Isn’t it amazing how we fall in love with a platform and it’s working perfectly fine, and everyone is loving it, and then the business decides they want to change it, just because they think they know what is best? I wonder if any user ever contacted Instagram and said, “I think it would be awesome if you created an algorithm like Facebook where I don’t have to see ‘everyone’s posts who I follow”? I seriously doubt it.
Social Media started out as a social atmosphere, where we could talk to friends, share stories, experiences, and products that we love. Then brands got involved, and actually I liked it. I love seeing brands in a more authentic light than commercial photos in a magazine. It’s nice and humanizes a brand. With that being said, it turned into a marketing arena instead of the focus being the user and community. Total bummer.
For those who are unfamiliar with Instagram (aka my family 😛 – yes, not a single one of them is very active on it, except for my sister-in-law who posts photos of my niece and nephew, which I love. I <3 seeing the photos that she shares. I want to see her photos. I shouldn’t have to turn on “post notifications” to ensure that I don’t miss one of her posts.)
I digress. Instagram started out as a social media platform where people could share photos. It was chronological. Yes, you might miss someone’s post from the night before, but if you really want to see them, you will search them and see what they have been up to. Now, I’m doing that for everyone of my friends and family members. It’s INSANE. I have never been more frustrated. I stopped using Facebook very much for this very reason.
Tangent: One of my biggest pet peeves of Facebook is when I’ve already “liked” something and it shows back up in my feed. Why would I want to see it again? I’ve already seen it, and “liked” it. Show me something else. Something new from a different friend. I might want to see their post. And just because I haven’t engaged with them in awhile does not mean that I don’t want to see someone’s post. It just might mean they haven’t shown up in my feed, because currently as it stands Facebook does all the guessing.
Back to Instagram. (boy this rant feels good :P) Instagram which was bought by Facebook in 2012 for $1 billion, just rolled out a similar algorithm, where it thinks it knows who’s posts you want to see, and their reasoning is so that you don’t “miss” a post by someone you care about, because they posted when you were asleep. But, the truth is, I’m missing more posts now, than I was before the algorithm was added. Big time fail, Instagram. Big…time…fail!
Did you roll this out, just so that you could roll out Instagram Stories, which would inspire people to share more “real time” content? If so, it doesn’t matter. People would still use “Instagram Stories” (people were still using Snapchat), in fact, it’s a brilliant idea to add this feature, because some people were sharing too many photos on Instagram (it’s not a photo album people :P).
Unfortunately, currently this is the way it stands, and I personally can’t do anything about it, so I’m just trying to adjust and deal, but it really bums me out when I miss people’s posts, and I have to go searching for them. I’ve even considered creating an excel doc with all my favorite friends, influencers, brands, who post awesome photos that I don’t want to miss. I envision myself having my morning coffee, and I pull out my excel doc with my list, and I search one by one, so that I can catch up on all my faves. Has it really come to this? So friggin’ weird.
What does this mean for you, as a brand? Pay to play. If you want your content to be seen more, you are gonna have to roll out those dolla dolla bills, ya’ll!
In the meantime, I will keep praying for Instagram to change back to a chronological newsfeed and us all to get our sanity back. If you feel the same way, share this post. Maybe, just maybe Instagram will listen? 🙂