Some Thoughts About Instagram.

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Instagram had a massive clear out seemingly overnight. It comes as a bit of a shock as I basically woke up to over sixty fewer followers than I had that night and it was in my head that this only happened to me. However, it happened to a lot of accounts with people losing from a hundred to eight hundred “followers” all in one night.

These aren’t followers, these aren’t people that are interacting with your content, reading your posts, liking your photos or watching your stories. They are just either bot or inactive accounts that start following you for whatever reason and then stay there until you block them or Instagram has a clear out. I know some people like to block these weird, inactive accounts as and when they follow but it becomes a bit tricky when you don’t know who to block. I get a lot of followers from “beauty/travel” Instragramers with up to 25k followers, and you bet that less then 2 hours later they’ll have unfollowed. There’s also the “follow/unfollow” game that people still like to abuse. I’ve had one account follow me 3 different times in the last week alone. You begin to recognise these accounts.

I’m lucky enough to be gaining quite a few followers on Instagram recently (or was, until the clear out!). I think it’s a combination between switching to a business account, the use of hashtags, captions, taking pictures that people seem to like and everyone sharing the love. This has really helped my following grow and it’s made me feel so much more a part of the amazing community that Instagram is.

There was a conversation recently about people feeling pressured to follow everyone that follows them back. I don’t feel like I have to follow everyone that follows me. If you have an Instagram account that you use regularly you’ll understand what I mean.

The issue that I’m actually having trouble with is knowing who to follow, and who not to.

There are so many people out there who have bought their following, it can be hard to know who to follow, who is genuine and who isn’t. I tend to follow accounts that I love, be that their photography or their witty captions. I won’t follow anyone just because they’ve followed me.

Life is too short to have content appearing on your feed that you can’t stand just because you didn’t want to appear “rude” by not following back. I have never done that whole follow/unfollow game (and I don’t ever intend to). When I follow people it’s because I like their feed, I like what they create. Not because I want them to follow me. If I like their content enough to follow them who cares if they follow me back or not.

So with instagram clearing bot accounts, yes it’s annoying and yes it can be disappointing to see lots of unfollows just in one big chunk but really, you should see it as a good thing. 

It’s basically allowing you to have a more curated followers list. It’s no different to you clearing out the people that you chose to follow. Now you have a completely engaged following. I’m not saying that you didn’t before, but these bot/inactive accounts are completely out of our control and some are bound to be in your followers list.

However, now you can actually see that all your followers WANT to follow you. Hopefully, you’ll see improved engagement too.

Instead of dwelling on it, I honestly think it’s a good thing that Instagram does these clear outs. My only wish is that they do it more often and keep on top of certain dodgy accounts.

What are your thoughts?