The New Instagram & Why You Shouldn't Be Worried

This was a spur of the moment, 11pm blog post so if there are any grammar/ spelling errors, do your best to forgive me. To be frank, I'm sure I'd have plenty of errors even if this was a planned out, 1pm type of blog post. Also, let me be clear that this is only my opinion. I just felt that this post needed to be written before we all get ahead of ourselves.

If you were on Instagram at all today (03/16/16) then I'm sure you're feed was flooded with text posts featuring that arrow pointing to the upper right hand corner of the screen. Those posts that asked everyone to turn on "post notifications". Practically every person I follow was urging their followers to turn on the post notifications. I'm certainly not calling anyone out because I think it was all well intentioned, but I don't think turning on post notifications is the answer and I'll tell you why.

I’ve been reading up on the new changes to Instagram and from what I can tell, it seems like turning on post notifications is the wrong thing to do. I think that will backfire. Post notifications do not mean that you will actually get to see those posts on your timeline. It means that you will be notified EVERY. SINGLE. TIME. that person uploads. You will get a notification on the lock screen of your phone and it will start to pile up. In my experience this will only be an annoyance. The posts notifications will come frequently because it's likely your followers will not only be getting notifications from you, they will be getting notifications from many people. These notifications will flood their lock screen and it will get aggravating. This may cause people to go to your page and unfollow you completely. I mean that's probably worst case scenario but it's not out of the realm of possibilities. At that point, if said person unfollows you it's probably because of their annoyance with the notification system, not because all of a sudden they aren't into your content anymore. Most likely said person will just go turn off your post notifications but that just leaves you back where you started with no real way to ensure your posts reach your followers.

What I think we should be doing is trying to get our followers to engage with us. Instead of asking them to turn on post notifications, remind them that if they want to see more of your posts then they need to be an active follower not a passive one! No ghost followers here! If the person is liking and commenting on your photos there is absolutely no way that Instagram will not show those photos to the follower. Instagram’s new algorithm looks at what you like and comment on and will only be showing you more of that. It doesn’t want to clutter up your feed with things you don’t want to see. It’s actually trying to help and be more efficient. Instagram knows that sometimes we follow people because they are our friend (not a close one) and it might be weird to not follow each other on social media. But if I’m being completely honest, not all of my friends post quality content. Sometimes I really don’t want to see what they post. Buuuut I also want to avoid a situation where they confront me about why I unfollowed them. And trust me, it’s happened before. Oops.

The only way this algorithm doesn’t work is if your followers are just looking at your posts and not engaging (liking or commenting). Following someone is not enough anymore. The market is already oversaturated with content, which makes following/ subscribing to someone decrease in value. Now you have to engage. And that’s okay! That’s what we want don’t we! We don’t just want people seeing our posts and continuing to scroll. We want them to engage! We want a sense of community with our followers.

So my point being, there is absolutely no need to worry.  Now what you need to do is try to engage with your followers. Have a call to action, and let them know that if they want to see more of your posts then they’ll have to be active on your page. People will start to learn this and it will overall improve the sense of community on Instagram, which has really been lacking in the past.

Now go engage!

If you didn’t arrive at this post from my Instagram page then maybe you should follow me on there.

Below are a few websites that talk about the new Instagram updates. You'll find that most of them say basically the same thing, so reading one should cover the basics.
The Verge
USA Today

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