Facebook-owned Instagram has picked up a new feature to display your selected pronouns on your account's profile page. The feature lets you enter up to four pronouns and even control who can see them. Pronouns appear right next to your name in gray.
Add pronouns to your profile ✨
The new field is available in a few countries, with plans for more. pic.twitter.com/02HNSqc04R
— Instagram (@instagram) May 11, 2021
For those genuinely and non-trollingly out of the loop, not everyone uses pronouns (e.x.: he, she, they, etc.) typically associated with their sex or gender. As a matter of convenience for others, some elect to list their pronouns in publicly accessible locations. Although the subject is more politicized than it probably should be, many public figures and even just normal folks include pronouns on their social media bios and profile pages to make citation and attribution a little simpler — especially handy for us as we cover news that might apply to them.
More than once here at Android Police, I've had to write part of a story around a lack of attributable pronouns in the absence of that information. While it's not as hard as it might be in some other languages, it can result in some awkward constructions when trying to avoid repetition. Even if one is willing to take the risk of a potentially disrespectful assumption, sometimes the details in a given user's profile aren't sufficient to determine that much, either. For me, at least, having them there just makes my job while writing the news a little easier.
The new pronouns can be added in Instagram's Edit Profile screen if the feature is available to you. Tap the entry field, and you can start typing and select up to four from the options available. Selected pronouns will be listed on your profile to the right of your name in slightly smaller gray text. If you like, you can also limit their visibility to just those that follow you.
Pronoun options starting with "h" as examples — you can't just enter anything you want.
The new feature is only available in a few markets for now (Facebook/Instagram haven't said which) and only allows a handful of pronouns, though you can submit requests for other options. The feature also helps free up some of that limited 150-character bio space for other stuff. Hopefully, Twitter is next up with a similar feature. It would arguably be even more helpful there.