David Simpson

How I got @Simpson on Instagram

Posted on November 23, 2012

So the crusade for my personal brand continues. Check out some of my past posts for the back story of this quest: How I got @Simpson on Twitter and How I Built My New Website in 48 Hours. It hasn't been long since my success of acquiring the handle @simpson on Twitter, so it was time to set out and continue the race.

For my second battle I chose Instagram; as it has rapidly grown in usage and to have the username @simpson there as well would be pretty rad. Similar to Twitter, Instagram has a tagging system and since most people share their images on Twitter it would be awesome if I had the same username so no matter where I get tagged, if someone clicks my username it will bring them to my respective profile without any extra work.

Round 2, reaching out to Instagram

This case was a bit different than my encounter with Twitter and similar to how I envision other social network skirmishes going. In this case, the username @simpson was in use by another Instagram user, whereas Twitter had simply suspended the username for reasons unknown to me, so it was not in use. I quickly jumped into their support section and found this article that talks about their policy on usernames. Similar to Twitter, they were pretty vague, and I could not find anything specifically relating to brand requests for usernames. No big deal, this is likely going to be the case when dealing with the majority of social networks.

The first thing I noticed was how easy Instagram makes it for people to get in touch with them. They do this by putting a straightforward contact form at the bottom of the help article one is currently reading. This is seriously awesome and saves a lot of time trying to get in touch with the right people. I took a few minutes to fill out the form telling the same story that I told Twitter, namely that I needed the handle for personal branding reasons.

Back to the waiting game... or not?

It was not even 3 days later when I got a real human response from someone at Instagram letting me know that they had initiated the transfer, and it would take only a day or two to complete.

What?! That was WAY to easy if you ask me but I'm certainly not complaining. I'm guessing the fact I had already won the case for acquiring @simpson on Twitter significantly helped my cause, but you never know.

I'm thankful to the extremely friendly and responsive crew at Instagram! Those guys totally rock. LinkedIn, Facebook, Dribbble, and the rest of you, here I come!

The end

What do you think?

Do you have any questions or comments (positive or negative!) about this article? Don't be shy, I'd love to hear from you, ping me on Twitter.

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