A notice in the app asks users to “try a new account.” Can this help people keep their enthusiasm for the platform going?

Instagram quietly launched a popup in the last year encouraging users to “try out a new account.” It will allow users to “keep up with smaller groups of friends” and make it easier for them to explore their interests.

When single-account users long-press the profile icon in the bottom right corner of their feed or tap their profile username, a pop-up appears. With a few taps, they will be able to create a second account, without having to log out of their existing one.

You have the option to link accounts. This allows you to treat the second account as an extension to your first account, or as a separate account with its own login. Christine Pai, a spokesperson for Instagram’s parent, Meta Platforms, Inc., explained that this determines whether Instagram considers it to be one user or multiple active users. A user can delete an account if they are not linked.

The benefits and pitfalls of social media are much in dispute, from Silicon Valley all the way to Washington, D.C. Is it possible to create a second account if social media and Instagram are responsible for depression and anxiety? Is it easier to create a second account than cleaning up a feed full of strangers, long-forgotten interest and ads that don’t matter to you?

Ms. Pai would not say when the tool was launched or how many people have created accounts using it. According to social-media experts, the move is an indication that users are changing how they interact online. Instead of posting publically and requesting attention, it encourages private conversations among close-knit groups. They also believe that Instagram and Meta, previously Facebook Inc., are able to increase engagement, as well as ad revenue, among people who may have become apathetic.

According to Dan Ives, analyst at Wedbush Securities in Los Angeles, Dan Ives said that the app is positioned to receive an advertising boost from users who engage with content in a new account with fewer friends or interests than they might in an older, more cluttered account.

Users can make their Instagram accounts private and share photos with “Close Friends” from within the app. However, many users already create a second account. This is often referred to as “finsta,” which comes from “fake Instagram.” Instagram allows multiple accounts, unlike Facebook, which restricts users to one account.

According to documents from the company that were seen by The Wall Street Journal, Instagram had 108 million users per day in the U.S. and 126 million accounts per day. This means that 18 million accounts were used by multiple users.

Ms. Pai stated that Instagram is a place people use to share their interests and connect with others. We hope that by allowing multiple accounts to be created, for personal or professional purposes, people will have more freedom to express themselves and more control over what they share. The process can be “simple” with this tool, she said.

Many Instagram users have stopped using their accounts for sharing and connecting with friends. According to Stacy Jones, chief executive at influencer-marketing company Hollywood Branded, they have grown tired of algorithms deciding what they see. Users might feel safer and more open with secondary accounts.

Ms. Jones stated that Instagram has recognized a market need for privacy restoration or it wouldn’t be promoting this option. “There’s a shift or at least acknowledgment that humans don’t want to live public lives.

Meta is being scrutinized for its ability to attract and influence young people. A coalition of states started investigating in November whether Instagram and the company violated consumer protection laws. They used techniques to increase engagement among their younger users.

“In the current social media climate, which has become dangerous in some ways,” Mr. Ives stated. “If it doesn’t, those users will find other places.”