The InstaGames: Algorithm? Instagram? here we go again…

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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 . . .

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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)

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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’

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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’

SURELY.

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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 yougot 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…

Tap tap

x

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You can find Zara on her Twitter and Insta channels often, and of course via our Facebook page too!

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22 thoughts on “The InstaGames: Algorithm? Instagram? here we go again…

  1. Finally got my password reset so I can comment! Ha-ha glad I started with this post! Very interesting read. I seemed to have taken up all forms of social media at the time when acquiring a mass audience has become the hardest thing to do since the creation of each platform. However, it doesn’t take a toll on me as I am not fixated on numbers just the quality of people I connect with. Present company being a fine example! Thanks for sharing ZLU!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I so agree with “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” IG can really be tiring sometimes (i do the telegram pods) but now, I make it a point to also like and comment whatever is on my feed and I love how others do it now too on my own posts. ❤️ haven’t been on IG for two days for an IG detox haha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a fab balance! I hope the pods are wonderfully supportive!
      I was in a few. One was gorgeous to be in, the support was never ending. But the others were massively cutthroat and I couldn’t take it anymore 😩
      I need a detox for sure lol! If you’ve got tips I’d gladly hear them lol 🙊💖

      Thank you so much for the read and comment!

      Like

  3. I had no idea facebook owned Instagram! Instagram is annoying at times but it’s better when you have nice blogging friends who help each other 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, it was quite some time ago now but they did acquire rights to them and slowly changed it from its original path 😩
      And massively. I can’t thank the community enough for the support they give! X

      Like

  4. i love this post so much!!! The Instagram algorithm constantly changing honestly kinda feels like a big “F U” to the people who use it. They are studiously ignoring what people want and forcing us into basically a Facebook 2.0, which sorry Aunt Martha, but I’d rather see actual good posts and not your recycled minions memes. And I love your point about how the numbers is not equivalent to your value. So many bloggers act as if you’re nothing but a failure if you don’t have this amount of followers or are part of a certain pinterest group and you won’t be satisfied unless you pay $200 and follow my step-by-step scheme and that upsets me. Some people create and write because they love it. And it’s just as simple as that. No math involved.

    You’re an epic writer and I’m so happy I found your blog! I look forward to reading more from you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so so much for this gorgeous feedback Kelsey! – I massively agree! It’s becoming something to monopolise now and that isn’t fair on anyone.

      The followers issue is a massive one too. Not one blogger is a failure! I find that there’s blurring of the lines between ‘influencer’ and ‘blogger’ these days. If we go back to when bloggers first began, it was a person sharing their views, and day to day stuff essentially with zero filters. Now we have endorsements flying left right and centre. People use these to act as if they have a peg or two above another and that’s saddening. It really is!
      The schemes can sod off. We can work out thing, and know it’s going to be great because it’s *who we are*

      Keep shining bright diamond! X

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I realised that I was already following you on Twitter (the cozy, supportive social media).
    And yes, IG being bought by Facebook has changed it drastically. Soon, I’ll see my mom create an account on IG. And I’ll run. Never to come back. And I’ll post my Labrador pictures elsewhere 🙂
    Love xx

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is the best post I’ve read about the whole Instagram algorithm topic, especially ‘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’. EXACTLY. Sometimes with this whole blogger sphere it feels like a numbers game, the whole essence of sharing is going and its all about the likes and how many followers you can get. I could go on about this topic forever but you’ve summer it up perfectly ❤

    Char xo | memoirsmusings.com

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so so much Char! It really is a sad thing to be seeing. But numbers seem to be all that matter in many peoples minds.
      For me, it’s people messaging me saying I’ve made a difference. Or I’ve meant something to them, hell even people popping up saying I’m funny (like whaaaaa) but still- those are the best things I take from social media. Not my following number, not anything!
      It shouldn’t be a case of take take take and no give give give. Whilst we may execute a mantra of ‘I don’t give to receive’ sometimes it’s massively wonderful to at least acknowledge them!

      I think I could go on forever too 🙊 maybe this should become a series!

      Like

  7. YES YES YES! I haaaate the fact Instagram is now owned by Facebook, and I do think they are ruining it. It winds me up so much that they’re trying to turn it into Snapchat, pretty much because Snapchat couldn’t/wouldn’t be bought by them. There are some features I like, but I’m not too optimistic about the direction it’s heading.

    I’m just doing my best to have fun with it and not take it so seriously, like I started to do. I started to panic about my pictures on there and while, yes, I’ve started putting more effort into it, that’s only so it’s different to my personal account. It felt like they were the same and it seemed pointless having two so I thought to myself, “if I’m going to have one for my blog, I need to switch it up.” I do take an interest and research ways to reach people on Instagram, but I just don’t have the energy to stress about it. Too many other things going on so whatever. 😂 x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. MASSIVELY feel this. What happened to social media accounts being yours and not for the masses? Facebook have massively changed everything based upon greed and data capture. With obviously a side serving of imitation to keep up.

      It’s massively saddening that people feel defeated by this app as I recall its ethos was so free and open, when you first signed up it had this whole blurb of ‘we wanted to create something fun’
      Now, it’s gone.
      I think we all have to do things that work for us. There’s no way we should compromise our lifestyles or mindsets for an app that simply wont give back to you… that’s my thoughts anywho 🙊💖

      Liked by 1 person

  8. What a fantastic post and just what I needed. I’ve recently started blogging and have attempted to use Social media to promote my hard work. Instagram used to be my absolute fave platform but now it’s a different story. I’m deflated daily with seeing stats such as 40 new followers and a day later 41 unfollowed. It’s a shame that IG has changed. Onwards and upwards. Thank you for a great read. xx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Massively! It’s all too easy to take the follow unfollow game to heart too. Unfortunately we have to learn to take it with a pinch of salt, believe in your content, believe in yourself! You have amazing things pouring from those fingertips, along with Instagram posts!
      It’s a double sided coin of ‘play the game’ or ‘be myself’ now. And I think a vast majority would love to see you doll! (I know I do! Keep being fabulous x)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. That is so true! Blimey I seriously think you should go into motivational speaking hun. Not only are you incredibly knowledgable and fab at makeup, you’re a huge motivator. Thank you sweetheart. You’re simply stunning, inside and out. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      2. 🙊 aw thank you babe that’s a gorgeous compliment! – it’s all too true with instaworld. But definitely keep you head above the water babe ☺️ you can fight any tides of stress that come your way. And we all will x

        Liked by 1 person

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