Making instagram my happy place again – new hashtag communities

If you’re on Instagram how do you feel about it at the moment? I used to really enjoy it. I joined before it was somewhere influencers were, before it was included in blog ranking calculations. When it was just about sharing square photos and finding like-minded people to follow without having to use Flickr. But over the last year as it’s become more business oriented, and the algorithms have hit many of us hard, it’s hard to get the same pleasure and it’s no longer such a happy place to be.

There are some things I’d love Instagram to remove or bring back but I know that’s not going to happen:

  • Bringing back a chronological option in the same way you can have in Facebook
  • All the poor targeting by businesses would disappear
  • Hashtags would work properly again – top 9s would refresh (I’m still seeing top 9s with posts in them from a year ago despite there being plenty of new photos
  • You could write on stories instead of having to have people DM you. I hate my inbox filling up but it is nice to get genuine chat going on
  • Follow/unfollow would stop – sigh. Depressing that the majority of follows now seem to be because of this tactic
  • Following hashtags would give you different people’s photos, not the same people all the time
  • The Explore feed would enable you to scroll through different photos, and not where you click on a photo and it just scrolls through that person’s feed. There’s no consistency in how it works anymore and I never see smaller IGers in there only the big themed feeds. The algorithm certainly isn’t working for me in Explore feed.

If I ignore all of these (and the 20 million sponsored photos for the same advertising campaigns – Johnsons and Soreen I’m looking at you), Instagram is still a lovely place to be.

It’s great for getting photo inspiration – where else would I have discovered lensball photography or frozen bubbles? (I’m still waiting for cold enough weather here to try the latter).

You can really feel part of a community – through niche hashtags or challenges.

And it’s great for avoiding social media disagreements. So far on Instagram I’ve not come across any big disagreements on photos.

Enjoy instagram again new # communities - Bubbablue and me

New Hashtag Communities #LovelyHappyPic and #MyDarlingBritain

Over the last few months I’ve been topping up a couple of hashtags I wanted to use, and have finally decided that I’m going to launch them as a hashtag community. At the moment I’m not going to feature them on Instagram (sorry, but my feed is my own).

Instead I’ll pick my favourite 4 and share on the blog and my stories. It’ll start with each month, but may increase in frequency as more join in and use the hashtags.

#MyDarlingBritain is for views and vistas of towns and countryside, places you’ve visited and sights you’ve seen in Britain.  It’s about places not people (unless it’s street photography)

#LovelyHappyPic is for lifestyle things that makes you smile. Be it a celebration, food, outdoor space, something pretty, a memory or a design you spot.

I’ll be checking into the hashtags regularly, and trying to interact with as much as possible. My hope is that I’ll meet more Instagrammers and enjoy Instagram again more often. Hopefully others will find the same too.

Hope you’ll be joining in with me over on Instagram.

Hot Pink Wellingtons


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27 thoughts on “Making instagram my happy place again – new hashtag communities

  1. I fell out of love with Instagram a while ago, I just couldn’t grow it and was very frustrated with it. I saw people growing around me and thought what am I doing wrong. Now I know about all the things people are doing to grow and decided that it’s not for me. I’ve just had to accept that this is what it’s like now and I’m enjoying it again. Thank you for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

    1. I know what you mean. I don’t have the time to spend on those things and don’t have the money from my blog to get a VA to do it for me. And I’d rather put in the work myself. It’s amazing how much some people have grown when actually their feeds aren’t that much different to others who are struggling, even when they don’t seem to be doing much themselves.
      It’s definitely better just to accept and enjoy for the photos

  2. I hope this brings back some of the love for you. I have the same frustrations with the explore feed – it used to be a great way to discover new accounts, big and small, but now it’s just full of huge accounts. I want to connect with like minded people, not follow loads of big accounts who will never engage with me at all. And the follow unfollow… sigh… But I have refound my love for it – probably because I’ve accepted that I’ll never grow my account significantly more than it is, which has meant I now pretty much just post what I want, without worrying so much about how it looks in my feed. I hope the hashtags help – I’ve noticed recently that the amount of people seeing my posts through hashtags is so minimal that I not bothering with them as much! Most of the time it’s somewhere around 7 views! Thanks for joining us at #SharingtheBlogLove

  3. Yeah I love using Instagram these days. Wasn’t fussed at first, but I’m getting more and more into it. I love talking about life in the form of photos, and sometimes I can do just that via Insta. #SharingTheBlogLove

    1. Sometimes it’s hard to adjust to all the changes, and when things were going well suddenly everything goes nuts on there. They’re now saying it’s all about videos on there which I’m sad about. I don’t watch videos, I don’t generally make videos and those I have put on my IG tank. So it’s just sad it’s moving so far away from how it started out when it was good.

  4. I agree with every single point you made. I hate the non-chronological order. I don’t want to see so many sponsored posts, and don’t even start me on follow/unfollow, which sadly includes even bloggers that I thought I knew. Just what is the point of following to unfollow almost the next day, what’s the logic behind this stupid trend? There was a big spat recently between Instamums and Mumsnet. I have read all threads on MN, and it was a grand hullabaloo. I don’t follow any of those Instamums involved in it. I’ll check out the hashtags you suggested.

  5. You’re absolutely right. I really enjoy instagram but dislike the constant following and unfollowing from people that just want you to follow back. Is it really necessary?!

    1. That winds me up so much. And most of them aren’t even targeting properly. that I don’t follow businesses.If they looked at my bio of feed, they’d know the type of photos I like, and

    1. I used to love it before it became included on influencer rankings, but now it is, it’s definitely got a little less fun and more about the stats than the photos. Sometimes we just have to remember what it’s really about, and that’s photography and images

  6. I love Instagram it’s spite of the changes! It’s great for conversations and getting inspiration. Hopefully the algorithm might chill out a bit after a while x

    1. The vibe of it is laid back which is nice. But I miss so many people because the feed isn’t chronoglical. So hard to keep track and conversations, and I hate the Stories DM. I don’t want my inbox filled with random conversations particularly.

  7. Great post. I completely agree with you. I love your idea with your hashtags. I’d love to join in with the #LovelyHappyPic (Im in Australia so cant do the other one)

  8. I love Instagram, but the follow/unfollow thing really annoys me too. I often share photos that would fit with your hashtags so I have made a note of them for next time I have a relevant pic (I only post every few days!)

    1. F/UF drives me mad. I have just aobut got over my slump and downward trend, so hoping I can keep it going the right way now, but I think it’s just a case of living with it and just trying to enjoy IG again for what it is. A place for lovely photo sharing

  9. Love this idea especially as you can now follow hashtags. Will try and join in on the lovely happy pic one if only to look at lovely photos and cheer myself up hehe

    1. I do quite like the hashtag following, but I do find that I’m only ever seeing the same person’s photos for the hashtags rather than seeing lots of peoples. I think that’s why we’re not seeing hashtags bring people over to like and follow like it used to. Because if they’re following they’re not seeing everyone, and they’re not going to the hashtag itself anymore

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