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Is Instagram Dying?

January 23, 2018 Social Media
Is social media's favorite feed beginning to wane?

Photo by SHTTEFAN on Unsplash

Is Instagram dying? Is it already dead?

Like many platforms who came before it and many who have come after, Instagram is struggling to find its way with both content creators and brands alike. After Facebook purchased the platform 5 years ago, it seems the number of user complaints has only increased. Will Facebook ruin the fun of Instagram like it did for Facebook a number of years ago? Keep reading for some negative trends we’ve noticed and how they’re affecting usership of the once extremely popular app.

Sudden Decrease in Organic Engagement

If you’ve noticed a sudden decrease in your organic engagement beginning a few months ago, you’re not alone (and here are some tips on how to combat it). Many organic accounts are struggling to figure out how to get their photos in front of their audiences. Lower engagement means higher frustration, and people are losing interest in creating quality content that doesn’t perform well with their audience.

Rise in Follow-Unfollowers: Causing Stagnant Growth

The race for followers caused an odd idiosyncrasy: the follow-unfollow. Users striving to build their audience will follow groups of people with the hopes they’ll get a follow back. After a period of time, they’ll go through the list and unfollow these same users, only to replace them with the next wave of accounts. Some users even invest in a bot service to follow and unfollow users automatically. Because of this strange strategy, many users are noticing that their accounts have seen little to no growth over the the past 3 months in particular. Pair stagnant growth rates with lower than average engagement and the effort you once put towards your lovely grid seems like a waste of time.

Algorithm Changes Show Images from Days Passed

When Instagram chose to move to an “interest-based” algorithm rather than a sequential timeline, it became hard to follow a user’s day-to-day. Instead of seeing updates as soon as they’ve happened, it’s possible to see one post from 5 minutes ago followed by a post from 5 days ago. Many businesses and content creators were forced to rethink their strategy; no longer can they post time-dependent announcements. Everything must be evergreen.

Pay-to-Play Atmosphere like Facebook

Small businesses once had the upper hand on Instagram. Once Facebook transformed into the pay-to-play atmosphere it’s lovingly known as today, brands with small (or nonexistent) budgets were flocking to Instagram for its high organic engagement, growth and reach. Without advertising, local brands could easily compete with their national counterparts. Until Facebook introduced its ads offering for Instagram. Now, Instagram isn’t much different than Facebook, showing content to less than a third of your organic audience. Brands big and small are now forced to allocate budget in order to reach their audience.

Will a new platform come along to take Instagram’s place? Probably.
Will Instagram disappear altogether? Probably not.

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