Instagram Professional Accounts: How to Choose Between a Business or Creator Account

Alyssa Chapman
Creator Perspective
January 2, 2020

In mid-2019 Instagram added a profile option for the platform’s most powerful and important users: content creators. Instagram introduced Creator accounts as a second type of Instagram “Professional account” positioned as a profile equipped with a variety of tools suited for an influencer’s needs.

When Instagram first released the Creator account, it made sense for content creators to make the switch because of the level of detail into growth analytics the account type provided. After all, understanding your audience and its behavior on the app is imperative to creating highly engaging content. Additionally, the Creator account gave content creators exclusive access to tools such as Creator Studio and Shoppable posting.

Today, however, Instagram gives Instagram Professional accounts (both Business and Creator) nearly identical account features. So if you’re running your Instagram account like a business (hint- all creators should!) you’ll have the same access to analytics with an Instagram Business account as you would with an Instagram Creator account.

So, exactly what tools do Professional Instagram accounts like Business and Creator accounts provide? 

Comparison of Instagram Business and Creator account Capabilities

Growth Analytics (Business + Creator accounts)

  • View daily number of followers and unfollowers. Non-Professional Instagram accounts (AKA personal accounts) do not allow you to access growth analytics or insight into content performance. Professional accounts, like Business and Creator accounts, allow you to view daily and weekly follower counts, which gives more visibility into what type of content may have a positive or negative impact on your following. Additionally, Professional accounts show you insights for reach, impressions, and profile views for each story or feed post.

Access Daily Follower Growth and Other Audience Insights

  • Access to Instagram Creator Studio. Instagram’s Creator Studio dashboard gives a simplified view into follower information such as age and gender. Creator Studio also allows you to see profile activity, accounts reached and impressions. 

Profile Display Controls (Business + Creator accounts)

  • Control how users contact you with flexible category and contact options. Optionally display category labels such as “Blogger”, “Makeup Artist” or “Public Figure”, etc. and contact information such as email, phone number, etc.
Optional Category and Contact display options

Shoppable Posts (Business + Creator accounts) 

  • Shoppable Instagram allows creators to tag products from brands they partner with in posts and story, giving their followers the ability to purchase products right in the app. accounts that do not have access to the tool can apply through their Instagram app and connect their Instagram to a Facebook Page and product catalog.

Flexible Messaging (Creator accounts)

  • Creator accounts have the option to filter their messages into “Primary” and “General” inboxes. Messages in the Primary Inbox are typically those that a user has turned on notifications for. These messages tend to be from an influencer’s friends or brand collaboration contacts. Creators have the option to turn off these notifications and filtering at any time.

Sort through Direct Messages with Message Filtering

Limitations of Creator Accounts

  • No Call to Action buttons. Creator profiles cannot utilize the call to action feature that Business accounts have access to. Business accounts can integrate with a variety of apps to allow for scheduling, appointment booking, ticket purchases etc. directly in the app.
  • Creator accounts are not compatible with auto-publish/analytic apps. You will not be able to integrate with apps like Later which schedule your posts to go live at a later date or Sprout which allows you to manage comments directly in their app. Unlike Business accounts, Creator accounts do not have access to the Instagram API. If you choose to use a Creator account, it is important to note that you’ll likely lose access to any apps that allow you to schedule posts or mange parts of your account from a desktop. 

Maximizing Brand Partnerships with Professional Accounts

Understanding that both Professional accounts nearly mirror one another, we asked the question, which account is right for creators looking to top the mind of campaign coordinators for brand partnerships?

A recent survey found that 76% of influencers have been asked by brand or agency partners to include whitelisting and boosting as part of campaign deliverables. Given that influencer collaborations and sponsored posts only seem to keep growing, brands will continue to invest in high-quality influencer partnerships based less on organic engagement rates and more on who the content can reach. 

One strategy that marketers are adopting to amplify influencer content is to target it to custom audiences based on your most engaged followers, delivering your content to the most relevant users for a maximum impact (delivering success for both you and the brand). The way that brands can target those high-quality audiences is to collaborate with creators who have a Business Profile on Instagram because of the profile type’s integration with the Instagram API. 

Though Instagram has now shared many of the once exclusive Creator account features with Business accounts, it seems as though the platform intends to continue to exclude Creator accounts from access to the Instagram API, creating challenges for influencers and creators who rely heavily on third-party app integrations. 

Looking to make the switch to an Instagram Professional account? Click here to switch to a Business account or here for a Creator account!

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Creator and Talent Partnerships Manager