Why I think Instagram is a waste of time

Last month I went to an event all about Instagram. How to grow your audience and improve your photo gallery. I came away feeling very inspired. But not in the way you would think.

At first I was inspired to try and grow my Instagram. I know I can do this. At one point, I was getting 1000 followers a month.

I’m not anymore. In the past month, I’ve lost about 60 followers.

You know why? A lot of people on Instagram are fickle as fuck and I’m sick off it.

In reality, I would have lost the same amount of followers if I hadn’t completely given up wasting my time on tactics to grow my following. But I would have just gained more followers that I wouldn’t notice.

I just got sick of it.

The newest fad to grow your following is Instagram pods. I have been in a few of these. The idea behind Instagram pods is to like and comment the latest posts of others in the pod in return for them liking and commenting on yours. The theory is that if you have a lot of engagement, Instagram will show your photo in searches more, getting you seen by more accounts and getting more followers. It also looks good when you have lots of comments on your photos.

There are a few reasons I’ve stopped doing this:

  • I don’t want comments that people are leaving because they have to, not because they want to.
  • I don’t want to comment on peoples posts that I don’t care about.
  • It takes a lot of time.
  • You have to check a few times a day to keep up.
  • I don’t want to trick brands into thinking I have a loyal, engaging audience when I don’t.
  • As soon as you stop doing pods, your engagement basically stops.

All these things just make it seem so POINTLESS.

But that’s what Instagram is lately. People follow to unfollow. People comment on photos they don’t care about. People use bots and the wrong hash tags and spam like people just to grow a following that is just as fake as them.

So I’m done with it.

Since the workshop, I’ve changed my Instagram theme and I love it. But I’ve stopped caring about the rest.

I post the photos I love when I want them and I’m proud of my current Instagram.

Nothing else matters.

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24 Comments

  1. April 7, 2017 / 7:47 am

    I totally agree with you! I see what is happening with the “follow-unfollow” what is going on on Instagram and I don’t love this! So, I am posting what I want and when, just like you and I think that is the right way!

  2. Yiota
    April 7, 2017 / 8:10 am

    I am sick of it too, every day I gain 10-15 followers to lose 7-8, and this happens every day. I don’t understand this, why follow to unfollow an hour later, such a waste of time. I hear lots of people having the same issues and don’t bother use instagram at all which is a shame.

    Yiota
    pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com

  3. April 7, 2017 / 8:13 am

    At the end of the day, Instagram is for looking at pictures of people’s meals and cute cats. Businesses trying to get extra custom from it are flogging a dead horse. I can’t believe anybody’s ever said “I need a new frock/eyeshadow/toaster – I know, I’ll go and scroll through all the cats and food until I get to a picture of one I fancy, then trail my way through tags and hashtags until I get to the people who made it and then search for their link in their bio because they can’t put links in comments…. “

  4. April 7, 2017 / 9:38 am

    The rest of social media is going that way too unfortunately. Comment pods for blogs and ‘love for love’ pods for bloglovin. I’ve seen some comments on peoples sites that are obviously from a pod and no thought has gone into it at all, it’s pointless! X
    Amy recently posted…The daily commuteMy Profile

  5. April 7, 2017 / 10:48 am

    I never used a pod. So far I like Instagram, but I like it less and less due to the changes in how they show the pictures. Also, it’s annoying not being able to keep track of the follow-unfollow thing.
    Anca recently posted…Helmsley CastleMy Profile

  6. April 7, 2017 / 11:15 am

    I know what you mean. I recently unfollowed a lot of people because I wasn’t enjoying their content, and I only want to follow people whose accounts I genuinely love. In doing so, though, I lost about 100 followers in less than 48 hours. At first I was gutted, but then I realised; they obviously didn’t love my account either, or they wouldn’t have unfollowed. Either that or they were in it for the follows. And I don’t want those kind of followers. I want people to follow me and engage with me on IG because they love my content. And over the last week I’ve gained 150 followers, so it’s all worked out for the best. But that’s why I don’t have a theme, or engage in IG pods. I don’t see the point!
    Aimee Cottle recently posted…March Reading Wrap-Up//April TBRMy Profile

  7. April 7, 2017 / 3:39 pm

    I was a late adopter to IG and while I do think that all the stuff that one has to do to get followers is a waste of time, I do appreciate how the platform has gotten me some photography jobs as well as invitations to restaurants and events.
    Rowena @ rolala loves recently posted…Through My Lens : Recently On InstagramMy Profile

  8. April 7, 2017 / 4:26 pm

    I agree. I only started doing instagram in the last year, only took it “kinda” seriously in the past few months. I recently unfollowed a bunch of accounts I wasn’t enjoying anymore or just random businesses I didn’t even realize I was following, like a baby stroller company lmao. But I was so close to reaching 200 and suddenly I lost a bunch of followers, like 20. Like you said, people are fickle as fuck. Anyway I’m just feeling discouraged and like I’m wasting my time.

  9. Caroline
    April 7, 2017 / 4:36 pm

    Love love love this. As always, so brutally honest.. and true!
    I keep seeing about instagram pods, but I just couldn’t be bothered with the hassle of them. Plus, as you say, I don’t see it as true. I want people to follow and like my posts, but because of that, because they like/love my page and posts. Not because they have to.
    I find it quite contradicting that some people who say they’re not about numbers, are, when they’re part of instagram pods etc.
    Sadly, it’s where this community is going. It’s all about numbers that make you ‘successful’.

    Caroline.x
    http://www.carolineelgeywhite.com

  10. April 7, 2017 / 5:25 pm

    I totally get that. I don’t get involved with pods or certain Facebook groups because I don’t want people leave comments because they have to rather than want to and I don’t feel inspired to leave comments on posts I don’t find interesting. I’d rather have lower genuine engagement.

  11. April 7, 2017 / 5:34 pm

    I am with you, sorry but I couldn’t be arse anymore about Instagram. Don’t get me wrong, I love IG and always will because I love pictures in general but I post what and when I want and will comment on what, who and when I want to instead of I have to. It’s boring and causes unnecessary stress. My followers are slowly growing but they are the ones who truly enjoy my page and they don’t unfollow blindly and that’s what I aim for.
    Shireen L. Platt recently posted…How I Layer My Sun Protections for SpringMy Profile

  12. April 7, 2017 / 6:17 pm

    I agree with you on this. I was in one pod and the moderator kept posting entire biblical passages and reflections from her blog with a stock photo on IG. What am I supposed to do with that?

    I have pretty much stopped doing the Facebook engagement groups like for likes, commenting and follows on IG and Twitter because it isn’t real engagement. I try to be authentic and only like or follow things I am really interested in. You put in all the work for other people and then they just unfollow. The only ones I do now are posting my latest blog and Pinterest threads.

    Annika
    1 Year of Blogging Today! 🙂
    Annika recently posted…Lessons Learned After One Year of BloggingMy Profile

  13. itsjessiejane
    April 7, 2017 / 9:45 pm

    I do agree. It’s hard to keep followers because accounts follow you then an hour later they unfollow you. WTF?! I do love Instagram though – I love pictures haha 🙂 x

    ♡ itsjessiejane ♡

  14. April 7, 2017 / 11:50 pm

    I don’t actively promote my Instagram account and I don’t chase followers. I love being able to post whatever I want (whether it fits in a theme of not… I guess the theme is “what I like”) and I don’t keep an eye on followers. It’s much more relaxing 🙂
    Nikki-ann recently posted…An Introduction to Letterpress PrintingMy Profile

  15. April 8, 2017 / 2:00 pm

    I’ve found that the pictures I post on my non-blog account get more engagement than the images on the blog one, which are all carefully taken and edited! The non-blog one is just grainy quick snaps and get’s better attention! It’s so fickle, I hate it… Tania Michele xx
    Tania Michele recently posted…2017 Goals Check In!My Profile

  16. April 8, 2017 / 4:31 pm

    I never wanted to do most of the things every suggests for growing your Instagram. I don’t want to post things I don’t care about. And my life has been so hectic lately that my Instagram (and everything else) had fallen by the wayside.

  17. April 11, 2017 / 6:58 pm

    Growing Insta is so bloody hard! I’ve got a comment pod that I enjoy being a part of, but my views are so up and down it makes me dizzy. I post maybe once or twice a day, that’s about it. I’m using it more the play ith photography than anything else. I think it’s good to have a prescence on a platform but I don’t think it helps my blog all that much!

    Sarah 🙂
    Saloca in Wonderland
    Sarah recently posted…CarnLIVal Spring 2017My Profile

  18. April 12, 2017 / 2:19 am

    I’m with you, I loved it when it first started but now I am over it for the same reasons you are. Fickle engagement that isn’t real Lucy x
    Lucy recently posted…May LindstromMy Profile

  19. April 12, 2017 / 1:55 pm

    Very interesting post – I totally agree about the spam bots – they are the worst! I just chuckle to myself now when I see someone with 10K + followers has followed me…sure you have hon, I’ll check again tomorrow shall I?!? I’ve just been trying to post better pictures more frequently so I am happy with my Instagram feed, and made sure I’m following people whose photos I genuinely like and want to see. My following is increasing much more organically this way.

    Faye x
    i wish i could wink

  20. April 18, 2017 / 10:08 pm

    I’ve largely given up trying to grow my Instagram following… I like to post such a variety of different things, I can’t get on board with a theme and, although I love looking at other people’s pics I don’t have time to employ tactics to get more likes. The one thing I DO do is use plenty of hashtags to get exposure, but that tends to just get me more likes on a particular photo rather than increase my actual followers.
    Paula recently posted…WHEN YOUR NAME IS THREATENED WITH “EXTINCTION” . . .My Profile

  21. Emelivictoria
    June 3, 2017 / 9:31 am

    People follow me then as soon as I follow them back they unfollow me. Pisses me off. If I didn’t have an app to show me, then I’d be following all these users just to boost their accounts. Now I only follow the account I actually find and like. I’m in a couple pods, most of which unfollowed me after the initial follow, and don’t even like or comment. The ones who do comment just write “nice photo”. I keep debating to leave but I don’t want to come across rude.

  22. June 7, 2017 / 2:43 pm

    Completely agree! I worked super hard in the last 2 years to grow my following, and minus the handful of loyal supporters and ‘insta’ friends, most people just like to like and follow to unfollow – ultimately it’s meaningless unless you’re a massive Instgram/YouTube star who relies on this as a job. I work full time, and realised instead of spending my free time with real people in real life – enjoying things – I was sat on my phone scrolling, liking, commenting. It became a chore and made me less happy. So now I just post photos when I want to, rather than feeling like I have to.

    Anyway, if people like my blog, then it stands up on it’s own 🙂

  23. June 9, 2017 / 9:06 am

    I do use lots of hashtags but people follow and unfollow so I don’t gain many tbh. I wouldn’t join a pod as that’s too much like hard work lol. I like lots of photos but only comment on ones I want to as otherwise I’d be there all day. I still love Instagram but I did wonder why some people were getting only a few comments and now they get about 40 or more on each pic. That’s kind of lying really isn’t it. Great post very interesting xxx

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