Move Over, Facebook Official — Instafficial Is The New Way To Announce Your Relationship In 2018

by Annie Foskett

There's a reason that while your dad might not have an Instagram, he absolutely has a Facebook. It's because Facebook has been around for a minute, and some of you youngins may even consider it an antique. Zuckerberg's platform was the OG way to show your life off to the internet, unless we count Webshots — anddd now you know I'm old. (Plus the grainy pictures of me with braces on Webshots were anything but brag-worthy.) So when it comes to letting the world know you've found a bae, is Facebook official important?

In 2018, my impulse is to say that no, Facebook official is no longer "en vogue" and you should not for a moment consider putting "In a Relationship With" on your profile. However, I realized that as a modern woman, I have not had to deal with an official relationship announcement via social media in well, a minute, and so I asked some friends who entered into new relationships in 2017 about how they decided to announce their new 'ship to the world.

First, I did a quick scan of some friends' profiles to see if anyone had any relationship statuses listed on Facebook. I saw three loose acquaintances who had "single" listed, and a handful more who listed "married." All of these people were over the age of 40. However, just because I personally haven't seen any Facebook officiating of new relationships among millennials doesn't mean that it's completely out of use. I talked to a couple of friends who entered relationships recently, and here's how they navigated social media once they made things official.

Instagram Is The New Facebook

But we all knew that, right? The first of my friends to reply to my query explained that she thought putting someone in a photo with you on your real Instagram is the new "Facebook official."

Another friend of mine agreed. She entered a new relationship last year, and said that when when she posted the first photo of her and her boyfriend to her real Instagram — no finstas here — one of her friends commented, "IPO?" Call that an initial public offering or Instagram post official. Either way, it sends the message that you're together.

A third friend said that she feels that any post where it is clear you are a couple and placed on your own profile (likely Instagram) is the new "official" and called the Facebook status "cheesy." Honestly, like sending "pokes," it seems like "Facebook official" is very much over.

Stories Don't Count

The couples' photo is absolutely the new way to debut your bae, however, a photo posted via your Instagram or Snapchat story does not necessarily mean that you are official. All of the friends I surveyed mentioned this discrepancy. One friend of mine waited quite a while to post anything so much as hinting at her relationship, though I knew about her boyfriend for months beforehand. I remember seeing him on her Stories briefly, and then, eventually in a full on couple's picture.

Stories are temporary and disappear. They are a good warm up to the eventual "official" photo, but it's not a guarantee that you are dating. (If you're wondering if your ex has a new girlfriend, and you've seen one girl in his Stories over and over, brace yourself for the IPO photo that is almost certainly on its way.) Think about it — if your dad is woke to Instagram, he probably likes every single photo you post, so basically if you make your relationship Instafficial (that's what I'm calling it now), you've probably let your family in on your new relationship.

On that note, I have one final thought: I appreciate that my friend waited a long time to put her relationship on the 'gram. Being "Instagram official" seems like it could add pressure to a budding love. Being too eager to publicly display your relationship to others somehow makes me feel like you are more excited to just have the relationship to show that you're "winning," and less excited to have the relationship just because you are so darn in love. Just my two cents.

Oh, and RIP "Facebook Official." It's — finally — one less thing you have to worry about.

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