Why won't Instagram allow me to register my name?
November 2, 2016 7:34 PM   Subscribe

In a nutshell, I have a company and all my social media accounts have the same "/companyname" ending to the web address except for my Instagram. Trying to edit my profile while online, I get a message saying that 'That user name is not available'. When I try to log in with the name (I think I may have signed up with it initially years ago, but forgot), it says 'This username doesn't belong to an account'....

I feel I have done my due dilligence and google research in trying to research why Instagram will not allow me to use this username...The Instagram FAQ doesn't really address the scenario, and google search results don't really provide a concrete answer nor provide direction into finding me any answers as well...I have been trying to edit this username for over a year to no avail.

My OCD is in full effect. If the name isn't being used or hasn't been associated with an account for an extended period of time, why hasn't it been released back to the public? It is not profane, obnoxious, or anything that could make Instagram not want it to be used...

Does Instagram have a customer service outside of email, which has been proven ineffective?

Hardly real world problems, I know....Would at least like some sort of clarification on their reasoning....

/end rant / plea for help
posted by TwilightKid to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Instagram phone number

If you want to talk to an Instagram customer service representative on the phone, they can be reached toll-free at 1-650-543-4800.

Again, though, some people have mentioned that this phone number simply goes to Facebook (Instagram's owner), and they say that they don't do over-the-phone support for Instagram.

Cite: this website. Might as well try it!
posted by oceanjesse at 8:07 PM on November 2, 2016

I'm guessing you can't use slashes in usernames.
posted by w0mbat at 8:08 PM on November 2, 2016

lol, w0mbat... he's not trying to make his username "/companyname", he's trying to make it "companyname" so that his instagram profile will be something like "http://instagram.com/users/companyname".
posted by teatime at 8:12 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Are there letter strings in your company name that might be on a banned word list? (i.e. "pushitrealgood")
posted by noloveforned at 8:28 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

It also may have been an account in the past. Idk about Instagram, but a lot of systems don't allow reuse of a username for various reasons.
posted by boo_radley at 9:04 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

I had a problem registering one of my domain names as an Instagram name, so I tried several variants, and Instagram rejected all of them, even complicated permutations that were very unlikely to have been used. (I think some algorithm had decided that I was a robot.)

Just on a whim, I tried registering one of the same names from my mobile device, and I had no problem at all. So if you do opt for an alternate name, I'd suggest doing it from a device. You might even try that with the original name - it couldn't hurt....
posted by Umami Dearest at 9:33 PM on November 2, 2016 [1 favorite]

Instagram usernames do have a character limit in place - have you checked this?
posted by teststrip at 4:18 AM on November 3, 2016

boo_radley may have it -- Instagram does not allow reuse of usernames. So if anyone -ever- had an Instagram account with that username, you can't create/rename to that, even if they deleted/deactivated the account. (And presumably this also applies to accounts names that Instagram deactivated due to dormancy.)

This is mentioned on the Delete Your Account help page:
After you delete your account, you can't sign up again with the same username or add that username to another account, and we can't reactivate deleted accounts.
posted by dryad at 10:29 AM on November 3, 2016

Instagram does not allow reuse of usernames. So if anyone -ever- had an Instagram account with that username, you can't create/rename to that, even if they deleted/deactivated the account.

This is incorrect unless something has changed very recently. My Instagram account used to be my real firstnamelastname. I changed it to fakename only about 6 weeks ago. I wanted to reserve my real firstnamelastname so I opened a new account with that name. I'm pretty sure I did it on my phone.
posted by stellathon at 4:51 PM on November 3, 2016

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