Something’s been bugging me lately: the many anti-Instagram comments that my feed is currently swamped with. I read a lot of Instagram , how it’s the enemy of real influencers. Lots of posts, steeped in indignation, expressing annoyance with Instagram. I will gladly admit that I also felt my share of irritations with Instagram, but mostly I am more annoyed with myself than with the platform in those moments. The sudden importance of Instagram hit me cold and hard when it really took over. Reach was always an important concept in social media, but in the end my world always revolved around my central medium, the blog. Well, that’s how it used to be, anyways. Of course it’s not easy to be left behind, and it’s even more difficult to admit having been wrong – but that’s the simple truth: I was wrong. I’d never have expected Instagram to become as important as it is now, I never thought it would, in some ways, replace blogs completely. I do think that’s a shame, but Instagram taps into the zeitgeist, and blogs are turning more and more into niche products. I can only blame the fact that i didn’t see it coming on my short-sightedness in that respect, and also on my arrogant assumption that blogs would be ‘worth more’. I was taught a lesson, and have succumbed to the realities of the market. Better late than never. So, I am very active on Instagram now (well, as active as I allow myself to be), and while we may never be 100% friends, Instagram and I, I still draw my hat to the little app for all the power and influence it accrued.
But back to the subject, back to what gets on my nerves: Instagram-Bashing or #Instagate Bloggers demand more honesty from other Instagram users and more far-sightedness from prlers – so far, so good. But life’s no walk in the park, and the game is not fair. It’s a battlefield, and the gloves are off. To expect others to sudden switch to fair play mode, when all they know is what they always did, is, quite frankly, a little naive. What are you going to do when you suddenly live an amazing life thanks to Instagram, even if you know that your success is built on sand? You are not going to start sawing off the branch you sit on, you’re not going to jeopardize your life – you are going to keep playing the game, if necessary with unfair means. Truth does not always win, least of all on an app built around showing off perfect lives and the illusion that you’re taking your followers with you wherever you go.
‘Influencer’ is a real job these days, and some people work very hard in the industry (I wouldn’t want to swap lives with Caro Daur, for example…), but the job tends to revolve tightly around projects or: life, the showing of an Instagram compatible life. Few Instagram users spend hours on a picture or composing a caption. Cou can’t afford to, really, the medium is just too fast lived. It’s all about fast consumption, the fast like.
Like in every battle, there are casualties. In this case the casualties are all those who refuse to play the game. But we should remember one thing in all this influencer chaos: to lose is not the same as to give up. Many bloggers that complain about the new generation of influencers see themselves in the role of the old guard. Unfortunately they have become immobile and inflexible in that role, and barely manage to move anymore. They are stuck in the same place, while the social media world keeps spinning farther and farther away from them. And that’s exactly the misconception: the blame is not on bad, bad Instagram, the blame lies with themselves. I, for my part, have learned the lesson: There is no point in complaining if you’re not willing to change something in yourself. I admitted my mistake and am dealing with the consequences. I try to keep moving, to take the next step whenever it is necessary, and if I need to move faster then I do that too and make sure to plan my breaks more consciously.
I do think it is a shame that the fast pace leaves less room for blogposts and videos, but we started writing our blogs because we were passionate about it, and not to earn money. Of course, I understand the frustration with agencies that only look at Instagram follower numbers and seem to be content with tiny pics. But it works for me. My Instagram account actually gives me a chance to be much freer on my blog, makes it easier for me to live my passion and to show you on the blog what I could not show you on Instagram . That, after all, is my blog concept: quality over quantity. My Instagram reach is not huge compared to my blog, and you know what? I don’t even mind anymore. Maybe I just don’t work that well on Instagram . One thing I do know is that it’s not the platform’s fault, and nobody else is to blame. The only person that could change something about it is me. But is it even worth it?
Recently I read that Musical.ly is slated to be the next big thing in terms of influencer marketing, and who knows, that may well be the case. But I feel I have more than enough to do with all my current channels – and of course my blog. I think in the end we all need to find the platform we’re happy with. And honestly, whoever thinks Instagram sucks has many other options to choose from. Apparently Facebook is celebrating a comeback.