Why I Stopped Trying To Beat The Instagram Algorithm

December 04, 2019

Instagram removing likes for mental health or money

I've always had to work hard for likes on Instagram but whereas I used to generate one like per minute within the first hour of posting, I now barely get 20. My boyfriend who couldn't give a rat's ass about his feed gets more likes than me. My bunny Instagram profile gets more likes with a follower count of 60 compared to my blogger Instagram profile that has a follower count of 1200. Absolutely pathetic. I'm not gonna say that I've tried to generate traffic lately because I haven't but it's sad to see your likes going from 200 per photo to 20. My stories are the only thing on this platform that are still successful at this point, I get a lot of views on those. If one day Instagram decides to ultimately flag that too (because why wouldn't they) I'm not sure I'll keep on posting. Sure, IG is removing likes from photos now but do they really care about our mental health? I think money is the M-word they're looking for.

I have to laugh at the kind of influencers who keep insinuating that if you have bad engagement 'you're doing instagram wrong'. IG has been chewing down on organic reach for quite a while and at this point it's affecting pretty much everyone. People with hundreds of thousands of followers barely get a couple thousand likes on their images. Beautiful, original, fun and professional images. Business savvy creators who work hard for their content. Whether you get a 1000 likes with a following of 100000 people or 1 like when you have a 100 followers, your reach is the same. Instagram has fucked us all over. More specifically women. You show a bit of skin, your post immediately gets shadow banned and in some cases even removed. You talk about your body, your post is flagged. I often feel as if my profile has somehow been flagged as spam and that's why my images don't get any engagement but that means I'd be playing the victim so instead I have decided to write this post to officially celebrate the death of my Instagram reach so I can finally move on. It's not ever going to come back and even though some users are still complaining about the first algorithm change where all posts no longer showed in chronological order it has only gotten worse.

Instagram is so different for me since I haven't been using it anymore as an active member of the Belgian blogger and influencer community. I still blog, true, but I used to exploit the shit out of the app to promote my content - now I use IG pretty much like anyone who doesn't have a blog or a business. Whenever I have a new post on my website or some pr samples I'd like to share, I just do it right there and then. I don't put much thought into things and it's honestly been a huge relief. I also think it actually improved my content. There was a time where I would genuinely get upset about the lack of engagement on my Instagram profile. I'd be so worked up about it that I couldn't think about anything else. When I changed my theme in June of 2019 and started posting brown, grainy pictures I finally felt like I had started posting content I was genuinely proud of. It's a theme that is easy to keep up with and gives me free rein to publish any kind of photo I want. My feed became personal and it was then that I realised that Instagram wasn't worth being sad about so I stopped caring. Fortunately but also unfortunately - it was also then that the IG headquarters decided to stop caring about their users and cut everyone's organic reach by another 20%. My engagement completely crashed as a result. I was a little concerned at first because I'd just gained some confidence again but I was fine with it in the end. I was no longer embarrassed about the numbers but proud of the opportunities. There's no organic (or magic) way to beat the algorithm anymore and that is okay.

There used to be a formula for Instagram success: post every day around the same time, multiple times a day, write long captions but not too long, use all the hashtags, take your images with your smartphone, post videos etc .. that all doesn't matter anymore. Paying for ads is what soon will be the only way to build an audience. I've talked about this on Twitter before: Instagram doesn't make any money from their users unless they cut the organic reach so why would Instagram want you to make money on their platform, for free? IG is playing the mental health card because they have to. It's been known for a long time that users get upset about lack of likes and followers. Is removing likes from photos the best solution? I'm not sure. I've heard mixed opinions. Mine have not been taken away just yet. I think there's a false sense of comfort in knowing no one can see the numbers on your profile anymore - because while instagram is removing likes will they cut those same likes in half too? No one will know because we are no longer able to compare. There's only one thing I know for certain and that is that I'm officially done putting negative energy into this platform. Only good memories from now on, good memories.

Post a Comment