You may have heard that this week, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s new Instagram account, @SussexRoyal, became the fastest account to hit 1 million followers, which it did so in just 5 hours and 45 minutes.
FYI, the previous record was held by K-Pop star Kang Daniel, who did it in 11 hours 36 minutes. (No, I don’t know who that is either).
But, that’s not the whole story. The @SussexRoyal Instagram handle was repossessed from a British driving instructor without his knowledge, and he’s not happy about it.
The original SussexRoyal was a man named Kevin Keiley, a 55-year-old Sussex driving instructor and a massive fan of Reading Football Club, whose nickname is the Royals.
Now, SussexRoyal belongs to actual royals. The Duke and Duchess of Sussex have announced that they will use the official account to share “important announcements” (following the Royal Family’s strict social media guidelines, of course).
But, of course to give the handle to the royal couple, Instagram first had to take it from its old owner – which they did without asking.
This begs the obvious question – Can Instagram do that?
Well, according to Instagram’s rules, it has the right to take over accounts that it deems “inactive” – which is exactly what happened with Keiley.
Keiley claims that he used the account primarily to browse and like other posts, yet he rarely posted himself. Unfortunately, this is why Instagram in their wisdom deemed his account inactive, and gave it away.
“I didn’t ask for this. I’ve had the account for years – it’s not very pleasant,” he told the BBC.
Instead, they offered him the handle @_sussexroyal.
It turns out that Keiley also has the @sussexroyal handle on Twitter, and he’s making sure he doesn’t lose that one too by regularly taking to it to vent his frustrations at losing his Instagram handle, and of course to sing the praises of his beloved Reading Football Club.
So, the moral of this story is quite simple. Don’t just let your social media accounts sit idle and assume that they will always be there. Post some content today and keep it all alive.
You could even start by sharing this blog post 😊 .
Author: Cameron McIver