We all have seen it happen.
Still remember MySpace? It’s dead — in fact, it is more dead than Liv in “iZombie”.
And Facebook is dying a slow and painful death. Young people don’t sign up for it anymore and on a recent conference that I attended, everyone called Facebook the “Walker Platform”…
Thus, with the recent development it isn’t wrong to ask the question: “Is Instagram next?”. Or even more direct “Is Instagram dead already?”
PREVIOUSLY ON “IS INSTAGRAM DEAD?” — WHAT HAS HAPPENED SO FAR…
You aren’t sure what the heck I am talking about when I ask “Is Instagram dead”? Okay, let’s first rewind what has happened so far:
INSTAGRAM’S COFOUNDERS HAVE TURNED THEIR BACK ON INSTAGRAM…
Yep, one month ago, Instagram’s cofounders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger announced that they quit Instagram. Surprisingly this topic did not spur the world of Social Media a lot. In fact, went is widely unnoticed.
And this is surprising, as there has probably been a lot of bad blood involved.
For us users, this should be more than a warning sign. Those two could not have been more of an insider on what is going on with Instagram. And in German, we have the saying “The rats are leaving the sinking ship”. While I don’t think that Kevin and Mike are anything close to rats, I think we should all wonder what is going on and why they chose this path
INSTAGRAM HAS CHANGED THEIR ALGORITHM AGAIN
Instagram is infamous for changing their algorithms without noticing anyone about how, why and when. While Pinterest has been open about how it decides what content is shown to users, Instagram users are left wondering what to do to “please the algorithm”.
Recently, Tailwind sent an email to their members to remind them, that an Instagram employee has revealed in 2018 that Instagram is limiting the reach of business posts in a way that we see 40% more of posts from friends and family. And Social Insight has gone as far as going to say that our organic reach will be zero soon in September 2018. Business Growth fears that Instagram is falling into Facebook’s trap and there is good reasons for believing that this might be true…
But if this is all about business pages, why should “we users” pay attention?
Because so many of us have a business page! Having a business page has as much to do with being a business as a pineapple with an actual apple.
If you are serious about growing your Instagram, you need a business account. A business account gives you insights into your user’s demographics, the optimal time to post and allows you to include swipeable links into your stories once you have more than 10k followers.
CONTENT CREATORS ARE INCREASINGLY ANNOYED WITH INSTAGRAM
And this is also why “content creators” (aka, everyone that spends a significant amount of time for creating “quality content” for Instagram) is getting increasingly annoyed with Instagram.
I am part of quite a lot of Instagram groups on Facebook (the walker platform…), Telegram and Instagram. And I read other ‘grammers blogs a lot. And the one thing you can see dooming on the horizon: They are frustrated. Frustrated by their limited reach. Frustrated by the algorithm. Frustrated by Instagram.
And if you contact Instagram’s support, you know what happens: Nothing. Yes, nothing. Instagram has been critized for not even responding when accounts got hacked (WITH two factor authentification turned on)
And now let’s be brutally honest: Instagram can suck. Like, majorly. If there would be a sustainable alternative, many of us would switch rather yesterday than tomorrow.
WHY IS INSTAGRAM DOING THIS?
Like with so many things in the world, the answer is pretty simple: Money.
Have you noticed how much advertising ends up in your feed? Exactly. Instagram wants businesses to pay for sponsored content. And so, what is more logical than limiting the organical reach of business accounts?
While it might work for big corporations to simply pay for engagement, this makes it almost impossible for us small “content creators” to reach the people that might be interested in our stuff.
And the really weird thing is, that in my personal experience those ads don’t really pay off if you only invest a few bucks. I tried them a few times out of curiosity and noticed, that those posts often had LESS likes. Somehow the organic reach of this specific post was always even lower than the other posts the days before and after.
Ironically, Instagram keeps showing me on my recent posts “This post is more successful than 90/95% of your previous posts — promote this post!” (which often have way less likes and impressions). I am wondering if they really think we are THAT stupid not to be able to compare numbers.
This might as well contribute to Instagram’s death.
MY PERSONAL EXPERIENCE WITH INSTAGRAM
So, where am I standing at the moment?
To be honest, this is the most difficult part of this article. On one hand, I love Instagram.
Instagram has given me the opportunity to reach thousands of people. They gave me the chance to share my trip around the world with people from everywhere around the globe. I have had the honor to work with amazing brands that I love and actually got paid to tell you about all those cool places, things and services that I really believe into. And I met new friends — people who were “into Instagram” as well.
But now for the bad part: I am annoyed as well. Like, really annoyed.
Last week, I switched back to a personal account (from a business account) because I read the article from Tailwind and thought: “This is it!” My engagement has been up and down without me really understand why since September.
And I feel betrayed by Instagram. Because I always played by their rules. I never bought followers. I never bought likes. I rarely used any third-party app that wasn’t approved by Instagram (Tailwind for Instagram is improved, e.g.). I engage with real accounts, like other peoples content and write genuine comments. I post Instagram stories almost daily. Tried IGTV and story hightlights.
And you know what happened after swithing back to personal? My likes went down. Like really bad. I panicked and switched back to business two days after. And my likes and reach went down further. Loyal followers are currently sending me DMs about what the heck is wrong with my account. And my honest answer: I don’t f***ing know!
I am currently about to close future collaborations that I am almost dying to work with on Instagram because I 100% believe into them. And I am crazy afraid that they will turn their back on me. But I don’t want to buy likes. I know from reliable sources how many “influencers” do that. And I won’t — that’s my promise to you. Even if that means less likes, less people seeing my content and less collaborations.
NEW HOPE ON THE HORIZON FOR TRAVEL INFLUENCERS?
What if „Is Instagram dead?“ is answered with „Yes!“?
Well, at least for everyone being bitten by the travel bug, there is hope on the horizon!
Tripadvisor itself is working on a new social media platform! Yes, the Tripadvisor we all love and use to decide what to do, where to stay and which restaurant to patronize first in a new place! At least, I am a big fan of Tripadvisor and I spend a lot of time reviewing places there and gaining their fun badges.
End of September, Tripadvisor has been releasing the big news.
They are working on building a new social media platform — a „Tripadvisor 2.0“. Currently, it is in „Closed Beta“ — meaning that only a few selected accounts like Conde Nast Traveler and Lonely Planet have access to it currently.
But this will change already this year! And you can be sure — you will be able to find me there!
SO, TIME FOR A VERDICT: IS INSTAGRAM DEAD NOW OR NOT?
Frankly, I don’t know.
Yeah, what a bummer to ask this question and then not answer it. But I want to be honest with you. I don’t know if Instagram is dead, dying like Facebook or just having a cold.
Some part of me wishes it a slow and painfull death for the way they treat a lot of us. But the biggest part of me hopes, that it just caught a cold and will be back on track soon again. That Instagram will continue to connect people that are marveling about the beauty of the world. And help us see the details and places that we would otherwise miss.
However, not all wishes come true.
A lot of bloggers have recently been telling their email subscribers to „get their followers off the platform“. And this might not be the worst advice. If you have a blog — make sure to make it easy for your Instagram followers to subscribe to your blog’s mailing list. (Build one, if you didn’t yet — check my article on starting a blog to figure out how to)
And then we can only hope for the best.
SO, TIME TO ASK YOU TO JOIN MY TRIBE!
If you join my tribe (aka sign up for my non Instagram bound newsletter!) I will send you updates about travel and Instagram topics about twice a month.
I am not one of those spammers and you can always decide to leave my tribe anytime (I hope you don’t!)
You will also get access to my member’s area with free lightroom presets, packing lists for travelers and an Instagram hashtag tool. I will add more content in the future and everything will always be free for you there!