Instagram: Everything That’s Wrong With It

Instagram: Everything That’s Wrong With It

Instagram: Everything That’s Wrong With It…

Instagram is my favourite social media platform of all time. I don’t come close to using the alternatives even half as frequently. Facebook, twitter – I’m looking at you. YouTube, well, you’re possibly able to compete. I love the platform because it’s very visual and it really plays to my creative strengths. I’m able to artistically develop my feed and shape it the way I want to, which is great. I’m also easily able to gain inspiration from others in my niche.

Let’s not forget that Instagram also has some of the features found on Facebook and Snapchat combined, which doesn’t hurt. Just saying.

However, there are still a few things about Instagram that I think could be improved. Some are down to the developers, while others are down to the Instagram community. If you’re a regular Instagram user, like me, then you’re part of the latter. Maybe we could team up and try to improve the social media site for the better ;D.

Anyway, here is my list of things that I think could be improved on Instagram:

Numbers Matter

This one is definitely a community thing. No amount of developer updates can change this. With over 500 million users on the platform, it is becoming increasingly difficult for start-ups – and anyone else, really – to become noticed by other users.

In terms of size, there’s nothing that anyone can do. Although, what can be helped is how we view other smaller accounts on Instagram.

I’m sure we’ve all rated accounts based on their following size and engagement rates alone. Or at the very least it’s been a main factor for us. This has always bugged me. It seems that once an account on Instagram has reached a threshold (maybe 10,000 followers?) users can only then begin to take that account seriously. Why is this? Did their content suddenly get much better overnight? Perhaps. Perhaps not. My guess is, if they’ve been posting on their account for months, then their content has probably been consistent in quality.

It irks me because I’ve seen accounts with beautiful feeds and high quality pictures with less than 5,000 followers. I’ve also seen accounts with triple this following and pictures that perhaps aren’t as stunning. Don’t get me wrong, their feeds aren’t bad by any means, but these smaller accounts seemed to really have something. Maybe it’s the exposure that larger accounts can get, but I don’t think that’s entirely it.  The reason I say this is because it’s the same with anything else – whether it be with music bands, places to shop; anything technology – if loads of people go there or have a certain product, it sometimes doesn’t matter on the quality. This isn’t the case every time, obviously.  On Instagram though, I just think it would be nice for us (including myself, yes, I’m guilty of this too!) to not buy into the numbers, and to see the good qualities that smaller accounts on Instagram may have. Not to bash larger accounts, of course, but followings shouldn’t be the only thing that’s taken into consideration, is all. That isn’t the only thing that defines how good an account is.

Competition

If you’re familiar with Instagram, then you’ll know that users often compete with one another in a bid to get to ‘the top.’ I’ve noticed this in the beauty community, in particular. A lot of users who are serious about their accounts, and want to build them up into something great, tend to see other accounts in the same niche as a threat. Therefore, they might not credit other accounts for something (an idea or a picture, for example), or they might not show much support towards other bloggers. There isn’t anything wrong with this, but it does reinforce the idea that success is something that must be competed for and that only a few in the online community can reach it. This isn’t true, of course. There are over 500 million users on Instagram and there are so many potential supporters for every account out there. It’s difficult to comprehend how large that number is, so maybe that’s why so many users believe that success for them and everyone else is so limited.

The quote, ‘Be the change you wish to see,’ comes to mind. I have a good sized following that I’m looking to expand over time, but I also follow a good number of users to show support. I’m an active follower. If I would like others to invest into my account, then it makes sense for me to want to invest in theirs and to also support them (it’s kind of fun to do so). Although I fall victim into this competitive way of thinking quite often, I know that success isn’t something that can only be obtained by a few – and, why should it? If you put the time and the effort in, and you are passionate about what you do, then you are also deserving of the rewards. Maybe this competitiveness is something that can be changed in the future, I hope.

The Algorithm

Now, this is something for the developers. It’s a shame, really.

You used to be able to see posts based on when they were posted (the most recent posts were towards the top of your feed). This gave me confidence that I was seeing everyone’s posts, as my feed wasn’t as filtered. Now, Facebook owns Instagram. The algorithm has been altered to match the one found on your Facebook feed. This means that Instagram filters the posts you see on your feed based on your previous activity with accounts that you follow. It shows you pictures that it thinks you will more likely to want to see.

There are flaws to this, though. This new algorithm is said to have reduced the coverage found on your feed by up to 70%*. So, even if you follow certain users and you wish to see their posts, you might not necessarily see them. A lot of people have complained that they haven’t been able to see as many posts from as many different users, and the flipside to this is that engagement levels on your pictures have most likely decreased. As this isn’t something that any of us can change, we just have to hope that maybe one day the algorithm will revert back to how it was. It’s unlikely though, since nothing has yet been done about it. Ugh.

And that’s it!

As bad as it sounds, before writing this I thought that the list would be longer. I’ve now realised that I don’t have that many qualms with Instagram apart from what has been mentioned above. If you have any other points that you would like to share, then please comment them below as I would love to hear them. Sorry for the abrupt ending J.

Until next time,

– Alicia.

*Copyright (2016). All rights are reserved.  All written work published on this website, unless stated, belong to the author of ‘Serenity Blog Life’ (me). Any written work posted on www.serenitybloglife.com is not to be redistributed, modified, or reused without my express permission. 

**Featured image used with permission under Creative Commons Zero License (cc0)

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