Instagram has become a huge part of everyone’s life. Whether you’re an individual sharing your life moments with your friends, or a brand using social media for marketing. Instagram is where everyone is at. With over a billion active users on the platform, it’s no secret that Instagram is here to stay and is only going to grow. Whether you’re a new user or an existing one, there is a high possibility that the username that you’d like on Instagram is already taken and inactive. In today’s article we are going to discuss on what you can do to claim inactive Instagram usernames. If you’ve got your eye on a username that you’d like, but it’s taken and inactive, then you’re at the right place. Let’s get started!
Imagine this. Instagram has been around for over a decade. And, it currently has upwards of a billion active users. Add to that the fact that a user can create as many Instagram profiles as they like. It’s no wonder that almost all good usernames are taken. The handle that you’d like to match your brand name or identity is most likely taken. Worst part? It may even be inactive. This means, someone years ago registered a name for their Instagram, they didn’t use it, and they don’t plan on doing so in the future. So, what do we do in such a scenario?
Luckily, there is a workaround this. Yes, you heard that right. There are ways you can get taken Instagram usernames. You can reassign usernames that are not active so that you can make use of them. Looking to have consistent branding across all socials? That’s possible! You can claim usernames for all social networks. While this is something that is only known to a few select brands and individuals, in today’s article we will tell you how you can get your perfect username as well!
What Doesn’t Work
No, there aren’t a dozen different ways to get an inactive handle. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot ‘report’ an account on Instagram to take their username. Nope. That just doesn’t work. Imagine this, if reporting an account get’s it banned, we’d all have the ability to ban each other until no one was left on Instagram.
You must also realize something else. If you somehow magically end up getting an account banned, that doesn’t ‘free up’ the username for you to grab. A banned account is a disabled and restricted account. It does not get freed up for reassignment. The user who gets banned, still has the ability to file an ‘appeal’ and to access their account to download their data.
So, if you’ve ever read an article or heard from a friend, that all you have to do is get the target account banned, well, no. That is not how things work at all. Whether you file for trademark infringement or impersonation or any other reason, you have a higher chance at getting struck by lightning than getting the target account banned. And even if you do get lucky and have the target account banned, that doesn’t mean at all, that you can get that username. All that means is that the target account is now banned and disabled. The username, however, would still not be available to be registered by you. So, no, you cannot claim inactive Instagram usernames by reporting an account.
What Does Work
The aim with claims is that the username you’d like is reassigned to you. In other words, you are looking for a username to be assigned to you. The idea is not to ‘free up’ the target username. Or to have it banned or disabled.
Here is how it really works. If a username on Instagram, or any other platform for that matter, has been inactive for a certain period of time, then it becomes claimable. Now, for Instagram, this time period is 1.5 years. In other words, if a username has been inactive for more than 1.5 years, then it becomes claimable.
But wait, there are a few things to consider. There is a high possibility that the username you’d like may look inactive but actually is not. Maybe the account owner still logs into their account. If they do, then this wouldn’t be considered ‘inactive’. The idea is the username/profile has not been accessed for at least 1.5 years.
The only way a claim is done is via a request through a media portal. Social media and digital marketing agencies that have a huge spend with Facebook have access to what we call a media portal. A media portal allows such agencies to submit a variety of requests including requests for username claims. Once such a request is submitted, the Facebook team first checks internally if the account that you’d like has actually been truly inactive for 1.5 years. If it is, then they reassign the username to you.
How this works is, they ask you for your current username, and your desired username. So, let’s say your current username is @mybrand_ but you’d like @mybrand which is taken but inactive. The Facebook team, as it processes your claim request, will rename your current account to @mybrand and will rename the target account to @mybrand123 or @mybrand___ or anything else.
In the end, the target username doesn’t get deleted or disabled or banned. Their username is just edited. The best part is the agency that you go through wouldn’t even require your login details. Since the request is directly with Facebook’s internal team, they simply edit your username. The overall process is quite simple and takes anywhere from a few hours to a week. And in no time, you have your desired username!
And yes, if you’re wondering, this can be done with any social network. Ever wonder how some people always have the perfect username? And how some brands always end up getting the exact username to match their domain names? This is how they do it!
So, this, is the one and only way to claim inactive Instagram usernames. There is no workaround to this. No, you cannot have someone banned. No, you cannot file for impersonation, all that will do is get the target user banned. You still wouldn’t get their username. No, you shouldn’t ‘buy’ the username from the account owner as that will always carry a risk of the owner pulling back the account by going through the ‘forgot email’ method.