Instagram. To many it was Facebook before Facebook started altering their news feed so that companies and pages had to pay to play. That fun wonderland of mass followings is starting to change. With Facebook being the parent company of Instagram the Algorithm to see posts you follow has been slowly changing to the point of where now you actually have to pay to play now.

This is according to a study done by Locowise for the 2015 Year in Review

Engagement way, WAY down

How far down is way, WAY down? That would be in the neighborhood of 61.43%. Organic engagement is just not happening. Which is amazing considering that Instagram was one of the hottest sites for viral content in 2015. Yet, the engagement is dropping all because people are actually not seeing your posts. It is down but it seems to be an awful lot for one year.

Then you add the amount of people who are not following each other is down even more that is 88.21% So you want to know why your Instagram is not building up all that fast. That last stat is the reason that it is beginning to look like Instagram is becoming like Facebook. Where if you want the objective to be, up the number of eyes that see your posts, you will need to boost your post or buy sponsored posts. I can see this being a problem. If that is the case.

Personal Opinion injection

I am going to inject a little of my own opinion into this. In the engagement area. When it comes to Instagram, I look at my personal experience for a reference, and that much of the interaction being down is a good chance, because of the content. When it comes to many feeds I follow, I see lots of personal advertisements. This being a picture from Pictures are Us website and the account holder then adds their own text that says in the neighborhood, My service is great! Yeah, your followers may like those images for a little while. Yet, when that is all that is posted, the interaction and engagements are going to fall. Maybe even at the rate of 88.21%.

Then when Instagram followers go to find new accounts, they come across more accounts that are doing the same tactics, yeah the follow rate is going to fall in the realm of 61.43%.  So, you might also look at those forever lovable Internet Marketeers. They do like to drain every last ounce of fun out of a site and convert it to a wasteland of “BUY ME NOW!” ads. So should we blame the Kill Joys? Not fully though the Marketeers do make good whipping boys for all of our problems.

I thoroughly believe that the fall of interactions is actually a combination of both. One the Internet Marketeers work at strangling the goose that lays the golden egg and Facebook slowly turning on their pressure to buy advertising. It has been known that Facebook was going to venture down this path when Facebook was turning on the Pay to play for pages. Facebook is a publicly traded company so their main objective is now to make money for their investors and if possible, make lots of money. It isn’t personal it is just business.

Still better than Facebook and Twitter

The engagement and following rates are still better than its two closest competitors. According to the study Instagram has .23% more follower growth than Facebook and for pages, the growth was .14%. Twitter, on the other hand, had .09% growth. So yeah Instagram is still a great platform to be on you can smartly advertise and build a community using just pictures and comments. Again, though, You have to do that in a smart manner. You have to build your community by giving to them. Inspirational quotes are OK. Just not all the time. It is a lot like Twitter unless your Twitter is set up to be a quote generator you have to show other parts of your personality.

Don’t sell, sell, sell. Or your potential customer will run, run, run. Take Pictures of behind the scenes and do an intro to members of your team. Show off your products and talk about why they are so good. But don’t sell all the time. You will build a better and deeper relationship with your customers and followers when you take to time to present yourself.

So what do you think is the Instagram more Facebook turning off the spigot or is it marketeers over doing it? Let me know in the comment section below.


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Bryan Goodwin

Social Media Manager at Goodwin Social Media
Bryan has been in the social media field in one form or another. whether it is blogging, podcasting, or trying out the latest social network . There is a good chance that you will find him talking somewhere.
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Is Instagram becoming Pay to Play, or are people just getting tired
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