Instagram is having an identity crisis

The latest update of Instagram has made me temporarily fall out of love with this platform.
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The latest update of Instagram has made me temporarily fall out of love with this platform. With my consumer hat on (as opposed to my marketing hat) I loved Instagram because of its simplicity. It was useful for a quick visual catch up of friends, family, and the random accounts I followed. And, unlike many complainants, I liked looking at photos of my friends’ breakfasts.

Instagram thinks it is Facebook who thinks it is TikTok and so on

My relationship with Instagram was going rather well. I stopped posting on Facebook years ago, only keeping it for business and stalking reasons. But the other day I logged into Instagram and my feed had transformed from white to black. Which I found rather odd as my profile page is still white. 

Plus, I couldn’t see any of my friends’ content – only loads of reposted TikTok videos from accounts I have never followed or been interested in. I felt like an outsider.

If I want to enter that ‘world’, I’ll take a trip to TikTok where their genius algorithms have finely tuned themselves to my eclectic tastes. In fact, I love TikTok. 

But Instagram, I loved you because you were not TikTok. We use platforms for different things.

Identity crisis

I suppose in a less sophisticated way, this happened to Facebook. It initially started as a Friends Reunited type platform and then became a victim of its own success. Scammers, ‘influencers’, advertisers (I know, I’m a hypocrite) and baby boomers all jumped on the bandwagon and suffocated the news feed. Like everything in life, if it appears lucrative, it’s inevitably going to change beyond recognition.

What can we do about Instagram?

There’s nothing radical we can do to fix this. I’m hoping the backlash against the latest Instagram updates will work their way up to the Instagram boardroom. And I hope they find a middle ground that satisfies our need for consumable video with a more sombre need for visual quiet. Who knows. 

In the meantime, there’s a couple of small fixes you can make to your feed to make it a bit more attune to your needs. 

Followers only

Go to your feed, click the Instagram icon in the top left corner and click on ‘Following’. You’ll have a more chronological feed of accounts you follow (see pic 1).

Instagram followers

Not interested

Click the 3 dots on the top left of a suggested post. Click on ‘Not Interested’ (see pic 2 & 3).

Then click on ‘Snooze all suggested posts in feed for 30 days’ (see pic 4). That’ll give you 30 days peace.

Instagram - snooze posts

Thanks for reading, I’m off to LinkedIn. They were the unexpected hero of Lockdown. But more about that another day.

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