If you ask anyone under the age of 21 where they post most frequently on Instagram, chances are they’ll tell you it’s to their finsta.
Finsta stands for “fake instagram.” It’s a separate, locked account with a nonsensical name that teens use to share everything from bad selfies, emotional rants, funny memes, screenshots of texts, homework help and more to a small, select group of friends.
Unlike a teen’s “real instagram” or “rinsta,” where their image is carefully curated for public consumption, finsta is intimate and messy and, according to every teen we spoke to, way more authentic than their main profile.
The good, the bad and the ugly
Esther Choi, a 17-year-old in Suwanee, Georgia, says that she only posts “the best parts and the big, good parts of my life,” on her rinsta. “It’s not the full picture.”
Finsta is where she gets real.
“On my finsta, it’s the good, the bad and the ugly. It’s a more multifaceted version of me,” she says.
For instance, Choi says that when she goes to a concert she’ll generally post a single photo of the show to her rinsta, but finsta is where she posts screenshots of the song lyrics with deep analysis of what they mean to her in the caption.
“It’s almost like, if you’re a political candidate, your rinsta would be your platform page, where you post the best version of yourself,” she said. “But your finsta would be your secret real account where you let your closest friends and family follow.”
“You’re the same person on both, just one is way more personal than the other,” she said.
Read more at Mic.