Instagram, why yet another algorithm change? This whole ‘algowhatsit’ has users, including myself in a tizzy. But what is actually changing? What does this mean for us? Are there ways around it? And most importantly, is it worth the stress and affecting your health for it?
Short answer? No. Nothing, not even social media should affect what goes on in your mind, however, anxiety works in rather mysterious ways, and unfortunately even I have succumbed to the stresses of Instagram.
When I originally joined Instagram, it was merely an app with a purpose: being the opposite of Twitter, an expression in the form of photographic squares in any which direction you choose. It came with heaps of random filters which I abused daily and for the main part, it was fun!
O h h e l l o F a c e b o o k . . .
Facebook purchased Instagram… I vaguely recall Facebook claiming they would be allowed to use current users photos to create adverts for their newly acquired empire. Whether this was ‘gossip’ or not I deleted my account quicker than you could say ‘kumquat’. I was gone, (and so was my username to someone else, unfortunately, damn it)
It was only when I began blogging that I saw a possible purpose for social media again. The only one I had held onto dearly was Twitter because, despite the changes, it was the only social media channel I felt stayed true to its form. It was also the place where I had met many like minds and I wasn’t about to give up my twitfam for anything (LOVE you guys)
I created a new Insta account rather apprehensively… However I lacked any ‘direction’
It was just me being me, selfies and all. It wasn’t until I found a love for Make-up that my account suddenly began to take off. My account made gains quickly, my likes grew, my interaction somewhat snowballed and at times I couldn’t quite believe what was going on. I was somewhat elated that people enjoyed my work, however, it mentally came at a price.
A n d t h e n t h e a l g o r i t h m h i t.
Growth massively slowed down for users overall. In some cases, it stopped completely, and in others, followers were falling day by day. People were losing heart in the platform, creating posts that begged for Instagram to go back to chronological order, and not hinder their exposure. Calls that were obviously, not really cared for in a now business and profit-minded facebook owned platform.
‘S u p p o r t p o d s c a n b e g a m e s p l a y e d a g a i n s t y o u’
People fought back in numerous ways, the most prominent for me were Instagram support pods/networks. The hysteria of the now deemed fictional ‘shadow ban’ was rife, and it was all too easy to find users creating telegram style like pods where you could drop your post in for some extra likes, interaction and exposure.
Did I do this? I did yes. It was also a game that didn’t work out well for me. I see support pods as the underdog helper of Instagrammers. They really try their hardest to get support for their content that easily gets washed away by the tide dragging in the paid for posts. Unfortunately, you can also find people within these groups that have no designs to help and support others and plug their work mercilessly, without clicking a single like on the users also involved in the pod. This happened all too frequently and the cat-fights were not worth the stress. All too often there would be squares solely dedicated to tearing one another down… wasn’t this app originally created to be fun?
The support began to dwindle, and I walked away realising that I should never put myself in a position that further exacerbates my social anxiety.
S o w h a t i s g o i n g o n w i t h I n s t a g r a m?
From what I’ve researched, it’s now becoming the photogenic sibling to Facebook. After a read up on the latest from Later.com our feeds are becoming more tailored to our own ‘like tastes’. Whilst full on chronological ordering is NOT (not ever) making a comeback, you can expect to see your favourite accounts featuring on your feed in a more chronological way (bye to seeing Easter posts in Whitsun week) they also claim to want to show your ‘friends and family’ more (like 90%)
I mean, no offence Instagram, isn’t this EXACTLY what facebook is for? Instagram just isn’t that for me. It’s an escapism, it’s something to provoke thoughts, give inspiration, seek muses and showcase raw talent. It’s way-way more than ‘Oh Beryl’s taken her labrador to the pond for a walk again, double tap, let me WhatsApp her and tell her he’s so cute’
For the large part, Instagram isn’t what was once before. It’s left behind its wholesome ‘we created an app that was free and fun’ to an app that became a monopoly boardgame for Zuck n’ co.
S u p p o r t i n g s h o u l d c o m e n a t u r a l l y
I can honestly hand on heart tell you that some amazing friendships have been made through Instagram, through love of the users content, general conversations that have led to wonderful moments. If you love someones content, show it! Don’t feel you have to get too wrapped up in themes or schedules to keep the growth coming if it isn’t you. Chances are the algorithm is working against your a** anyway.
P e o p l e l o v e t o b e a b l e t o r e l a t e t o y o u…
They really do. Resonating with others thoughts and feelings builds rapport and friendships. Just by being you, you can easily gain a squad of likeminded, amazing souls who uplift you daily. Sounds fun doesn’t it? And this is how I roll now.
So don’t fret about no ‘Shadow ban’ where’s darkwing duck when you need him? Don’t feel compelled to keep up with the ideals you witness from the accounts who do this for pretty much a job (unless you want to that is, then go ahead and hustle baby) also remember that a number doesnt define you! It actually doesn’t. 10, 100, 1000 or 10K followers, it doesn’t define who you are (and who talks to over thousands of people daily anyway?! Dayum brrrp brrrp!)
You do you, got it? good! Now go ahead and work your grid the way you want to work your grid… and remember that kindness can actually indeed, be magic…