Photo dump accounts are the new Finstas

A quick scroll through Instagram will reveal perfectly edited photos from celebrities, influencers, brands, and even your closest friends. The app contains a ton of carefully designed poses, face-adjusted cups, and color schemes designed to make the user's page look as cohesive and beautiful as possible. But as this trend continues to grow, you might end up with a completely chaotic photo dump—and let's be honest, it's more fun.

If you're discerning—or if you were on social media more than 15 years ago—you might recognize some familiar things about photo dump accounts. First, they are very similar to Finstas from around 2015. A "Finsta" or fake Instagram is a secret account where you can freely share photos with close friends and family without having to worry about follower approval.

This is where you might share random photos from your camera roll, including personal moments from birthdays and holidays or vacation photos that you don't want a million people (or future employers) to see. Of course, a side benefit is that you can also use Finsta to scroll Instagram anonymously, but that's a different topic for another day.

The photo dump account trend is also a strong callback to Facebook's early days. In 2006, it became the norm to bring a digital camera to parties so you could take a hundred blurry photos and then upload each photo to a giant album with a name like ~*~SuMmEr NiGhTs~*~ .

These photo dumps are confusing in the best way. They have candid moments, bad angles, and multiple shots of the same thing - and none of it is edited. Photographs from this era are instantly recognizable, especially since most are blurred by too much flash.


The photo dump accounts that exist today have been slowly resurfacing for a few years. In April 2023, TikTok creator @spicylilc compared the photo dump trend on Instagram to scrapbooking, saying she enjoyed posting photos without worrying about aesthetics. In her comments, one person wrote, "Again, I feel so free," while another said, "It ends up looking better because it's so natural."

Creator @liletmichael is also a fan of dump accounts. She and her friends started an album so they could look back on them in the future, kind of like a real-life album. In her comments, someone said: "This is what everyone's Instagram should look like!!!"

Instagram founder Kenny Watkins is also on board. Two years ago, she jumped on the bandwagon along with some of her best friends. "The main reason we started it is because it's kind of like a glamorous finsta," she tells Bustle.

Watkins shared everything on her dump account. Most of the photos, she says, don't quite fit into her stylized main account, such as casual shots of pizza and pickles, high-flash group shots, dimly lit bar shots, sunsets, grocery hauls and other everyday moments with more humor — including She accepted DoorDash at 2 a.m. in her pajamas

"I would say [the dump account] was more real than planned," she said. “On my homepage, I spend more time curating the best photos from my travels and arranging them in an aesthetically pleasing order, whereas on my photo dump account, if I like a photo, I It’s fun because there’s really no thought behind it.”


In some ways, these photo sets also give Instagram a strong OG vibe—and stars are loving it. See the pixelated selfie on Addison Rae's page or the low-resolution 4:4 photo of Bella Hadid.

"Trends are coming back, so especially in 2024, Y2K was popular, film photos were popular, so I don't think we posted 100 photos on Facebook like we used to, but we did post more Watkins Said: “We’re probably in a better position now than we were five years ago. "

Another similarity to Finstas? Usually only your closest friends are followed on dump accounts. "It's funny because when I scroll through my feed, it's all fun and cool posts from my friends," she added. Not a single business, influencer or celebrity in sight.

The main goal seems to be to make Instagram, and social media in general, fun and casual again. You can have a main account with all your followers - which is also where influencers still post brand deals and edit photos - and then you can have fun, laid-back photo dump accounts.

As Watkins says, "Photo dump accounts are a way to share more of your life in a less serious way with people who care about it, which also allows you to show more of your personality, which is always very funny."