Good day, Instagrammers! In lieu of our favorite image-sharing app still being explosively popular, Appamatix is here to talk shop; namely, we’re going to talk usernames and walk you through the process of creating a solid gold username
Today, we’re all about the feed. Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, Musical.ly, YouTube, Twitter…the list could keep going for quite a while, couldn’t it? We’d be in way over our heads in the digital era if we didn’t have some means of organizing the massive flow of information that’s constantly bombarding us every day, and for this reason, we can be incredibly thankful for how popular “the feed” has become. It’s thousand, even millions of ideas streamlined into a single-file line for our viewing pleasure.
Even amidst that organized scheme, it’s still easy to get lost. If you’ve ever felt your eyes glazing over and your attention wandering away while staring at Facebook, you know exactly what I mean.
How are we to make sense of it, then? Usernames are where it’s at, and they’re the guiding light by which we navigate the turbulent sea that is social media. No matter the platform, no matter who you are, the names are what we turn to when our minds demand organization. This is why it’s so immensely important to consider your username on any social media platform, whether you’re using it for casual interaction or brand-name promotion. Names are everything.
In the following guide, we’ll walk you through some of the thought processes that you can put into action when you’re drumming up a new Instagram username. We’ll break things down categorically, too, in order to help you consider just what you’ll be using that Instagram account for in the first place. You’d be surprised just how many people don’t take into consideration the multitude of ways that an Instagram account can both benefit them and be a damn blast to use. This is social media, after all. What use is usefulness if you’re not also having fun, right?
On many social media fronts, your username doesn’t end up mattering quite as much as people might stress. This is no fault of those social media platforms, so much as it’s because of the fact that you can also select a display name. When you can select a display name, you’ll be able to put up any name, any front, of any type that you like, regardless of your username.
That’s not how Instagram works. In Instagram, your username is you, and it’s the name that people will know you when they follow you, when they view your feed, and when they see you in the comments sections of Instagram posts. It will be everywhere that you are, and in that way, your username is the most representative element of your entire Instagram profile.
So, it goes without saying that it deserves a fair bit of thought before you pick one (even if you can change it when you like.)
In the following paragraphs, we’ll talk about two different areas of Instagram use that people consider when they’re making a profile: casual and promotional use. There’s often some overlap between the two, but it’s important to be able to see the merits, reasons, and best practices when choosing an username for each.
For Casual Use
Casual Instagram users are the very broad area that most people fit into, and therefore, they have the most leeway and freedom when choosing an username. Casual users are on Instagram for fun. They want to follow their friends, post content that other people will enjoy, and overall simply share their lives and experiences with the wider social media network.
When you’re picking an username for casual use, there aren’t many rules or advice that I can lay out, to dictate what you should do. “Anything under the sun,” is a fairly concise summary! Here are a few topics and ideas that you can float through your mind as you try to discover the right username:
- Your name
- Important words or phrases
- Clever monikers
- Favorite musicians or artists
- Significant days or events
That list could go on and on, but these are a few of the most frequently relevant topics that people follow when they’re picking an username. If you’re truly struggling, fill out each of the above criteria as if it were a questionnaire. What you can also do is look at some of the Instagram usernames that other people are using, and draw inspiration from the choices that they seem to have made. Actor Norman Reedus’ Instagram username is “bigbaldhead” for crying out loud! You have a lot of freedom in your choices, and if you’re ever unhappy, you can delve into your Instagram settings and change your username at any time.
If you’re going to promote yourself on Instagram, the username situation starts to take a slightly different shape. Think about some of your favorite personalities, for a moment. How often do you see them changing their names on social media? How often do their social media names differ from the actual names that they use when they’re working? How easy are they to find on Instagram? How easy is it to use their name to follow their online activity?
The answer to all of those, in most cases, all revolve around the fact that these people and/or groups carry a strong presence! These are good examples to follow, but what does it mean to “promote” yourself on Instagram?
- Do you offer a service, that you’re promoting through Instagram?
- Are you trying to generate a large number of followers?
- Are you cross-posting from other social media platforms?
- Do you own a business?
If these questions seem relevant to your reason for joining Instagram, then it’s pretty likely that you’re going to be a promoter, and the way that you go about choosing an username should be a little less loose, a little more guided. Not to worry! There’s a set of criteria to follow that will help to get your thoughts flowing, just the same.
- Your name
- A business name or title
- The service you provide
- A product
- The username that you have on other social media
You’ll notice that all of these are more static than the ideas we gave you when drumming up ideas for a more casual Instagram account. This is because your success in promoting yourself is entirely contingent upon the strength with which you present yourself–a universal truth for all types of social media. You can still have fun with it–after all, the vibes existent on most social media feeds are fairly relaxed, if also professional. But you should select an username that you’ll be happy with over the long term, rather than an idea that’s more fleeting. If you choose something that’s going to be boring to you after only a few days or weeks, then your followers are going to be thrown for a loop when you change it.
Instagram Name Generator
Of course, not everyone wants to be so dependent upon their own imagination. You don’t have to come up with your username on your own, and there’s nothing wrong with turning to an Instagram name generator to help you out.
SpinXO has a fantastic little Instagram username generator that takes keywords given by you and uses them to build a list of possible usernames. It’s not foolproof–it’s definitely possible that some of the results it gives you might already be taken by other Instagram users, but if you input unique criteria, there’s a good chance that you’ll come up with something that sticks.
When you use the name generator, you’re asked to provide a name or nickname, a word or two describing your personality, your hobbies and interests, and/or significant numbers. The SpinXO name generator will take those words, find other words that are tangentially related, and pull together a rather sizeable list of possible usernames for you to use on Instagram. You can use the name generator as many times as you want to without consequence, too, so if you don’t get what you want on the first try, change up some of the criteria you’ve filled in to generate different results.
Regardless of your reason for joining Instagram in the first place, the username that you choose is going to be significant. Even if you’re just hopping on for casual picture-posting and commenting on your friends’ posts, the name that you pick is still going to be how people see and follow you. Hopefully, some of the criteria and advice that we’ve provided above will help you to get the creative juices flowing, and if you choose to use a name generator instead, then we’ve linked you one of the best that you’ll find online!
For even more of the best Instagram usernames and name ideas, check out some of the other occasions in which Appamatix has covered the topic. We’re all about social media and accessibility, so we’d love to hear some of your feedback in the comments below (just as much as we’d love for you to share this article on Facebook and Twitter!)