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Business vs. Creator Account: What’s the Difference?

Remember the good old days where everyone on Instagram had the same default type of account? Or did we just age ourselves by saying that? In the social media realm, things change often and they change quickly. Now, the thought of everyone using the same, standard type of Instagram account type seems almost archaic.

Whether you’re new to the ‘gram, or you’ve had an account for a while, the different types of accounts can seem confusing. Or, maybe this is all news to you and you didn’t even know that multiple account types existed—hey, there’s a lot to keep track of, we get it! Back in the day, Instagram was just a silly app used to share duck-faced selfies with the Valencia filter. Now, it’s a full-fledged advertising platform with some serious marketing power. Oh, how things have changed...

But, whether you’re a business or a brand, influencer, or average Instagram user looking to improve your content, we’re here to break it down for you. Let’s start simple.

As we mentioned earlier, there are three different account types on Instagram:

  • Business

  • Creator

  • Personal

Not sure where you fit in? Here are a few examples of what types of brands, businesses, and industries fall under each category:

Creator Account

  • Public figures

  • Content creators

  • Photographers

  • Artists

  • Influencers

Business Account

  • Retailers

  • Local businesses

  • Brands

  • Organizations

  • Service providers

Personal Account

  • Any standard Instagram user

  • This is the default account everyone starts with

So, let’s say you’re ready to upgrade your Personal account to a Creator or Business account. They each have their own unique features and purposes, but they share more similarities than differences, which can make it confusing when it comes to deciding which account type is best for you.

Privacy Settings

Before moving forward, it’s important to note that only Personal accounts can be set to private. But as a budding business owner, you wouldn’t want that feature anyway! A private account might mean that you can approve follow requests, but that’s intended for personal accounts. We want your brand to be loud and proud, not hiding behind a pending follow request!

Profile Categories

Because Instagram treats Creators and Businesses as separate entities, the two accounts each have unique profile categories, which can appear as a label on your profile (if you wish—this can be toggled on and off in settings). For example, Creator accounts can choose from titles such as chef, gamer, writer, or dancer. Business accounts can select from options such as advertising, hotel, automotive, or bakery.

For most of our readers, (looking at you, small biz owners), your brand will fall into the Business account category.

How to Switch/Upgrade Your Instagram Account

To sign-up for a Business account, you’ll have to switch your current account, or create an Instagram account from scratch (if you don’t yet have an account).

Once you have an account, go to settings. Some users may see an option that says, “Switch to a Professional Account.” In which case, tap that. Otherwise, tap “Account,” then “Business” (or “Creator,” if that’s a better fit for you).

If you plan to sync your Instagram and Facebook accounts, it will prompt you to do so at this time. Then, simply select your business category and add any relevant contact details.

Voila, you have a Business (or Creator) account.

Now what?

Let’s break down the benefits.


Both Creator and Business accounts offer detailed insights and analytics into your audience and how your content is performing. This includes things like audience demographics, time of day when your audience is most active, profile visits, website clicks, impressions, reach, and more.

Upgrade Your Inbox

Additionally, your inbox gets an upgrade. Instead of all your messages being lumped together in one mailbox, Creator and Business account inboxes have two folders, Primary and General. In the Primary folder, you’ll find high priority messages from accounts you follow, people you’ve previously messaged/tagged in Stories, or accounts that Instagram believes would be important and relevant to you—such as messages from verified accounts or accounts with mutual followers.

The General folder is where you can delegate incoming message requests or DMs from your Primary folder. It’s important to note that notifications are automatically turned off for this folder, but you can adjust that in your settings.

Instagram Ads

Wanna boost a post? Get your content in front of more eyes? Luckily, you can do so with either account type. Creators on Instagram can also give permission to businesses to promote their feed and Stories posts as ads on Instagram. This means that as a Creator, when you partner with a business to create a branded content post, you can give them permission to turn that post into an ad.

Saved Replies

As a business owner or brand, you might typically receive similar DMs regarding frequently-asked questions. Luckily, both account types offer a Saved Reply tool. Essentially, this allows you to pre-compose a message that can be sent by typing a shortcut word. To use, simply type your shortcut word, click the blue speech bubble, and your message will appear for you to send.

Paid Partnership Tag

Collaborating with another brand? To comply with FTC guidelines, Instagram makes it easy to disclose that information with the Paid Partnership tag. Not only does this provide transparency to your audience, but you’re also able to easily share insights from those posts with whatever brand or business you are collaborating with.

Instagram Shopping

Let’s talk about product tags! Both Creator and Business accounts have shopping related features, although they are slightly different. While you might assume that Business accounts would be more likely to utilize shoppable, product-tagged posts, this feature is available to Creator accounts as well.

Business accounts can also set up Instagram Shopping, which allows them to add a Shop to their profile, tag products in posts/Stories, and view insights. Creator accounts have the ability to tag products from brands with approved access.

Content Scheduling

Depending upon what features you’d like to utilize when it comes to content scheduling can help you determine which account type is a better fit. While these accounts share many features and benefits, there are certain things that are only available to Business accounts—like third-party content scheduling.

If you’re wanting (or needing) to schedule content ahead of time with a third-party scheduling tool (think Hootsuite, Later, etc.) then you need to utilize a Business account. Unfortunately, Instagram’s API doesn’t currently support that feature for Creator accounts. However, by utilizing Instagram’s Creator Studio tool, you can schedule content without a third-party application.

Contact Information

Another difference? Contact information.

Obviously, both accounts allow users to add their preferred email address and main phone number, but Business accounts have an extra option to add their location—their headquarters, store front, restaurant location… You get the idea. But, if you’d prefer to be contacted through DMs, both account types can remove their email address and phone number from their public profile, and simply have a “message” button instead.

Call to Action Buttons

The last difference relates to those fun, call-to-action buttons that sit sandwiched between your profile bio and Story highlights. Business accounts can choose to include buttons that allow followers to order food, book now, or reserve, while Creator accounts don’t include the former. Like most of these features, they aren’t required and can be toggled on and off within your account’s settings.

That was a LOT of information, and we don’t want you to feel overwhelmed. Here’s the TLDR; quick and dirty list of each account type and its benefits:

Business Account

  • Insights into audience demographics, best times to post, and more.

  • Contact information options and CTA buttons (more button options than Creator accounts)

  • Third-party scheduling tool integration

  • Promote Instagram posts as ads

  • Inbox sorting

  • Optional profile category

  • Sync an Instagram Shop with your profile

Creator Account

  • Insights into audience demographics, best times to post, and more.

  • Contact information options and CTA buttons (however, fewer button options than Business accounts)

  • Daily follower/unfollower count

  • Promote Instagram posts as ads

  • Give permission to businesses to promote content as ads

  • Access to Instagram’s Creator Studio

  • Inbox sorting

  • Optional profile category

Think about your brand or business and what features would best benefit you. Typically, it’s easy to determine which account you should select, based on the profile categories that each account type provides.

We typically work with Business accounts as they provide a slightly more robust Instagram experience for our clients, however, there is a time and place for Creator accounts too! It all depends on you.

If you’re feeling stuck with your social media, we’re here to help. Beyond deciding an account type, there is so much more that goes into an Instagram strategy! We live it, breathe it, and love it every single day—and getting to help fab business owners like yourself is just the cherry on top! Social media can be daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Schedule a Discovery Call with us today so we can determine how we can best assist you!



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