Why changing your Instagram username isn’t a good idea

Changing your Instagram username sounds harmless, however, depending on your following, it could be a big mistake. It could result in you losing followers.

It’s really easy to change your Instagram name. It takes no effort at all. However, is it worth the change? In some cases, it absolutely is. Whereas in other cases, it might do more harm than good. How do you know if you should change your name? Are you able to assess the potential outcomes before committing to it?

What happens when you change your Instagram name?

When changing your username on Instagram, your old one will become invalid. It will take anyone searching for it to a blank page. It simply won’t exist any more. Unless someone takes it once you’re no longer using it. In which case, it would take people to their page instead.

If you’ve been tagged in any posts, this tag will no longer take individuals to your page. Instead, they’ll be taken to a blank page once again. However, this only refers to tags which contain your old username, for example comments.

Being tagged in a photo is different. If you have been tagged in an image, your tag will update. It will direct people to your updated username, rather than your old inactive one. Meaning people can still find you through your tagged images.

How do you change your Instagram name?

Updating your Instagram username is the easy part. It’s as simple as follows:

  1. Head to your Instagram profile
  2. Click edit
  3. Remove your current username
  4. Input your new username
  5. Click save

You’ll be informed if your username is allowed. If it’s already in use you’ll be told this, and you can play around with some adaptations. This would allow you the name you want but in various formats. However, try not to go too out of the box, otherwise your name might be too niche to remember.

Try to make your new username simple and memorable. There’s nothing worse than going from an account people remember, to an account that’s completely confusing. You want people to think of your name instantly, so make it as short and snappy as possible. Keep it close to your identity.

Why you shouldn’t change your username

While there are steps you can take to prepare your audience, like sharing a post or a story with your new name – it’s still something you should avoid if possible. It can become incredibly confusing for all of your current followers.

People will be taken to a blank page when searching for your name. So, if they’ve missed your post about your username update, or if you haven’t made one, how will they know? They might just presume your account has been deleted and stop interacting with you.

Others will unfollow an account they don’t recognise. So, be prepared to lose some interest. Some users will see an account name they don’t know, and they’ll unfollow straight away. They might even think you’re a replica and not the official account holder.

For brand fluidity you should avoid changing what people know. If they know you by one name, it might be confusing if you change to something else. Especially if you’re not a huge company as they might easily forget.

If you’re considering a change of username, weigh up all your options first and think carefully if it’s the right move for you. Be aware you might lose some followers initially. However, that’s not to say you can’t regrow this loss.

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