We need to have a conversation.
And by conversation, I realize that means I will speak, you won’t listen, and things will carry on as per usual.
But still, I feel like I need to have these words.
I have been a major fan of yours since I discovered you back in 2010.
I was an early adopter -falling instantly in love with everything you stood for.
I mean, it makes perfect sense. I love photos, I’m a photographer in my other life so of course I do. And, I love social media. The fact that I’ve posted to your platform alone over 6,000 times pretty easily proves it.
You are exactly perfect for me.
And I totally love you.
Or you were, and I totally did.
When things were basic.
And you were about beautiful photos and exciting people and making connections and sharing life’s fun.
Before the Instagram changes came.
The ones that turned this lovely platform I could spend hours smiling at into basically just the photo version of that other platform I spend most of my time scowling at and hiding people who annoy me.
Now, before you freak out, let me just say that I get it.
In a way anyway.
You’re a business. You have to meet client needs and worry yourself with bottom lines. This isn’t just pretty pictures and hearty likes. It’s your livelihood, and that of people who now work for you.
Plus, you like being rich. Being rich is fun and amazing and seriously cool.
So you needed money.
Which totally explains why you went to the dark side allowed yourself to be acquired.
That’s when the Instagram changes really started to hit.
Which still, kinda makes sense.
Your company is a huge one, with a lot of revenue and the desire to make even more. There were opportunities to grow and improve, which is exactly what happened.
Over 700 million users are scrolling through you now.
That’s a lot of scrolling.
And overwhelming to manage, I’m sure.
And yet, at times, you still thought of us -working on ways to make our experience even more awesome and provide us with some wonderful Instagram changes and additions.
Why I Love Instagram Changes
I love your Instastories. I love your new filters. I love that I can go live. And I love being able to comment back to people and truly have a more interactive experience on your platform. Plus, you totally made it so that old people don’t have to figure out Snapchat.
We can just enjoy you, and continue to be suspicious of things young people like.
I’ve got some serious beef with some of your other solutions.
But Instagram Went and Lost It’s Mind
For starters, my newsfeed is a total f*cking mess.
It used to be filled with beautiful images of countless people posting throughout the day.
I rarely saw two pics from the same person in an hour (unless that person was annoyingly flooding my stream), and I knew, with relative certainty that, though I may follow 4,500 people, I could expect to see many of their images on a relatively frequent basis.
I was rarely annoyed by one person’s postings because the newsfeed kept my content fresh and my connections to those I enjoy fluid. Some days I would interact with them a lot, other days less, and still other days could be filled with an entirely different set of people to enjoy.
It was fun and varied and not like that other platform where I had see Sally rant about politics every single morning unless I hid her just because I happened to click like on a couple of her recipes once.
I could scroll through my feed, smiling at my screen, liking and commenting on images with joyful abandon, and I didn’t have to worry about looking like a creeper for liking the last 12 images of a person who I’ve never met in real life.
I LOOK LIKE A CREEPER NOW, INSTAGRAM!
They Took the Insta Out of Instagram
Blame me if you want, but honestly, I don’t always look at who is posting an image, it is the image that attracts my finger to click like.
And, because Instagram thinks it makes perfect sense to put the last 14 days of a single account firstly in my newsfeed, I sit there and smile and like and smile and like through someone’s entire week without actually realizing that all of those images belong to one person.
Sure, I enjoyed the photos (obviously, I liked them), but I don’t want to give people the wrong idea (like that I went to their page and stalked the last two weeks of their life -I did not. Instagram did this. Swear).
Plus, I like the idea of seeing things that are happening now (whether or not people are posting in real time, old Instgram didn’t make me think about that). Now I have to wonder if the posts I am seeing got posted in the last 24 hours or 3 days ago.
Why would you take the INSTA out of Instagram?
It confuses me as much as it enrages me.
And Ruined Hashtags?
And what the hell happened to hashtags?
They don’t even work anymore.
Gone are the days when I could click on them and truly find everyone who used that hashtag to lure me into their lives. I used to make friends that way, Instagram!
I made so many #mom friends, and #dog friends, and #Maryland friends, and I miss being able to truly find new people in that way because you’re hiding people and using new technology to classify people and deciding what I want to see without really asking me (or tricking me into overliking someone I didn’t necessarily mean to overlike).
I want to click on my hashtags and find new friends -not just the friends you think I should be friends with.
I’ve been making friends since the 80s, Instagram, I got this!
The point is, all of these Instagram changes make me desperately miss my old IG.
And I am all for technology advancements and whatnot, but I usually appreciate them when they are actually for the good of humanity.
Humanity hates these Instagram changes.
And I want you to fix it.
I want hashtags to work.
I want chronological newsfeeds to at least be an option.
I want to see a cross section of the people I chose to follow.
I chose them. All 4,285 of them. And I want to encounter their images as they post them.
Not four days later.
Not when I click on their profile.
Not never or only when you decide they are interesting.
I actually do an awesome job of deciding what is interesting to me.
I know what I like (cute kids, cute puppies, cute shoes).
I know who I like (@lashawnwiltz for example whose images I like DAILY even though they literally never show up in my feed).
I don’t need your smart technology to tell me who I want to look at or when I want to do it.
They Took Away My People
And while we’re on the topic of things I want, I want you to give me my fans back.
I am a pretty interesting chick -I share fun updates, my kids and my dog are cute, I DANCE ON VIDEO FOR CRYING OUT LOUD.
People like me!
Maybe not all of the people, but some of the people. And, I’d hazard to guess that at least 50% of the 13,600 human beings who graced me with a follow actually did it because they saw something they liked in me.
We want to be together.
But, you make us jump through hoops to do it.
I don’t want to have to play comment and hashtag games just to chase down the people who have already proven, with a simple click of the follow button, that they find me interesting.
I’m just trying to live my best life and you’re out here refusing to let me be great!
How is my giving them a smile with my photo and them giving me a like or a comment to thank me hurting you?! Or taking your money? Or interfering with your platform’s ability to do big things?
In fact, if you allowed the natural exchange to occur more regularly, you’d probably have even more people using your platform appropriately and fewer people out here trying to game the system.
Those of us who have been with you since the early days can tell you -back then, before the Instagram changes, we used to just post great images. Our fans would like and comment. We would smile and try harder.
We didn’t have ads. We didn’t buy followers. We didn’t use bots. We didn’t have engagement groups to help boost our reach.
We had great photos of real moments and human connections.
I miss that, Instagram, and you should too.