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Thursday, 5 January 2017

Instagram, Ya Dead?

 Instagram. 


It's the one social media app that has bloggers and influencers flapping about and scratching their head trying to figure out just where it all started to go downhill and what they can do to claw back the good old days where likes, comments and followers came so freely.

I set up my Instagram account probably around 4 years ago and gained my first few thousand followers fairly easily (it was a whole different game back then). Real followers that didn't unfollow just days later. Engagement was probably at its highest ever (for me personally) - I'd hit 500 likes easy and my Instagram feed was pretty basic back then too. But the blogging game was nothing like it is today and pretty Insta feeds were almost non existent; in fact, Tumblr was the go to place to lust over Acne Studio knitwear and magazine-esque imagery. With the ever growing popularity of blogging and a new route for millennials to express themselves creatively and even earn a few dollar here and there, there was always going to be a halt and shift in dynamics which has caused a little panic in the blogging world. 


So what's changed? 


Pretty much everything has changed on Instagram recently... The algorithm, Insta stories, Insta 'live' (damn Facebook), the new 'save feature'. But surely these are things that should be helping us reach out to more of our followers and increase engagement? The short answer is no. If it did, I wouldn't see so many people shouting out about how bad engagement is lately. It got me wondering why...

Reflecting on my own Insta scrolling habits, it's quite obvious that I can see why engagement has dropped. When I scroll through my Insta feed, 9 out of 10 images are a well thought out flat lays, a bloggers #ootd, a regram of a bloggers #ootd, a sassy quote & an overly exposed facetuned whitened building or a bedroom goals picture of some sort. I've personally become numbed to pretty imagery and stylish outfits. Everything is so overdone now, that I rarely like and comment on images purely because nothing screams out to me anymore - not like they used to on Tumblr anyway.

The fact of the matter is, Google tells me that there are over 500 million active users now on Instagram. People are following more people than ever RN & evidently, peoples feed's are watered down & peoples lives are getting busier & busier, to the point where they don't have the time to see every snap thats uploaded by the 498 people they're following. Engagement is down across the board, not just for bloggers, but even for celebs too and the reasons I mentioned above have a hell of a lot to do with it.

The numbers game.


My twitter feed is flooded with people so frustrated with loosing followers on IG. Not reaching at least 100 likes on their last IG image is first world problems at its finest. I know how irritating it is, I'm too crying out and annoyed with lack of engagement. Recently, I've come to learn that there really is more in life than hitting a certain number of likes within the first hour. And more importantly, I know I'm guilty for swiping through my feed mentally liking and commenting on images instead of double tapping my finger or taking the time out to write a 3 word minimum comment + emoji to be supportive. I just don't have the time. We don't need numbers on a picture to make ourselves feel good! This unrealistic need for approval and acknowledgment from strangers needs to be put behind us. You know you look fly in that brand spankin' new outfit, 12,343 likes or not.

Just think of how many views one of your blog posts gets... 350 page views doesn't necessarily equal 350 comments. So many people observe, read, mentally like and relate without letting you know and this is without a doubt the same with Instagram.



Back to Basics.


I've tossed and turned at night, I've even felt crappy and demotivated in recent months, all because of Instagram. I meet my photographer to shoot looks purely for Instagram and not for my blog. This being because I was putting all my emphasis on making my feed 'goals' and adhering to my greyed out theme. But why should I let an app, yes... an APP dictate how I feel and produce content for something that started out so true? I'm guilty for spending more time being an 'Influencer' and I've neglected my blog for quite some time, only posting content when really necessary.

What I've realised I need to do, is bring back more of my original blogging habits, before Instagram became the centre of my universe. I need to start writing more blog posts and talking about things again so people can read what I've got to say & in turn, hopefully come back for more - real engagement!! 

Lets hope this shift in dynamics brings out the real engagement from everyone and not just likes/comments brought about by engagement groups.

How do you feel about the changing world of Instagram? Do you feel its a dying platform, or do you still think it's thriving? Leave me a comment or tweet me at @FashernablyLate

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30 comments

  1. WELL SAID! I have always loved bright and colorful imagery so I guess this "theme" of mine started very naturally but I found myself suffocating last month because I just wanted to do whatever I wanted. I never even realised I was adhering to certain rules until then. It's just too much. Instagram is about sharing so from now on, I will share. Whether it's to 10 people or 300k or it fits my aesthetic, I don't care. Here is to a no-fuss 2017!

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  2. I don't like the changes to IG - there are lots of false followers who follow and unfollow so quickly and it just doesn't feel as authentic as it once did. x

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  3. Agreed with many points here. I do feel like it's going downhill in terms of engagement and you're right - all photos are the same so nothing stands out anymore! x

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  4. Fantastic post, I so agree with you on all points. You can chase numbers on an app and spend countless hours doing so, just to have the algorithms change once again x

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  5. I agree with everything you say. I used to be addicted to instagram but nowadays I a hardly on it.

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  6. Great post, Instagram has changed so much over the years. I still like it, just not as much as I used to x

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  7. I love Instagram. I just think people get too obsessed over these filters. They seem to think that makeup can make themselves look like a filter when it can't

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  8. I adore Insta but the follow/unfollow game that a lot of people have recently started drives me mad. I just don't understand what they think they're achieving?

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  9. I absolutely love and hate Instagram at the same time. There's something really satisfying about square photos! But yes, I'm done with the themes and the samey-samey business. It's hard to be noticed but then again, do I want to be noticed for not being true to me? DEEP, ha. Nowadays I just post when the mood strikes me! SO lovely to meet you at the Puma breakfast, btw! x

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  10. I hated the changes at first but my likes seem to have increased. That being said I got to 1 k within 2 weeks when I set my blog up and gradually it has been harder and harder to build my following. I know that my feed is unique and its different and I hate that it is not given more recognition. I feel your pain gal!

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  11. I have been hovering around the 3k followers for AGES and I think I have now finally cracked the new algorithm. Instagram Pods! I joined one with 10 people on and I post two pictures to the pod I want commenting on (and I comment on theirs too). It's a pod for 30 plus bloggers but they do have specific ones for beauty, fashion etc. Since then engagement is up and so are numbers. AND my photo's have gotten better as I got a new camera. Hopefully I will see a new engagement boost x

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    1. Engagement groups have been around for a while now and although they help with engagement in terms of numbers, its not the 'real' engagement I'm talking about. Those groups are all give to receive and comments are made because you get them in return and not because the participants genuinely like the picture enough to stop scrolling on their feed for. I love how it's helped you with your imagery and content and I hope your engagement continues to increase x

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  12. I think I am one of the few bloggers that hasn't bothered with instagram. I don't look at it and don't have an account although I am on FB, Tw, google+, Pinterest and google+ there are so many social media platforms it's hard to keep on top and monitor them all. I haven't a clue how instagram works but have heard loads of complaints recently.

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  13. I honestly thought today if I saw one more Instagram photo with fairy lights thrown in the picture I would scream loved what you had to say as made me feel normal like I am not the only one! Great post

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  14. Instagram is a pain and I do find that engagement has gone down quite a bit but then again before the end of last year I didn't put too much effort into mine so I haven't seen as much of a drop x

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  15. Ahh, to me Instagram isn't just a thriving platform but rather THE platform, it is as you've said though, totally transformed from what it was. I'm not a fan of the algorithm changes, as a mid sized account on IG it has meant that fewer and fewer of my followers see me, even though I have a high engagement rate still, it's cut back purposefully once I'm over an allotted number of followers. Keep plugging and stay authentic, you'll keep growing x

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  16. My Instagram is doing the best it has ever done lately, but I'm not overly fussed on likes, I'm happy if i get any likes tbh! xo

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  17. It's so sad the way IG has gone. I started mine a few years ago too and got to 34,000 of real followers pretty quick and now it's so hard for older accounts to continue growing.

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  18. We think its a dying platform, its a victim of its own success. Its too overly saturated with the same content. Totally agree that nothing stands out anymore..because a lot of the time its all picture perfect.

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  19. Totally agree, I used to enjoy Instagram more before but it is a lot harder to get likes now. I still use it though

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  20. I've still not got round to instagram. Truth be told, I don't think I have that much pictures to share. It does feel like more a number game in comparison to other social media though x

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  21. I find Instagram such a hard platform to grow on!! I made one for m blog as soon as I started blogging last year and I have to say I hate using it!! It's my least used app I think although I do try to keep up with posting but it always seems like such a let down!

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  22. I love IG and my followers have risen steadily over the year, unlike some of my friends who have seen massive drops. I would like to achieve 6000 followers this year (I am on 5400 at the moment)
    My Twitter, however is pitiful!! lol xx

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  23. I love and hate instagram - on one side I met some amazing people through it and I am so greatfull for the followers and the support I got from it. On the other side I hate how much time I spend on it, and I get annoyed with myself wasting my time away looking at random people's feeds that only make me feel unhappy about something in my life when in reality my life is great (well most of the time).
    Not super happy about all the new updates either, but I do much prefer insta stories to snap chat..
    Jb // xx

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  24. instagram is a love hate thing now. i love it for inspiration but hate it on what its become now

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  25. I'm really trying to keep my insta feed away from the blog - Its my happy place where I share what pops into my mind. No flat lays or carefully crafted shots - mainly in the now pics that I love and feel like sharing. I wouldn't know or care if people played the unfollow game - Its their loss!

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  26. I neglected IG for the last few months of 2016, probably even longer because it was just so disappointing. I agree 100% with everything you mentioned. It's a it of a shame and maybe I will use IG now only to share snippets of "real life" and behind the scenes.

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  27. I love instragram! I don't quite use it enough but when I do I always make sure my photos are just photos that I like that I've taken, and that I only follow people who's photos I like! It has, however, changed a lot and it's more difficult to get engaging followers!

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  28. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  29. Hi there! Nice stuff, do keep me posted when you post again something like this! automatic instagram likes

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