Instagram, you’ve changed. I thought we were friends but you ran off with Facebook and I wasn’t sure I could ever forgive you. That was until I realised, I’m at fault too. I got lazy, I got complacent, and I took you for granted…
Truth is I came to instagram for inspo, I had Facebook to
keep in touch share memes with family & friends and I began following influencer accounts on Instagram to offer me creative inspo and an opportunity to connect with like minded creatives, then I realized it was something I’d really like to do, and so I started to shift my attention to creating content rather than just admiring it.
Fast forward nearly 3 years and Instagram is still for fun, but also accounts for part of my income. I’ve never for a second taken for granted the opportunities that have come from instagram, but since the algorithm changes it’s become tough and for a while there I caught myself being consumed by it. But I realised that it’s time we all take a step back & get some perspective.
Don’t get me wrong, it is shit. It’s shit, that less than 5% of my followers actually see my content on their feeds these days. And it’s shit I’ve lost followers. And it’s shit that recent changes have also led to loads of influencers paying for insta fame – not cool, man. But all we can do is pause & refocus. I was never in it for insta fame, I came to instagram for inspo, so I’m going back to the start…
With the algorithm changes as they are, and basically ever since the switch from chronological feed I’ve found I no longer see what I want in my feed. It’s flooded with images (anything from 1-5 days old) from people I’ve never met, and I’m missing daily posts from my best blogging buddies who I speak to daily and love to support. I think this is actually what’s led to the occurrence of mass un-followings on Instagram lately. People are reassessing who they follow, and so am I. I’ve spent the past month cleaning up my following list with an aim to only follow accounts that truly resonate with me, and who offer me inspo in spades. I don’t care about follow-for-follow, so if that’s all you’re after, by all means unfollow.
Buying followers is something I’ll never do. Firstly because um, brands & PR’s know the score. Secondly, because you can jeopardize your whole profile/business – instagram can shut you down, without warning and without explanation. And finally – because my self worth ain’t attached in any way to my social media account.
Everyday I get emails from companies offering insta fame, like one I read this morning “wouldn’t you love to wake up and find yourself at 50k more Instagram fans?” … “we’ve helped over 16,000 people already”… “using our image recognition system our comments and interactions look genuine“… wait whhhaaa!? 16,000… “look” genuine!!??
I’d rather a handful of genuine followers and REAL engagement any day, over numbers and figures that ‘look genuine’ but are actually artificial af. So, if you’re with me – let’s take a collective deep breath, exhale the bullshit… and move on.
I pride myself on my authenticity. Which is why I’m also happy to talk about the fact that I do partake in the occasional loop-giveaway. To me, this is in no way the same thing as buying followers, for me this is smart marketing… it’s access to an audience that would otherwise not know I existed, at a time when there’s no opportunity for organic reach. If entrants choose to keep following after the giveaway ends then that’s their prerogative, but if however they find they don’t actually relate to my content then I’m completely un-offended by unfollows. We need to start caring less about numbers and more about why we even started in the first place.
It’s time to get back to basics and start enjoying the platform again, for what ever reason it was that got you started in the first place. I met Instagram at the right time and it opened doors for me I never thought possible. I know this to be true for many others in my circle too. So maybe it’s time we stop rehashing how shit the changes are, be grateful we started when we did, and use it as an opportunity to evolve, learn, move forward, brainstorm, focus in other areas, create new & better content, collaborate, and most importantly have FUN.
In the wisdom of Tay Tay, i’ma shake it off.
Instagram’s changed, but life’s good. Onward and upward insta babes & bros… see you out there.
Image by Alice Donovan Rouse