Un Categorizable

A Frustrated Letter to Instagram

a frustrated letter to Instagram

To my readers: This week’s post is not about a destination. It does pertain to travel, but only in an abstract way, in the way the average person uses Instagram to post their vacation photos. If this isn’t you I apologize. I have a pretty good backlog of posts to read 🙂 I recommend my Maps or Links pages

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are my own opinion, and in no way implies wrongdoing by Instagram and its parent companies. Any perceived implication of fact, is just that: a perception, and should not be taken as fact.

Dear: Instagram

We need to talk. I say we, because I don’t think I am the only one who feels this way. I’ll start out by saying this is not a letter bashing your platform, your employees or your TOS. We like Instagram in fact; I like to share pictures and to see other’s pictures, good and bad. The problem we have is with the bot detection algorithms you use: they are not very good at their job, I am afraid. Have you seen how many threads and webpages there are dedicated to “Instagram blocked, shadowbanned, nerfed me, won’t let me access etc”? Do a quick search, there are A LOT. I was a bit hesitant to write this post because I fear a bit of retaliation from Instagram and Facebook, but I feel that I need to say this.

Here I did a search for you: Here or here or here or here or here or here
and on and on and on…….

Why a letter like this you ask? You don’t exactly make it easy to get a real person for support. I don’t even know if you have real people working in your support group. I read somewhere the email address for support has been shut down, or blocked. Will this letter even work? I don’t know, but it’s worth a try. I want to help you, Instagram, and I want you to get better, and to help you improve.

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Leave a comment if you feel the same way. Share me too!

Problem: You are detecting real people

Don’t get me wrong, I understand where you are coming from Instagram. It’s impossible to make everyone happy isn’t it? I know this: I work at a retirement home with 300 seniors, and do you think everyone is going to like today’s soup? I don’t think so. I know you want to curtail spammers, and weed out the bots making artificial likes and comments follows etc, but you are detecting real people when you do it. Come on guys, I am 42 years old. I’m no teenager who can text 100 Wpm. How can my fumbling through my phone be detected as an automated bot? I might as well be a caveman discovering a magical device, who uses a wooden club as a stylus. I can’t text 1 single sentence with my phone without a spelling mistake, not because I can’t spell, but because my fingers hit the other keys beside it. What does this have to do with anything? My orangutan ability to use a device, can’t possibly so fast that it looks like I’m a computer algorithm.

I have been detected, and blocked from following twice in one week. I’ve had my ability to look through my followers blocked 5 times or more (try again in a few minutes). I haven’t had my likes or comments blocked yet, but I’m sure that day will come. A quick search through Google brings up a boatload of people who have also gone through this and they are all dumbfounded as I am. Sure there are a few people on those forums or blog commenters who probably were doing something wrong to get a block or ban, but can all of them have? I doubt it.

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Im not quitting IG this is just a frustrated letter to Instagram. Its the bot detection and lack of communication (et-al) The title card is just a silly gag
I wrote this like a dear John letter as a funny gag. This is really a plea to IG

Problem: Your follow limit

Let me start with the follow limit. I think it is a bit low. I think it is 20-30 per hour for a new account and 50 for a matured account. This is all speculation though, because you can’t get an official answer. You have to go to someone else’s blog to get this information, so it is all educated guesses. Instagram: you created this culture in the first place. Why are you resisting people using your site for its intended use, and contradicting your users want’s/needs? Everyone needs followers; without followers your content can’t be seen by anyone, this is how you set it up in the very beginning. Yes, you can hashtag and it will show up in the find, but good luck not getting buried.

I realize your site might get overloaded if there is an insane amount of following done, but there needs to be a logical limit set. You know what should be detected, and put a stop to? People who follow, and then unfollow a second later. These people need to be stopped. Not the average user who just wants to make a whole bunch of friends and followers.

I say average user, because even @JohnDoe Instagrammer sharing his dog Misty the Doe Eyed Poodle, still wants followers, even if he doesn’t own a business. If his photos of Misty aren’t high quality, it’s likely his photos are going to be overlooked, because the average person is not a professional photographer. No you don’t need to be a photographer to take good photos, but it sure does help to get noticed. So, he follows a bunch of people hoping to get noticed and “bam”, he gets blocked. You might actually chase that real person away, and a real person is what any paid advertiser on your platform is ultimately looking for, isn’t it?

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

I wrote this like a dear John letter as a funny gag. This is really a plea to IG
Please stop punishing real people

I don’t follow everyone, I look at peoples’ follow lists and if they have 1000+ followers and only are following less than100, then I will not even bother with them. I’m sorry, but that is the way I operat; I just don’t trust someone with numbers like that, I prefer to reciprocate, and co-operate with my followers, not stab them in the back the moment they are not looking. I don’t know what I will do when I reach that arbitrary 7500 follow limit, but I will not unfollow someone just to make my ratio “look cool” or to make myself look like an “iInFluEnCeRrrr” Building trust does not start with unfollowing people nice enough to follow you. If you are one of those accounts, I know that you are not going to help me reach “my” goals so why should I help you reach yours?.

So what does this have to do with Instagram? If I get blocked every time I look into my followers to see if they are still following me whenever I reach a magic number, then how am I supposed to get rid of those freeloaders? The brands who are worried about getting unfollowed because they are not engaging anyone should get off their butts and actually engage then! Don’t punish the average user. Here’s an idea: why don’t those brands actually you know… “build trust?” Or help others instead of just themselves. I know I would personally be more inclined to buy from a brand if they actually gave a crap about me, and I wasn’t “just a number”.

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Im not quitting IG this is just a frustrated letter to Instagram. Its the bot detection and lack of communication (et-al) The title card is just a silly gag
Please share this article if you agree with me

Problem: Unfollowing after being unfollowed first, should not be punished!

Me unfollowing some jerk who unfollowed me a day after I followed them does not make me a bot. I’m by no means an expert at Instagram, but I know a flake when I see one. Certain followers/unfollowers have a particular style of picture they share. You can see it in their pictures “yeah this person only cares about themselves, they are going to unfollow in a day or 2”. You give them the benefit of the doubt and follow them anyways, but in the back of your mind you think “I have to keep an eye on this person” and wouldn’t you know it they unfollow you almost immediately. Then when they are the ones actually using a bot, they detect you unfollowing, actually have the nerve to accuse you of using one. Then report you, when it was just pure instinct.

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Im not quitting IG this is just a frustrated letter to Instagram. Its the bot detection and lack of communication (et-al) The title card is just a silly gag
I wrote this like a dear John letter as a funny gag. This is really a plea to IG

Problem: Your bot detection

How can looking at my followers too often be considered bot activity? Is this something a bot does? Don’t get me wrong I want you to detect actual bots, but I am not a bot. Your algorithms are not doing a good enough job of detecting the usage of bots. Please tweak your algorithms to detect actual bots. Do your investors not have kids? Can they not see how fast their kids can use a mobile device?

BTW, is it not ironic that Instagram uses bots to detect bots, yet their bots can’t even do that? You know what else is ironic? The fact that Instagram rewards people for engaging, yet never engages its own audience. It doesn’t even want to hear from you, why else would the customer contact be buried under a mountain of links?

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Please stop punishing your members

I know I’m not an average user, I have a blog I’m trying to grow. Most people are just cogs in their employer’s wheel just trying to make it through the week. I guess you could say I’m a small business just struggling to grow, so I’m not that far off of an average user. My blog does not make money yet as it is fairly new, so I’m still deep in the red. I feel like I’m being punished for not paying for ads. How can I justify spending a bunch of money on paid Instagram ads? I feel like the paid ads are a protection racket: “if you don’t pay us we will bury your content where nobody will see it”. I feel like if I were an average Joe, I would have gotten frustrated by now and given up on the platform. The fact is that I keep using it because it is an effective “tool” but it is getting harder and harder to use. I feel like I am driving an older car: it keeps breaking down, and i keep fixing it, but I’m reaching a point where it’s not worth fixing it, and it may be time to get a new car. I don’t want to give it up because it has been such a good car, but the warning lights aren’t going off when there’s a problem, and I see all these newer, shinier cars, for far less then I bought the current one for.

Speaking of warning lights, what is up with us not giving us a warning before we get blocked? At least Twitter gives you the courtesy of telling you to slow down. The first time it happened, I didn’t know what I did. I had a suspicion I followed too many people, but I wasn’t certain. It wasn’t until I got my ability to follow back, then lost it again, did I realize “yup I followed too many people…. thanks for the warning guys!!!”

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Im not quitting IG this is just a frustrated letter to Instagram. Its the bot detection and lack of communication (et-al) The title card is just a silly gag
I wrote this like a dear John letter as a funny gag. This is really a plea to IG

Problem: “Your” dislike of likes

What about you not letting other people see the like count? People are obsessed with validation, why would you want to take that away? Personally I value my likes, even if someone else can’t see the count. Yeah sure, they can click on others, and manually count, but who’s going to do that for more than 20 likes? At least I know my stuff has been seen. I like comments too, but a like is nice as well. I know there are people out there who don’t care about likes, but just because you don’t care, don’t ruin it for the people who do value them.

No we don’t need accounts who are ‘like farms’, but it’s a nice gesture. “Hey I just saw your content, I didn’t just brush it off and move on, I actually made an effort”. How else would I know if people are seeing my content? As someone who is trying to grow a small business, having an accurate metric to measure engagement is crucial to the growth of my brand. I can already hear the response “Ok sure pay for it” My blog doesn’t make money yet. The big sharks can do that, because they have budgets in the millions, a small fish like me can’t do that. I feel like I have a thumb pressing down on me, and I can’t be the only one.

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Im not quitting IG this is just a frustrated letter to Instagram. Its the bot detection and lack of communication (et-al) The title card is just a silly gag
I wrote this like a dear John letter as a funny gag. This is really a plea to IG

Problem: Banned hashtags, and your unwillingness to tell us about them

Lastly, what is up with the banned hashtags? I used Instagram for 7 months before I found out about them. I completely understand banning #cursewords #porn #racistrhetoric, but why would you make it a secret and punish people for not knowing? Ok so people should know better than to use #f-word, but #thanksgiving???? #newyears????? Seriously Instagram! Come on guys, let’s use some logic here. Fine, I’m sure you have your reasons: maybe #thanksgiving broke your site it was used so much, but don’t make it a secret, then ban people for using it! How would someone logically know not to use #desk #brain? ….. or #Kansas??? the f-word Instagram? A simple text would suffice eg: #thanksgiving (please don’t use this hashtag) (or heck just make the text red for warning) instead of #thanksgiving 16,000,000 times! Why do I have to stumble across it on a blog about SEO? What average user is going to be Googling SEO? I’m sure there are other keywords to find them, but the point is you won’t find that information on Instagram or Facebook. Why the heck not? Why would you keep us in the dark, are we not friends? Do you not value us enough? How is anyone supposed to know this?

What about fake accounts? Sure fake accounts are bad, but not all accounts are fake. Are you sure those inactive accounts aren’t just people who got frustrated and just gave up on the platform?

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Please share this article if you agree with me

Problem: You are chasing away real people

In a way, I’m glad peoples’ frustrations with your service have fallen on deaf ears. Without my frustration, I wouldn’t have given your competitor Pinterest a chance. I have been told their audience is more engaged and loyal. That once you gain a following they are more likely to use “my website”. Probably because they facilitate co-operation rather than using artificial means to keep you there. They realize people want to visit other sites so they make it easy for them. They aren’t being cattle prodded into their cages, making them actually “want” to return, rather than feeling like they are forced to return. Forced to return because they broke a rule which wasn’t made clear that it was a rule in the first place. Forced to return to check if they are unblocked yet, no? How about now? Now? Forced to return after looking in the follow list, and getting blocked from doing that.

I have an idea that you can use if you want, although I wouldn’t be opposed to a consulting fee 😉 Instead of being frustrated you aren’t getting a slice of the ad money going around, why don’t you facilitate partnerships, or brand ambassadorships, and huge corporate sponsorships/campaigns, then charge a commission? That way I make money, you make money, and the advertiser makes money. So that everyone wins and everyone is happy? Wouldn’t that be grand?

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

I wrote this like a dear John letter as a funny gag. This is really a plea to IG
Instagram: Please read this

If this does got to the email of some executive. I know I’ve said a lot and I’m not a code writer so I have no idea how hard it would be to code all of this, or even if it is possible, but I care enough to help you grow. Not just abandoning you the moment you turn your back like some of your users follow/unfollow. I hope you don’t just brush this off like I’m some wanker wannabe iNfLUenCer just rambling on. I hope sincerely that you make positive changes to your algorithms; that you stop detecting normal usage as bot activity. I hope you do actually get rid of, or at least slow down, the use of actual bots. I really hope you do get rid of the actual fake accounts. Just don’t make it at the expense of the real user. I’m not just some jerk ranting about being wronged. Please do something about fixing the platform.

Thank you.

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

This is a frustrated letter to Instagram

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are my own opinion, and in no way implies wrongdoing by Instagram and its parent companies. Any perceived implication of fact, is just that: a perception, and should not be taken as fact.

My call to action:

I guess I will look pretty silly if nobody agrees with me, but I needed to say it. Will anyone from Instagram or parent company Facebook even read this? It’s anyone’s guess. Even if they read it, will they even be compelled to care? If you agree with what I said please drop a comment or a like. Heck even if you don’t agree, feel free to disagree. Just please don’t use profanity or I won’t approve your comment. Also please do not libel or name call Instagram or Facebook. This is a call for positive change. If they get attacked, they are going to clam up and not listen to us. So please be respectful and mature.

Spread the word if you agree with me. Share me on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest Etc.

-theGlobeTrevor-

Tagged , , , , , , ,

7 thoughts on “A Frustrated Letter to Instagram

  1. How I understand you. I stopped worrying about it and now I only post every now and then. I don’t even look at the numbers anymore, it’s so frustrating.

    1. It used to be a great tool for growth, without significant time investment, but its now the opposite. I do get some traffic from it, just not enough to spend a lot of time on it.

      Thanks for commenting.

      1. Hmm I don’t think my last comment went through , I was just saying I am so new to social media that Imreally do not know much about it to form a opinion.sorry

  2. I wish there was a place for me to sign this. It feels like a petition to the big wig execs of Instagram to realize that the structures they have in place are grossly limiting and ineffective. Kudos to you on writing this.

    1. I thought about that, i just didn’t know how to do that. 🤷‍♂️ 😁

      Then again i feel like just commenting does the trick. Or even just hitting the like button.

      Thanks for commenting 😊

Any comments are greatly appreciated.