October 19, 2021

Instagram on the Decline

Written By: Sarah Davidson

Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms. When the app launched in 2010, it was an app dedicated to photo and video sharing. Throughout Instagram’s time, we have seen a rise in influencers who have managed to create a platform for themselves and small businesses and brand recognition. But in the past couple of years, something has gone with the Instagram we all used to know and love.

The platform is overloaded with so much content. Instagram is trying to be something it is not, it is trying to be everything in one. Instagram has messaging, video chat, posts, stories, going live, Reels, IGTV and many ads, which makes it feel a little all over the place.

The algorithm of Instagram has changed so much lately. For example, it has removed chronological order, so instead of seeing your entire timeline as you scroll, you see posts based on how popular they are. Instagram has also made a recent update where it only allows you to see 20-25 posts before saying that you’re up to date, which prompts new accounts for you to follow. On top of these things, Instagram has been testing a new layout that replaces the “notifications” tan with a shopping tab.

Many influencers have spoken out about the new updates claiming it is affecting their “business.” In turn, it has made influences make the switch to TikTok that allows them to reach a larger audience. The average TikTok user spends most of their time on the “For You” page, while the average Instagram user most consumes content they follow. TikTok’s algorithm turned a lot of creators into stars because it is so easy to reach a wider audience. James Nord, the CEO of Fohr, an influencer-management platform, says “For the first time, influencers are coming up against this problem of, How do I continue to grow as tastes change?” Instagram started as a visual feed of filtered photos but has morphed into a social network where photos fight with stories and video clips for attention.

Instagram is killing organic reach. Organic reach is the number of people who have seen your post through unpaid distribution. Instagram doesn’t want you to be able to build an audience organically; instead, they want you to pay them to do so. They are forcing you to pay for their advertising services if you want to build a following.

Instagram is turning into Facebook. Facebook was originally trying to have everything in one place… Instagram is now doing the same thing. I personally do not use Instagram as much as I used to, and it is because of all the ads and the updates they are making to their app.

 

13 thoughts on “Instagram on the Decline

  1. Very nicely written article, and I agree entirely, Instagram is trying too many things at once. This is the same reason I left Snapchat and Instagram for the most part. The layouts have become too confusing. I am interested if anyone in our class has purchased anything directly through the Instagram app, rather than searching the company up online.

  2. Hi Sarah! I agree that Instagram is going a bit overboard with how much it is trying to accomplish at once. I personally loved the simplicity of the original app where it was solely about posting photos and not shoving ads and shopping down my throat; however, I can, on the other hand, see how these features are beneficial to a business-type platform. Instagram is clearly much more commercialized and product-driven now than it was when we were in middle school. Additionally, I am also bothered by the algorithm set up and the way it doesn’t showcase posts on the feed chronologically anymore.

  3. I 100% agree with you. I have felt this sudden surge to just delete my Instagram because of all of the new additions and updates. It totally doesn’t feel them same as it use to be in regards to all the ads and influencers. I miss posting pictures because I liked them, not because it could get me more likes, followers, etc. Facebook has bought Instagram, so it does make sense for Instagram to be showing similar formatting. I hope that Instagram can make the switch back soon or otherwise someone will have to make the newest app.

  4. It’s true Instagram is a dying platform. However, I do see many people wanting it to be like how it was in 2010. When people just posted for the sake of it and not for likes. Usually posts that are “photo dumps” are trying to bring Instagram back to what it was.

  5. I’m not actually surprised that Instagram is a dying platform after it was sold to Facebook. I think that was its first mistake because it took away many of the features previously loved by users. Additionally, its constant attempts to mimic other platforms and updates to stay relevant just makes its overall ux experience unbearable.

  6. I’m not actually surprised that Instagram is a dying platform after it was sold to Facebook. I think that was its first mistake because it took away many of the features previously loved by users. Additionally, its constant attempts to mimic other platforms and updates to stay relevant just makes its overall ux experience unbearable.

  7. Hi Sarah! I agree with you that Instagram is not what it used to be. I used to find myself using the app all the time to stay up to date with family and friends but with all the new updates, I hardly ever get on the app. I think they are doing way too much and it is, in turn, ruining what was once a good thing. I constantly see people posting about how the app is glitching, not working correctly or people just being done dealing with the ads. It seems like they need to hire someone to monitor what is being said about the app and making changes accordingly.

  8. Hi Sarah,
    Great article! I am not surprised that Instagram is a dying platform, especially after Facebook bought it. I personally also like only seeing the content from the people I follow and it is rare when I follow an influencer. I think the way Instagram has been updating their app is too much, and I to miss the way it used to be. I hope they are able to find more of a balance, I feel like if they were to go back to how they used to be, more people would engage with the app again.

  9. Hi Sarah! I found your blog post very interesting. As I reflect on my own usage of Instagram and how it has changed in the past few years, I realize how the updates have affected my consumption of what used to be my favorite social media platform. I love to post on Instagram to share moments of my life, and I like to follow friends and family on Instagram to stay updated with theirs, but now when I open the app I am bombarded with advertisements and posts from people who I do not follow.

  10. Hi Sarah,
    I think this was a super interesting post and I completely agree. I think instagram is doing too much and they are losing site of what they originally were. Now on my feed I see more ads than I do posts from people I follow. I also do not prioritize instagram as much as I used to. I find myself checking TikTok and Snapchat before I check instagram. I hope instagram starts to realize that their new “improvements” are not working and they can go back to how it was before.

  11. I never thought I’d be on another social media platform ( especially TikTok) more than I’m on Instagram but that is exactly what’s been happening for me lately. I agree with Instagram becoming too much of a sales/influencer space. It will be interesting to see if Instagram listens to its users and goes back to the way it was before. I like TikTok for its straitforward entertainment, which was what I initially went to Instagram for.

  12. I relate to this post a lot. Instagram used to be a fun way to see pictures of people that I know. Now it is flooded with ads and has a strange algorithm. I prefer tiktok like many others. I find that every time I go on that app I see something that makes me laugh or learn a useful tip.

  13. I also don’t use Instagram as much anymore because of the high volume of ads. I don’t like how the posts are catered to what you want to see because I realize I miss a lot of things that I am curious about. I think that Instagram is going to move on as a trend in a couple of years because of all of the negativity that has resulted from it recently.

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