Instagram Testing Flipside Feature to Address Privacy Concerns and Combat ‘Finstas’

Instagram Testing Flipside Feature to Address Privacy Concerns and Combat ‘Finstas’ | CIO Women Magazine

In a bid to address the growing concern over privacy on its platform, Meta-owned Instagram is currently testing a new feature called “Flipside.” This move comes as the company aims to tackle the issue of ‘finstas,’ or fake Instagram accounts, while offering users a more private avenue to share content exclusively with their close friends and family.

Instagram Head, Adam Mosseri, acknowledged the testing of Flipside in response to inquiries about the possibility of integrating it into Threads. Mosseri expressed uncertainty about launching the feature on Instagram, stating, “On one hand, it feels good to create a clear space that feels more private. On the other, it’s yet another way to reach a smaller audience on top of secondary accounts and Close Friends. We’ll see how people respond in the test, and iterate forward.”

Despite Mosseri’s reservations, a Meta Executive confirmed to TechCrunch that the company is actively experimenting with this new feature. A spokesperson from Meta emphasized the company’s commitment to enhancing user experiences, stating, “We’re always working on new ways to help people connect with friends on Instagram…We heard people want more options for sharing in private spaces, so are excited to start testing a new feature where you can create a custom profile, including a custom name, bio and photo and share exclusive content with a smaller group of followers.”

Unveiling the Flipside Feature

The existence of Flipside first came to light when reverse engineer Alessandro Paluzzi shared screenshots in December, revealing the feature in development. Instagram may position Flipside as “a new space just for you and your friends,” with exclusive access granted only to chosen individuals. Users will have the ability to create a custom profile, complete with a unique name, bio, and photo, and share content that is visible solely to the selected group.

Social media consultant Matt Navara recently spotted the Flipside feature on Instagram and shared a video demonstrating its functionality. According to the video, Flipside acts as an alternative profile for users, enabling them to share reels or posts exclusively with a specific audience.

Addressing the ‘Finsta’ Phenomenon

The development of Flipside appears to be a response to the prevalent issue of ‘finstas.’ These fake Instagram accounts, often created by individuals and celebrities, have raised concerns about privacy and authenticity on the platform. The term ‘finstas’ gained prominence in 2021 when Senator Richard Blumenthal questioned a Meta executive during a congressional hearing on whether the company would commit to ending the creation of fake accounts.

In unveiling Flipside, Instagram aims to provide users with a more controlled and private space, potentially mitigating the concerns surrounding ‘finstas’ and enhancing the overall user experience. The company is keen on gauging user response during the testing phase, with a commitment to refining the feature based on feedback. As Instagram continues to evolve, Flipside may emerge as a crucial tool in addressing privacy issues and reshaping the dynamics of content sharing on the platform.

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