What’s in a name?
Well, if you’re active on Instagram, then the answer is: “a lot more than you’d think.”
Your Instagram handle or username might not seem like a big deal when you’re first setting up your account. However, the truth is that this simple moniker can make a big difference to how many followers you gain over the years.
The Importance of Instagram Handles
Whether you’re a beginner online hoping to increase your chances of being found when customers search for specific keywords, or you’re a business leader struggling to maintain consistency on all of your social accounts, everything starts with an Instagram handle search.
The question is, what do you do if your ideal handle is already taken?
You might think that the only option is to give up and look for an alternative name. However, if you’re dealing with an inactive Instagram handle, there may be another route.
What is an Instagram Handle and What Makes it Inactive?
If you’re searching for “Instagram handle meaning” right now, don’t panic – this concept isn’t as complicated as it seems. Your handle is simply your username- or how people recognize you on Instagram.
Raising Trademark/Copyright Issues with Instagram
Start by registering your trademark with the correct government bodies. You need to make sure that you have complete control over your business name before you look into how to find your Instagram handle. You can claim rights to your brand through registration with a trademark office.
Once you have your trademark documents, you can share them with Instagram. The IG policies say that the owner of any trademark should be able to prevent other people from using their name, image, logo, and other copyrighted assets. Keep in mind that you’ll need to fill out a form with Instagram to put this process into action. Importantly, you don’t necessarily need an Instagram account to submit your report.
Crucially, it’s the trademark that you need to focus on to get an Instagram handle. Copyrights only protect content like words and images – they don’t work for titles and names.
How Long Will It Take to Get Your Instagram Handle?
Once you’ve claimed trademark infringement for your handle on Instagram, and sent the social media team the right documents, they’ll need to review your case. Keep in mind that some people will need to wait a few weeks before Instagram will get around to reading their application. After all, there are over a billion active monthly users on Insta today – that’s a lot of accounts to regulate.
There’s no guaranteed time limit on your application, so you’ll just have to be patient. If more than a month passes, then you can re-send your application. Just make sure that you’re not bugging the team with endless requests for information.
If you know how to reach out to the person holding the Instagram handle that you want, then you can always reach out to them instead. Letting them know that you’re planning on reporting them could mean that they hand over their details faster, so you don’t even have to get IG involved.
Although you can’t take an active Instagram handle as your own in most cases, you may be able to claim an inactive username.
An account is defined as “inactive” based on a number of things, including the date on which the profile was created, whether the person behind the account has been sharing posts and liking pictures, and so on.
Before you go searching for an Instagram handle generator to take advantage of the latest IG trends, it may be worth checking whether an account is inactive if they have a name that’s perfect for you.
Why Bother with Inactive Instagram Handles?
You might wonder why you would go through the hassle of tracking down an Instagram handle checker and applying for an inactive account if you could just go back to the drawing board. The simple answer is that not only is coming up with Instagram handle ideas difficult, but it’s also worth noting that nothing can compare to the ideal username.
If you already have a well-known business or blog online, people will expect that they’ll be able to find you under the same username on social media. If you’re using a completely different handle on Instagram, then you could be missing out on valuable followers and engagement.
How to Claim Your Instagram Handle Ideas
The easiest way to claim an inactive Instagram handle is by raising a trademark issue.
Instagram is all about authenticity. If you have a trademark on your business and someone else is using your name, then you can claim that they’re violating trademark policies. If Instagram agrees with you, then they’ll kick the user off your much-needed handle and allow you to start using it instead.
So, how do you raise a trademark issue with Instagram?
How to Claim a Handle on Instagram without A Trademark Claim
Unfortunately, the option above will only work for your business if you’re applying for a name your company already owns. If you simply want someone else’s handle because you think it would be good for your SEO strategy, then you might be out of luck.
Of course, there are a few things you can do before you go back to the Instagram handle generator for more ideas. For instance, you could consider using a similar version of the same name. Adding prefix or suffix terms to an existing handle can give you more of a descriptive username and prevent copyright issues.
Say you wanted the handle of @Makeup but it was already taken, you could try something like @FXMakeupIdeas or @MakeupTips instead.
Show Your Patience
An alternative option is to simply wait for an update from Instagram. If the account that you want to take over is inactive for long enough, then Instagram may end up “Shadow banning” the user, which means that you can take over their handle.
As difficult as it can be to remain patient when you want to start boosting your Insta following as quickly as possible, a little bit of time can go a long way. As Instagram continues to update its policies to deliver better user experiences, more handle options will become available every day.