Seeing someone mention their pronouns in their Instagram bio has become commonplace – so much so that the app now has a dedicated slot where users can put pronouns without taking up that precious profile space.
The company announced the new feature on Twitter, saying it’s only available in a few countries at the moment, but will arrive more soon. I was able to get it to work here in the US in version 187 of the iOS app.
To set your pronoun, just go to your profile page, click “Edit Profile”, then look in the list of items for an empty Pronouns field (it’s different from the one deeper in “Personal Information Settings”). Tap on it and you can choose what you prefer to be called – up to four items.
Interestingly, the feature doesn’t allow users to just type in whatever they want – presumably for the field to be used for its intended purpose and not for gender-related “jokes”. I was able to find most of the pronouns on this list, and I guess Instagram will add some if people ask. (I contacted the company to request more information.)
Anything you choose will appear next to your name in a slightly darker type – it’s also possible to show it only to subscribers, in case a person’s gender isn’t something they want to share publicly. . Of course, if you want to form it freely or use emojis or fancy fonts, you can ignore the “official” pronouns and do it instead.
Not everyone feels the need to share or specify their gender, but the practice has become so widespread that Instagram has made a smart move by making it an integral part of the profile. It saves both space (now you can put “Doom metal fiend” and “Proud mom” on two lines) and endorses gender identity as something at least as important as links and other bio information.