So here is the initial deal. I have about had it with the infamous app Instagram. Before getting into the nitty/gritty of my anger, I want to give some background. So like most influencers we hopped on the app around 2013. Many even before that!! I mean those were the days. The app was purely for developing creativity, sharing your personal portfolio and interacting with other humans that enjoy doing the same thing you do.
Our Instagram page started to gain traction in the Fall of 2015 when Kelly and I finally lived in NYC together and we were able to have a more cohesive page. We were able to hit the 10k follower mark and felt like we were truly beginning something great. Our engagement was rising and we were easily hitting 800-1,000 likes, 60 plus comments a photo. There was no anxiety getting on to the app, there was no such thing as buying likes/followers at this point, it was all just based on your TRUE CONTENT. All of your followers saw your image (tbt chronological order) and decided if they LIKED or DIDNT LIKE IT. It was great. It felt like all of our hard work, early mornings before our full time jobs were starting to pay off.
Then Instagram got pissed. They started to realize that there were influencers on THEIR app that were making 6 figures. I mean for god sake Danielle Bernstein netted half a mil last year, almost purely off activations on the app. Instagram wanted the $$$ that all of these influencers were making, and to be honest we in no way OWN our Instagram pages. At any moment they can shut you down, make you fail, they have full control. (SIDE NOTE: This is why I will never get rid of our website…. the only actual piece of blogging that bloggers actually own.)
That is when Instagram rolled out the Facebook style feed. All going back to the infamous algorithm. We have all heard and cried over this algorithm. I mean people literally lost their shit when it rolled out, us included. Almost every single blogger I know, us included (again) were shelving out money left and right to somehow get past it. For all of you readers who don’t know what I am referring to… it is about Instagram Loops. OOOOO LOOOPS. The controversy. Loops on average these days cost between $300-$400 and no that was not a typo, at one point every single girl was leading one every other week. It became so intense, I think we all just got anxiety in that we were falling behind. Because Instagram now is not in any way about your content it is sincerely a numbers game…. for the most part.
The numbers game makes it hard on everyone. There could be a photo that I sincerely love more than anything but because I posted it at the wrong time and the algorithm decided to lose it, and the photo goes into the abyss & gains 0 traction I now feel obligated to take it down. Which is so wrong. This has all affected my self esteem and just general lack of sleep, obsessing over other girls feeds and how they are still netting the #’s they are. I am proud of the content we are producing and the sincerity we have put into every ounce of Mimosas and Manhattan but I can’t help but to feel like a failure right now. So many fun aspects of the app we grew a following on has disappointed us. I just want to scream at Instagram and ask what it is we did differently than others to have lost the engagement we once had.
We can only post once a day now or the algorithm will punish us for “over sharing”. We can’t use duplicative hashtags or else Instagram will shadow ban us. What can we do? Because if that’s buying over 3,000 likes a photo (we have seen it), then we don’t want to be apart of this community. I think in some sense we have all lost our shit with Instagram. We all just want to be successful and it is pushing us to the limits to maintain that.
As much as I wish this wasn’t an annoying rant, I know it is and I do feel better now getting it all off of my chest! However, I feel myself every week pulling further and further from Instagram =/ . If anyone has advice on how they have dealt with the new ways of the app please let us know!!!
Photos By: Julie Kennedy