The Creator Studio in Facebook has been quietly launched for over a year now and Instagram recently introduced Creator profiles aimed at influencers, bloggers and other significantly sized ‘non-business’ profiles. It’s clear that the Facebook group as a whole is diversifying and fine-tuning their offering for their high value, high spend users. According to Instagram product manager, Ashley Yuki, “[Creators are] an important part of our community… We want to make sure that Instagram is the best place, and the easiest place to build fan communities and also build [creators’] personal brands.”
So what does all this mean for those of us just wanting to grow and connect with our audience via Facebook and Instagram?
Let me break it down for you.
Instagram Creator Profiles vs. Instagram Business Profiles:
Should You Convert?
So what’s the difference between the Creator Studio and. the Creator Profile?
This is where things get a little confusing. These are two completely separate offerings from Facebook and each is designed with an emphasis on either Facebook or Instagram.
The Creator Studio is available for anyone to use, no special criteria necessary. It is designed for primarily for video content producers making it easy for them to upload and store, manage and use the Rights Manager to detect any images and video content that you’ve uploaded being used elsewhere so you can protect the copyright on your content. It also provides analytics and performance insights for both Instagram and Facebook. Users can schedule all post types to Facebook as well — video, images, links and simple status posts. In addition, they can schedule to Instagram now, too!
The user interface is very clean and simple and, quite frankly, easier to navigate than the in-platform business insights currently on offer within Facebook.
Overall it is a great spot to monitor your Instagram and Facebook performance for a particular brand from one spot.
Creator profiles are currently more of an unknown at the moment due to their limited accessibility: they are available for Instagram profiles only and only for select users. Given their current beta status, these profiles and the insights and features available to them are only known due to leaks from users who have been granted the coveted advanced access.
Read on for a deep dive into what we know about these and how they stack up compared to a Business profile!
Firstly, what on earth is a Creator profile and where did it come from?!
The most important thing to note is that Creator profiles are available for Instagram only at this stage.
From what we know so far, they stemmed from Instagram recognizing a need for a specifically designed account for influencers that previously classified themselves as businesses. Instagram has openly admitted that Business accounts are not appropriate for influencers and were not designed with them in mind. These users have slightly different needs to regular businesses across many areas: audience engagement, analytics, posting, and paid promotions especially, given the scale at which they operate.
Creator profiles are also categorized in a different way to regular business profiles. Regular Instagram Business profiles are categorized based on the business type category selected on the connected Facebook page. In contrast, Creator profiles will be categorized independently of their connected Facebook page with users able to manually select the profile type from a new list. This list includes categories like Author, Blogger and other titles not necessarily relating to or available to traditional business profiles. Instagram Creator profiles can also choose to display their profile “type” information in their Instagram profile instead of it being automatically included as it is now for regular Instagram Business profiles.
Who will have access to Instagram Creator profiles?
Currently, these profiles are still being tested in the beta stage on a small, select group of users. Because of this, it’s hard to understand exactly who and what criteria will be used to decide who gets access to these profiles. If or when Instagram makes the decision to roll these out to the general public, they will most probably operate under similar criteria to the much sought after ‘verified’ tick (authentic, unique, complete and notable) and be an account that has over a certain number of followers. It can be also expected that users will need to go through a qualification process to be eligible, so that the creator profile accounts fit the target market that Instagram is trying to reach.
Differences between Business and Creator
There are quite a few differences between these two accounts and it’s clear that Facebook has given a lot of thought to the audience that they are trying to reach with these new profile types.
Creator profiles are designed for influencers who usually use their Instagram accounts as a significant source of income, who have large audiences with a huge focus on continued growth and engagement and who regularly promote products — either their own or via brand partnerships. As such, this group requires emphasis on slightly different aspects of their social media management and the Creator profiles have been designed with this in mind.
So let’s break down the main differences between Business and Creator profiles:
1. Different Insights
While both profile types provide standard insights around reach, engagement and follower changes, Creator profiles definitely have a heavier influence on analytics to do with changes in follower numbers. In comparison to business profiles that only get a weekly overview of follower growth and loss, creator profiles offer a daily view so users can really dig deep into understanding which specific content contributed to spikes or losses each day. The posts shown also include any Instagram Stories posted for that day.
2. Advanced Direct Messaging
The Direct Messaging feature has really been pimped for Creator profiles and this is where we think you’ll find Creator profiles really shine. Users can now set up filters for their DMs so they can categorize them for easy management. This means they can split out unsolicited cold DMs into one folder, messages from brands they partner with in another, friends in another, etc., allowing them to easily deal with everything and not risk missing an important message. This feature will be a huge benefit for many influencers, allowing them to triage messages and manage their time more efficiently while maintaining engagement and relationships that are most important to them.
3. Different contact options
Instead of just the stock standard contact buttons like email, website and directions, users with a Creator profile will be able to label these contact options differently and even choose not to display any at all!
4. Shoppable posts
This one is still relatively similar to Business profiles. Creator profiles offer users the option to tag items within their posts so that their followers can click and purchase in one swift move. However, this will incorporate the newly released “checkout feature that allows the audience to purchase things without ever having to leave Instagram. This way, shopping on Instagram could eventually be a slightly smoother process for the Creator accounts’ followers, compared to the existing flow available for Business users.
Is it worth making the switch?
This is the million dollar question and one that you can’t definitively answer just yet. The product is still in beta mode and the access we have at this stage is limited.
However, based on what we can see so far, it’s safe to say that if users combine a Creator Profile with the Creator Studio, it will potentially be much easier and more efficient for influencers to maximise the time they spend setting up and monitoring their social media and increasing the value they get from Instagram and Facebook.
From an influencer perspective, many of the features within the Creator profile combined with the additional insights offered will allow them to build more genuine, authentic connections with their audience. They will likely save a lot of time understanding and engaging with their audiences and be able to adjust their strategies accordingly without having to use a third party tool.
In saying this, a lot of the existing third-party tools (like Iconosquare) still offer more than what users will be able to get from a Creator profile/Creator studio combo. As most of these influencers are across more social platforms than just Instagram and Facebook, the ability to manage ALL channels from within one platform is still going to be more convenient. Given that it seems unlikely Facebook will allow third-party tools access to these Creator profiles to integrate them into their platforms, Instagram Business profiles seem to be the best way to keep everything all in one place.