It feels like every time we master an Instagram feature, they release a new one. Got the hang of stories? Well, now learn IGTV! Doing well with IGTV? Too bad, time to figure out Reels.
The different types of accounts on Instagram — Personal, Business, and Creator — aren’t new. But as Instagram continues to roll out new features, there is still some confusion among small businesses if a Business or Creator account makes the most sense.
So we’re breaking down the differences between the two to help you feel confident in your account type, whatever that may be.
What is an Instagram Business Account?
It might surprise you to know that Instagram was around for four whole years before they got around to creating Business tools. These have evolved over time, but here’s what they include now.
Business Account Features
Access Instagram Insights
View account analytics, including your weekly, follow, and unfollow count. Also view info about your specific posts, like impressions and post reach. See what is performing well and what isn’t.
You’ll also be able to view demographic data, including age, location, and when your followers are active online.
A Business account includes several ways to promote your content. You can quickly promote a post as an ad, similar to “boosting” a post on Facebook. You can also run Instagram ads using Facebook’s robust targeting tools.
Access Instagram Creator Studio
The Facebook/Instagram Creator Studio is a desktop program with in-depth analytics and performance of your posts. It also lets you schedule your content from your computer instead of your phone, which can be easier to use.
Business accounts with over 10,000 followers offer the option to include a link in their Instagram stories, using the “Swipe Up” feature.
A Business account lets you add a Contact Button that can link to a phone number, email address, or directions to a physical store.
If you’re interested in selling products through Instagram, the Business account lets you tag products within posts, sending people who click on them directly to your Instagram shop. That means you can convert browsers to buyers, from within the app.
If you frequently get the same questions, you can create “quick replies” to save time in your answers.
Most business accounts don’t have the Music sticker for Instagram stories, nor do they have the music option on Reels. This has to do with copyright restrictions — artists don’t want their music used to promote products that they don’t endorse.
What is an Instagram Creator Account?
When they were first released, Instagram Business Accounts seemed pretty straightforward — they were accounts for companies. But as the “Great Influencer Boom” of the 2010s progressed, and people wanted to monetize their personal accounts, it became clear users needed another type of account.
So Instagram released the Creator account in 2019 to meet the needs of this group. But over the past year, the Business and Creator accounts have grown in similarity as features that were originally unique to one account were expanded to both.
The Instagram Creator Studio, for example, was originally only available to Creator accounts. But it’s since been released for Business accounts as well.
Creator Account Features
What the Creator account has in common with the Business account
- Analytics and Insights
- Access to Instagram Creator Studio on desktop
- Promotional tools for ads
- Add links to stories (for accounts with over 10,000 followers)
- Contact button
- Shoppable posts
- Quick replies
Unique to the Creator Account
While a Business account shows your follow and unfollow metrics on a weekly basis, the Creator account shows this data on a daily basis. This can make it easier to view the performance of your content and may help Creators to tailor their content to their audience more effectively.
Creator accounts also come with more descriptive categories for your account, like blogger, artist, or coach.
There have been reports that IG’s Creator account doesn’t let you connect to third-party apps like Later, Buffer, or Hootsuite for scheduling. So if you rely on those platforms, you may want to stick with the Business account.
The Creator account also has fewer Call to Action button options.
So which should you choose?
When the Creator account was first released, it included more features that the Business account lacked, like access to the Instagram Creator Studio. But now, as more features have crossed into both account types, the similarities between the two are much greater than the differences.
A major difference used to be that Creator accounts couldn’t create their own Instagram Shops, and were limited to promoting the products of brand collaborators. But that changed in June 2020, when Instagram announced that eligible Creator accounts could now sign up for Instagram Shopping.
If your brand has a young audience, the music limitations for Reels and Stories could be a big problem with a Business account. But if you don’t mind limited music access, a Business account probably has all the features you’re looking for!