Wowza, now that’s a mouth full but here goes! Prepare yourselves for my word vomit. I’m not holding back.
So as you know, every day it seems like Instagram and other social platforms are changing their algorithms and policies. Or maybe you don’t know and therefore don’t care because it doesn’t affect you? *high five to you* But since there’s a lot of anxiety and frustration surrounding all the changes within the community, today I want to talk about:
- if and how it could affect creators (all users really, but specifically to those brand deal negotiators)
- what you can really do to keep up with the fackking algorithms and changes (other than chuck your laptop out the window)
- cyber bullying/ competition/ mob mentality/ ego- how I really feel. Here’s a preview: Instagram can suck it.
Fine, I’ll admit that came out harsh. Not wrong, because that’s how I actually feel but let me tell you why something as little as an app on a phone can really rile me up. I’ll start here.
1) does it affect its users? Okay, so if your money maker is a platform like Instagram where you team up with brands on the reg and they pay you to create content for a campaign (i.e. my Palmers hair care campaign) sure, maybe. But that depends on you and what you’re willing to do. Or not do rather. The algorithm is ever changing because their motives are to keep users on the app longer. Like all damn day. Like, don’t have a life and if you do, live it ON Instagram. They no longer feature the chronological feeds because they want to give you the content that you’ve proven to interact with the most.
It’s not you, it’s them. But it’s because of you that it’s them.
Hence, everyone and their mother made those “turn on my notifications” posts. See, the more you interact with someone’s content (watch stories, like, comment, blah blah) the more IG will prioritize that content for you. Not bad if you really think about it, they’re simply trying to curate content for you in the same way YouTube killed their Home page. But kinda sucks ass for creators because we’re constantly keeping up with ‘trends’, reaching for ‘low hanging fruit’… all the bad jargon that comes out. It’s like this: there are people who base-line interact and people who don’t interact at all because they’re just lurking or scrolling mindlessly through their feeds (I actually scroll mindlessly quite often. It’s not an app I want to open up and think about ya know) etc. Well those interactions aren’t technically ‘interactions’ and now they don’t count towards your algorithm see?
ABANDON YOUR INSTAGRAM PODS
This is a whole other article I need to write. There’s a lot you may be doing to actually hurt you on IG, but we’ll talk about that later. My point in saying that is, there are things you can do to help move with the changes.
2) What can I do to keep up with all the changes? What I really meant to say was, “there are things you can do to try and beat the system”, but the system is a machine and you are not Johnny Five. Looping back around to the ‘things you may or may not be willing to do’ bit. If you’ve noticed a dip in all around interactions, views, Likes yada yada- here are the things you can do to basically be in everyone’s faces all of the time, which makes the machine go, “oh yea, we like this person, they’re really using every feature. Lets push out their content more”.
- really use every feature. a) IG Live- at least once a week, even for a few minutes. Some people go Live every day. I am not those people. But I applaud their dedication b) story story story- on the daily. Oh you’ve been seeing people story more? Like a dozen times? Ya, they either love talking to the camera or they are trying to use every feature more c) In-feed post at least once a day. Post videos in feed at least once a week. Use the carousel feature in-feed as much as you can without going bonkers d) IGTV- at least once a week z) yes I said z because damn, anything else they want us to do? So z- use the GIFs, the Swipe Up feature, link all the things, use stickers…just go NUTS in your stories making them so fucking interactive that no one even knows what the hell you’re talking about anymore
Oh she mad.
Nah, she’s just done trying to dance when they say ‘dance monkey dance’. I’m venting here but I’d by lying if I said I didn’t do any of these things. I actually do ALL of them. It’s my job to overshare and I choose what I want to share very carefully. That’s a lot of pressure for anyone. But at the end of the day, my ‘job’ heavily relies on engagement and on how frequently I post to my blog, YouTube, and social media platforms. Sounds exhausting eh? I don’t sleep, hai I’m a vampire.
If you have an audience on any platform, it’s my personal belief that you have a public responsibility to not fuck people up in the head
I told you, I’m not holding back. I say: HIDE THE LIKES. BOY BYE!!! Cool, let me focus on quality over quantity, let me breathe and not worry about if a brand will pass on my pitch just because it’s not getting enough ‘engagement’. I just think there’s a lot of ‘influencers’ who use their influence for BS and share a life that is unattainable to 99% of the real world. People talk about things without realizing that it actually influences young minds. I’ve been guilty of it myself, trust. The highlight reel is anything but REAL. I found myself pivoting my own conversations with my audience to try and do as much as I can- well as much as you can do really, on an application, without sounding cheesy or preachy. <— that is v hard to draw the line on. I actually like the idea of hiding likes because it
- relieves people of the pressure- “how many likes did I get”. That fake scale of self worth should be burned with fire.
- no competition & comparison- or the reduction of, at least. Sadly a lot of this will exist whether or not the app actually exists and that’s a sad reality. The mob mentality on any public forum is REAL. And the egos and insecurities that drive people to bully others and to personally seek them out to attack them is disgusting. I’ve experienced so much of this myself and it’s got to stop. I don’t know who or how or when but can it stop already? Kids are dying, kids are killing themselves and others, and it’s sickening. Does this not haunt you? PS I’m talking specifically about our youth here. Yes adults too, but young impressionable minds are young and impressionable.
- brands will measure worth more accurately and fairly- it will not be quantitive. But quality will actually matter when considering who hires who and P.S. brands will still have access to metrics and we’ll all still be obligated to disclose partnerships in accordance with FTC regulations. So this should not affect backend number stuff
- less invasive and more truthful- people will Like the things they truly like and interact with things they truly want to interact with. And honestly, they’re probably already doing that. So often, the Likes equate to validation and clout. I understand that IG’s choice to hide Likes is probably less about wanting to do good in the world, and more about marketing tactics and making more money BUT I’d like to think that this change would be a good thing.
At the end of the day we can’t let this stuff affect us. We either go with the flow or riot right? LOL There’s a lot of things to give your energy to in your life. That’s the real stuff that affects us. All we can really do with the internet part of it, is to keep creating the things we want to share with the world + be our most authentic selves as much we can + stay sane through this crazy time in life. I mean, most of us only had to worry about someone at school passing us a note by accident, not posting about us to THE WORLD.
I know that was a lot. I just really wanted to talk about this since it’s been all over my emails, my work life, and the community. I’d really like to know what you think. And HEY, if you just wanna post about your life and not make it a drama with ‘morals of the story’ and ‘lessons we learned today’, that’s absolutely okay! But if that’s something you’re doing… does any of this make you go hmmmmm?
Are you affected? Do you care or nah? Have you seen the changes and what do you think of all this social media madness? P.S. thank you for always supporting me. Reading my posts, interacting with me on the Gram, all the things- it all shows your love and support so thank you so muches<3