Tuesday, 18 April 2017

Instagram: Is It Just A Numbers Game?

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I wasn't going to post this today, but after everything that kicked off in the blogosphere yesterday, I needed to get this off my chest.


In case you were under a rock yesterday: Some bloggers have been paying money to get more followers, which isn't really right, is it? 

Once I saw it all kicking off on Twitter, I was curious. I couldn't help but have a nosy at the people I'm following to see if they're doing this.

(If you don't know how to, browse your 'following' feed and if anyone's following loads of accounts, or liking weird photos, they're probably at it. You can confirm it by looking at Social Blade and seeing if they've been unfollowing large numbers of people in one go. We're talking hundreds at a time here. How long would it take to do that manually? Ages. Far too long to be legitimate.)

It's common knowledge that there are loads of people on Instagram who follow/unfollow whether you follow them back or not. They're careerists, in it for the numbers, and the faux-popularity. They're not interested in the community, or anyone else but themselves. But, I'm quite surprised to see just how widespread it actually is.

It genuinely shocked me to discover just who uses bots. I can't help but feel really disappointed in them. It's even more common than I suspected, and it kind of taints the whole thing, for me. Instagram's deteriorating at an alarming rate, and users like this don't help matters. They ruin it for everyone else.

As bloggers, I know that the more followers we have, the more likely we are to be taken seriously by brands. Do we really have to resort to such underhand tactics to do so though? Why are these people so utterly desperate to seem more popular than they are? And what's so wrong with growing an audience organically; an audience of followers who follow you because they actually want to?

Little tip: If you're fed up of these people following you and then unfollowing you, there are several free apps you can download to track your stats. I personally use one called 'Followers' and check it around once a day to unfollow anyone I need to.

I know that might seem a little extreme, and a tad sad, admittedly. But, why should we let people like that trample all over us? They're dishonest, they're seeking to milk brands for all they can get, and they have the potential to tar us all with the same murky brush. 

They're cheating their way to the top, and it's really not fair on the rest of us.

What's your opinion on this?
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