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.
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.
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