wrong, we’re very excited about these changes from Instagram. However, while Creator Accounts are still new, and most influencers are making the most of Business Accounts, our advice is to wait to switch until there’s truly a compelling reason to do so – like shopability becoming available for your Instagram account.