I am writing to you today as I am bit concerned that I may have done something to upset you? I am not sure what exactly but you seem to be punishing me for some reason. It hardly seems fair to me, considering the hours I spend with you every single day and the fact I have been in love with you since around about the summer of 2013. You definitely are not treating me as nice as you once did though so I need to ask you this question- have I done something to offend you?
Each day I open you up on my phone and I love nothing more than to browse all the little squares of beauty filling up my screen. Inspirational posts, motivational posts, stunning posts and (my favourite) oh so relatable posts. If I had more hours in my day I would happily let myself get lost down the rabbit hole that is my Instagram feed, I have responsibilities though so I have learnt to drag my eyes away from you.
I would be lying if I said I only use you for browsing other people’s beautiful photographs though. My relationship with you has always been a little bit of give and take, I am a blogger you see so that’s the way it needs to be. As well as looking at everyone else’s little squares of pixels, I also regularly like to chuck some of my own photographs into the mix too: photos of my sons, a cake I have baked or a pretty beach scene. I love how you make me try and take better photos, how you have shown me the power of editing and how you have connected me to so many other people sharing similar interests to me. I will always love the communities that live within you Instagram but I am starting to fall out of love with you.
I just want to ask, why won’t you let me grow? Why are you stopping my little squares reaching the eyes of those who might be interested in what I have to say? For a long while my followers were growing nicely but the past 6 months or so they have pretty much been stagnant. Is it because I haven’t mastered creating that almost unachievable goal of the perfect Insta theme? Is it because my photographs aren’t all carefully composed flat lays or have a brilliant white background? Perhaps the photographs I am putting out there just aren’t good enough, maybe my captions are just not engaging and maybe my inability to grow has nothing to do with you at all. That might sometimes be the case, we all chuck out a photo that’s a little bit pants every now and then, but I think your evil algorithm is to blame.
Once upon a time I would get over 100 people pressing that little heart of yours and sharing the love on every single one of my photos. Those were the good days, when my followers actually got to see my photos and were able to engage with me. Not like now, when unless I behave like some kind of digital ninja to beat your algorithm my photos are only being seen by a handful of my followers. I know it’s not just me, that other people who use you also feel the same. There are so many bloggers like me, trying to grow but just can’t seem to do it. Some businesses and bloggers have you all figured out, I have tried following their secret tips though and so far none of their Insta magic is working for me. So I have to ask you again Instagram, have I done something to offend you?
You won’t let me grow even though I post a new photo almost every single day. You won’t let me grow even though I like and comment on so many of the beautiful photos that flood my iPhone screen every hour of every day. Why won’t you let me grow even though I hashtag all my little squares to within an inch of their life and then search those hashtags, liking, commenting and following the feeds that spark my interest and make my eyes smile with their beauty? I ask questions, I write long captions, I write short captions and, hell, I chuck the odd emoji in there too. I use key words, I write about things my followers are interested in, I spend time trying to take photos that people will actually enjoy looking at. I post in the morning, in the afternoon, in the evening and even in the middle of the night. Yet still you don’t let me grow.
I don’t know what more I can do Instagram. Do you want me to pay you, is that it? Do I need to sponsor all my own content if I want any hope of getting noticed in this cut throat platform of yours? Well, I am not willing to do that. I have had it with your torturous algorithm . If I lose out on blog work because I don’t have enough engagement or followers then so be it. I am fed up with seeing my likes drop with every photo I post and watching my followers go up by 2 every week only for 10 people to unfollow me the next. I’ve had enough.
No matter how much I wish I could, I am not leaving you for good Instagram. You are like that boyfriend I had as a teenager, you are so not good for me but for some reason I just can’t stop coming back to you for more. I am giving up checking my stats though, any theme I was trying to establish is being thrown in the bin and instead I will be posting whatever I fancy, whenever I fancy. I liked it when things were fun between us and I want to find that again, it got lost somewhere along my journey for more followers and your refusal to let me reach them.
I love you Instagram, I just don’t like you very much right now.
Best wishes (but not really),
Are you a blogger struggling to grow your Instagram following? Have you noticed a drop in engagement recently too? For those of you who have mastered the fine art of Instagramming, please share your secrets in the comments.