The Era Of Social Influence & EPIC Stupidity
Okay folks, I need to get something off my chest. I recently tried a software service or a BOT that automates & inflates your Instagram profile… The bot service is called Instagress and is single-handedly ruining Instagram.
Have you noticed people start following you then unfollowing you if you don’t follow them back? Have you noticed random people commenting general comments or unrelated emojis on photos if you have a public profile? This is instagram automation, folks. Welcome to the death of IG. (insert middle finger)
Instagress allows you to target users that are using & engaging with defined hashtags or following certain profiles. It’s desirable if you are trying to build a following. Say you want to build a following by emulating Martha Stewart, the roadmap would include creating similar content and engaging with her followers. This software automates the engagement so you don’t have too. Sounds interesting? It is… BUT is also fucked up.
Let’s go back to the foundation of why Instagram is where it is today. Instagram, in my opinion, WAS one of the best social channels out there. It is simple, original & visually alluring. Instagram enables connection, to friends & strangers alike. How gorgeous is that? My experience on Instagram has been like one shared around a campfire. People come to share their stories & people come to listen. It is an artful exchange creating meaningful connection.
About a week ago, I was so charmed when this popular SOCIAL INFLUENCER commented on one of my photos, “Love Your Feed!” I responded back enthusiastically with gratitude & well wishes. I thought to myself, wow, this is rad! Not only do I love engaging with strangers & friends but it appeared people enjoy engaging with me too! A few days later on my next post, that exact same social influencer commented, “Love Your Feed!” and then again on my most recent post. LOL. How fucking stupid is that? It wasn’t personal, genuine or inspiring real connection.
This botware is essentially cannibalizing the intent of Instagram. This service, if all features are turned on, follows users and then unfollows them within a certain time frame IF users don’t follow back. It auto-generates a list of “approved” comments that mostly consist of emojis or “Love your feed!” and populates targeted profiles or tags.
I’ve created some really wonderful opportunities for myself through Instagram. I’ve been lucky enough to partner with companies I love and I want to keep growing those opportunities. In a moment of weakness, I regrettably decided I would try this out for myself. The auto follow and auto unfollow really rubbed me the wrong way so I decided against that feature but the auto liking seemed more my pace. I chose a few hashtags to target and within 12 hours my following increased by ~500 followers… ( ! ) ( W.T.F ) I thought to myself, wow this is kind of interesting… Not looking into who those followers actually are…
On Friday I was on the phone with one of my best friends while at Trader Joes, while checking out I put the phone down . As I was walking out to my car she asked me if I was on Instagram while checking out. I looked down at my bags and laughed. “No way that is even possible at this point.” She laughed and was like phew because my activity was blowing up. I asked her to send me screenshots because I hadn’t been monitoring. My profile was liking eight photos a minute or something INSANE like that. I felt so stupid because my profile was auto-liking all of these stupid & irrelevant images. I kind of panicked after realizing, this isn’t authentic behavior. Right when I got home I disconnected my account (on a free 3-day trial) with 2 days left. The people that followed me & were liking my photos weren’t even real people. Those “followers” I gained weren’t authentic– and there is no value in that. There is value in meaningful connections.
FYI: OSSIVEGAS is not the social influencer I’m referring to in this post, that is my best friend poking fun.
The moral of this post is that social vanity does not equate success. Likes & followers can be bought, engagement can be automated, and at the end of the day what is it all really worth?
This era of social influence is a slippery slope— so fuck vanity metrics. Share real stories, engage with users because you actually like their perspective. Engaging with the intent of reciprocation is not genuine and in the long run, is just a waste of your time. Now excuse me while I go block those fake followers (one by one)….
UPDATE: I found a sweet app that blocks fake Instagram profiles. GRACIAS INTERNET
IF THIS DOESN’T MAKE SENSE TO YOU: PARDON MY ENGLISH I WROTE THIS AT 2 AM.