Are we too Dependent on Instagram?
In October, Kristen from Gulush Threads posted about how Instagram has been deliberately limiting users' posts exposure in order to increase the need for paid promotion on their platform. Apparently, some posts are being hidden from users, which is bad news for users and content makers.
As someone who depends on Instagram to grow my blog, I've been monitoring the situation since the post was released. She never shared her sources, so it is impossible to know for sure if this accusation is correct. However, it brings an interesting question to light that I think every Instagram user needs to consider:
Am I too dependent on one social media platform?
The thing is, Instagram is an independent business that has its own needs to consider. Their needs may not necessarily line up with ours. Specifically, their need to make money and our need to promote/enjoy content for free do not mesh well together. We're at odds with each other, and even if Instagram isn't currently limiting our exposure to our favorite content creators, this is probably a g good time to start exploring other options.
For any blogger or business owner, losing free promotion from Instagram can kill her business. Now is the time to diversify your social media presence, while your voice can still be heard. It will be harder to direct your followers to a new website if they aren't being shown your posts. If you wait until its too late, you may be shouting your message to an audience that doesn't exist.
For any content viewer, not seeing the content you subscribe to defeats the purpose of using the app in the first place. Not to mention, if you wanted to follow your favorite content makers to a new platform, you may never be shown the post that announces their switch. Your Instagram feed might start looking desolate, and you'll have no idea why.
Unfortunately, it's not just as easy as picking a new website to use, because there really isn't anything on the market quite like Instagram. The top result from a quick google search for, "Instagram alternatives" has a top result from 2012 for good reason. Instagram is really good at combining personal and brand content for users. You can follow your BFF's account, your favorite pattern makers, and your local coffee shop all in one place. It's uniquely yours based on the content you chose to follow. Before these changes, it's been working excellently for most users.
There are other social media platforms that focus on photo content like Instagram, but very few are as open-ended. Other platforms, like Kollabora, Chictopia, and Craft Gawker allow users to share photos in a very limited setting. This can be great for finding a specific type of content, but not as great for everyday life. Also, Instagram is designed for mobile while other photo-based social media sites are not.
There isn't really an alternative to Instagram, but that doesn't mean it's a safe idea to focus all your attention in this space. In order to keep your blog or business' social media presence diverse, we need to be busy on other platforms.
Do you have a favourite photo sharing community other than Instagram? Share in the comments bellow, I would love to know so we can all diversify our brand!
Until next time,