Instagram is taking new steps to woo some of its highest profile users.
The app is testing “creator accounts,” which would add new analytics and messaging features geared toward influencers and other power users of the photo-sharing app.
The update is currently being tested and will roll out more broadly next year, according to The Hollywood Reporter. It will offer influencers an alternative to Instagram business profiles, which the company introduced in 2016, Instagram wrote in a statement.
“Increasingly, creators rely on Instagram to connect with followers and grow their personal brands, however the tools that are currently available to businesses today make it difficult for them to track their growth and engagement over time. We’re building the new Creator Account to help solve some of those challenges and make it easier for creators to grow their personal brands on Instagram,” the announcement reads.
The profiles will come with new ways to customize contact information on profiles, as well as tools for filtering messages.
Though many Instagram influencers rely on the service to make connections with potential sponsors and other business contacts, it can be challenging to do so with existing tools. Features like message filtering would make it much easier to separate important messages from the fan mail and spam that often clutters the inboxes of high-profile accounts.
THR reports that influencer accounts will also come with the option to get more advanced analytics, which would provide “weekly and daily data around how their follower count has changed.” Instagram currently provides some analytics to business accounts, but not in the detail that would be available to creator accounts. This is especially important, not just because it allows account holders to gauge the effect of their content more accurately, but because the lack of sophisticated analytics has indirectly made some accounts more vulnerable to being hacked.
Right now, there are a number of (unsanctioned) third-party tools that purport to provide the kinds of in-depth analytics Instagram doesn’t. But clever hackers have taken to spoofing many of these sites and tricking people into entering their account credentials in order to steal their account. So, by offering more in depth analytics of its own, Instagram will be able to provide an alternative to these sometimes shady services.