Instagram has added a new ‘Pronouns’ option to user profiles, allowing users to select up to four pronouns so that people know how to refer to them during interactions.
It has become so popular seeing someone mention their pronouns in their Instagram bio that the app now has a dedicated area where users can position pronouns without taking up precious profile space, which they can then choose to display publicly or only to their followers. Users under 18 will have this setting turned on by default.
The company announced the new feature on Twitter, stating that it is currently only available in a few countries but will be expanded soon. I was able to make it work in version 187 of the iOS app here in the United States.
“Now you can add pronouns to your profile with a new field. It’s another way to express yourself on Instagram and we’ve seen a lot of people adding pronouns already, so hopefully this makes it even easier. Available in a few countries today with plans for more,” said Vishal Shah, VP of Product at Instagram.
The announcement comes as 44 US Attorneys General have signed a letter to Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg urging him not to launch “Instagram for Kids,” citing mental health and privacy concerns.
To change your pronoun, go to your profile tab, select “Edit Profile,” and search for an empty Pronouns field in the list of things (this is different from the one deeper in “personal information settings”). When you tap that, you’ll be able to choose from up to four options for what you’d like to be called.
Instagram offers a number of pronoun options, which appear in the window when you type in your words. Users can modify or delete their preferred pronouns at any time, and you can choose whether your pronouns list is visible to anyone in the app or only to your followers.
Interestingly, users cannot simply type anything they want into the field, presumably to ensure that it is used for its intended purpose and not for gender-related “jokes.”
Whatever you select will appear in a slightly darker form next to your name. Of course, if you want to be more creative and use emoji or a fancy font, you can do so instead of using the “official” pronouns.
While not everyone feels compelled to share or specify their gender, the practice has become so common that Instagram made the wise decision to make it a part of the profile. It saves room, and promotes gender identity as important as links and other bio information.
That movement is gaining traction across the social media sphere, with LinkedIn recently adding pronoun listings to user profiles, and Instagram’s parent company Facebook having pronoun options available within its user display tools since 2014, though they have evolved significantly over time.
For many, the addition will have no impact on how they use the app, but for those to whom it is relevant, it is a hugely important update that will greatly aid in validating their identity and improving their interactions based on their Instagram profile.
The update is now available in the app’s latest version.