I started using Instagram about 4 years ago as I am quite a keen amateur photographer and thought it would be a fun way for me to grow a network for my start up business and make some new connections.
I started by reading a few blogs about how to make the most from an account on Instagram and then off I went. I work pretty hard on my content posting great images (I think) good variety and I post everyday, I spend about 30 minutes a day liking other feeds and leaving positive comments on posts I genuinely like.
For the first couple of years everything was great, it was slow to build a following but over time I connected with some nice people genuine people all over the world. Then the spam started. I was getting comments from feeds with only 10-50 posts telling me I could grow my following by following this link and that, by downloading this app and that. I did go for it once but of course nothing happened except I had apps on my phone I didn't want. Not sure what the purpose for getting people to click these links is, and there may be something more sinister behind some. I now follow the rule "If something seems too good to be true it is." Also if someone has a scheme to get you loads of followers but doesn't have any themselves, (and there are a lot like this surprisingly) it's a dead giveaway.
The next thing was the comments that say, "great content (or something similar) cannot wait to see more" my response now "Don't you need to be following if you want to see more?" Yep you guessed it complete BS.
Then there are all the people generously offering to post about my products if I send them out to them for free, great work if you can get it. Now I know the top bloggers have influence but when these people are no longer posting about things they genuinely like and are just scoring free stuff from everyone how can their followers trust and believe them? I smell more BS here.
In the last year or so I have been plagued by swathes of followers, who whether you follow them back or not immediately unfollow. The point, I suppose to end up looking like they have loads of followers whilst hardly following anyone back, get a life it doesn't make you popular, it makes you ANTI SOCIAL.
And then Facebook took over and changed all the algorithms so they control what you see and what you don't on your feed so you might be following a good friend and never actually see their posts unless you remember to go to their feed directly. I guess my point is some people (the chosen few) get their feeds seen all the time and the rest of us don't even get shown to our actual followers which kinda sucks.
Something else I haven't quite figured out yet is what I call "sub feeds" they look like an individual with usually less than 1000 followers and they connect/comment but when you look at their feed it's a dead end, no link in bio or further information in the profile, just links to other feeds in posts usually for a much more prolific feed with loads of followers. Not sure why these massive instagrammers need these strings of other accounts as promotional outlets or warriors as it's so obvious to anyone with a brain they are not real.
For the last year my following had not increased at all, (even though I post daily, post comments every day for real and try to respond to everyone who comments on my feed) it vascillates between 980 and 1030 followers, I gain and lose on average between 10-15 per day but they are not real accounts, just what I call "look at me" feeds that don't wish to be social just want something from me. FAKE ASS LOSERS.
I guess like anything when an application gets so big and popular it always goes downhill as people try to exploit it.
I have tried advertising also on the platform and this for me was a complete waste of money too, with a very poor return on investment.
I am not closing my account because I do need a social media presense but I have distanced myself from the Instagram app. I no longer enjoy using it in the same way. I was naive when I started on Instagram thinking it was the fun tool I needed to connect with genuine like minded people for business and pleasure but instead too many fake accounts controlled by big business or big brother with a hidden money making agenda, so a treadmill I no longer want to be on or participate in driving as for me it's the road to nowhere. Think of it like a multi level marketing pyramid, if you are at the top of the pyramid you make all the money, but if you are at the bottom of the pyramid along with everyone else you do all the work and get nothing in return by comparison. JUST SAYING INSTA. Truth hurts.
If you are looking for a great tool to keep a photo journal for yourself in isolation then Instagram is perfect for this public or private but expect anything more than this unless you are famous in your own right and you will likely be extremely disappointed.
Other snoops by Theo Panda