Instagram Creator Accounts (and their Data Impact)

May 10, 2019 - 4 min. read

UPDATE August 13, 2019: Instagram has made creator account data widely available within the Business Discovery API.

With this change, CreatorIQ’s recommendation is no longer that influencer marketers nudge creators toward business accounts.

UPDATE July 9, 2019: Instagram seems to have begun making creator accounts available to all Instagram users (and not just those with over 10,000 followers).

Choose an Instagram Creator or Business Account

UPDATE May 22, 2019: Instagram updated their official Graph API changelog with the following language:

Instagram Creator Accounts — The API now supports Instagram Creator Accounts, with two exceptions. (1) The Content Publishing API cannot be used by Instagram Creators, and (2) the Business Discovery API can be used by Creators but can only target Businesses.

**Still not mentioned is requisite of a linked Facebook account to the Creator Account for ingestion.

What this means:

  1. Platforms like CreatorIQ can now ingest Instagram Stories and all other metrics for authenticated Creator Accounts with a linked Facebook account.
  2. Creator Accounts that are not authenticated are still unsupported by Instagram’s Business Discovery API. This means that anything more than top-level metrics — i.e. account name and follower counts — are inaccessible. Post-level metrics are still not supported for non-authenticated Creator Accounts.

CreatorIQ first recommends that influencer marketers work to authenticate their creators using a solution like Creator Connect.

If creators remain unwilling to authenticate, campaign managers should encourage their creators to remain as business accounts for complete post performance tracking.

See August 13, 2019 update above. Creator accounts are now fully supported by Instagram’s Graph APIs. Campaign managers no longer need to advise creators to remain as business accounts for complete and accurate information.

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Introducing: Creator Accounts

Hot on the heels of Adam Mosseri’s industry-changing announcements on the future of Instagram at F8, an undocumented update has released: Creator Accounts, first tested in December of last year with select digital celebrities, have been made widely available to creators all over the world.

As of right now, it appears that any Instagram Account with over 10,000 followers is able to convert to a Creator Account. See July 9 update above. Creator accounts are slowly rolling out as a widely available option to all Instagram users.

And though not officially confirmed, CreatorIQ and others have noticed some Instagram profiles appear to have been switched automatically to Creator Accounts (also noted in this Facebook developer forum thread). CreatorIQ’s clients should be aware of the business impact of talent switching their accounts from “Business” to “Creator.”

Instagram Creator Accounts

At present, Instagram only support API access to Instagram Stories for Business Accounts. That means Instagram Stories for Creator Accounts cannot be automatically ingested into campaigns. See May 22, 2019 update above. Instagram Stories are now supported for creator accounts via Instagram’s API.

According to Instagram, Creator Accounts will eventually be supported, but the platform did not provide any timelines when CreatorIQ spoke with them around the time of F8 2019. In the past, proposed API expansions have taken anywhere from three to six months or longer to actualize. CreatorIQ is working closely with Instagram to ensure that we’re first in line for any updates. UPDATE: It took about five months for creator accounts to be fully supported.

If brands and agencies would like to see the performance of their partner Creator Account creators’ Instagram Stories, they’ll need to return to screenshotting content, metrics, and audience info. Creator accounts’ Instagram Stories are now supported programatically by Instagram’s API.

Doesn’t Being a Business Account Hurt Post Performance?

You may have heard that Instagram Business Accounts suffer from throttled reach versus personal or Creator Accounts. Though this myth has persisted throughout the influencer marketing industry for years, it seems to be just that: a myth.

After analyzing hundreds of thousands of posts from Business Account creators, CreatorIQ could not find any significant difference in engagement rate or reach among creators with Business Accounts versus those without them.

In fact, according to a quote from Instagram’s team in a Techcrunch article from June 2018, Business Accounts have no adverse effect on Instagram performance:

Techcrunch article on Instagram business accounts

Our Recommendation

To ensure key data around influencer marketing efforts continues to flow smoothly into reports, CreatorIQ is recommending that clients encourage their partner creators to continue using Business Accounts.

See August 13, 2019 update above. With the expansion of Instagram’s APIs to cover all kinds of accounts, creators should feel free to choose whatever account type is most conducive to their goals.

Our team is working around the clock to find solutions that accommodate all sudden new changes in the Instagram ecosystem. We will regularly update clients as these solutions come together.

Please do not hesitate to reach out to your CreatorIQ customer success representative with any additional questions or concerns!