Instagram, I love you but you’re bringing me down. What happened to you? Ever since you changed your algorithm, you haven’t been the same.
Whenever I go to my phone and see your bright pink logo I’m drawn to you, like a bee to a flower. But once your open and I begin scrolling through my feed, I feel that something is amiss. I used to spend many hours in your company, scrolling through beautiful photographs, being inspired by the creativity of my friends. Now as soon as I open you up, I become so disoriented, so appalled by the busy interface, presented with photos that are hours and even days old, I immediately turn you off.
First lets talk about how you look. There is so much going on, I don’t know where to look. What happened to your sleek, simple layout that showcased the photographs you where designed to share? Why have you incorporated this ‘snapchat’ clone onto your interface? Where there really millions of Instagram users clamoring for this addition? I realize there is a big push to highlight video across social media. No, wait, let me correct myself, there is a big push by Facebook (your big brother), to prioritize video. It seems that simple photography is going the way of the written word; pushed aside in favor of the latest trend adopted by the pre-teen set. Because who doesn’t look better with a dog face or emojis plastered across their selfies?
Oh Instagram, how could you be enticed by the lure of video? You were designed to be a photo sharing platform. A place for photographers, both serious and amateur, to share their work. Isn’t finding inspiration from each other and connecting across the globe through our mutual love of this beautiful medium enough?
Because of you Instagram I have friends all over the globe. Some I have met in person, others I can only dream of meeting. Until that time comes, I assumed that we would always have you, Instagram, as our go-between. Now I’m not so sure.
The rise of toy photography as a photographic niche is due in large part to you! You made it possible for us toy photography nerds to find each other. By sharing our work, we encouraged others to follow. There was a sense of safety knowing that we adults were not alone, that there were others out there just like us, still playing with and photographing their toys. Instagram you made this community possible, you gave us an immeasurably valuable gift. I don’t want to lose what we’ve created playing on this lovely platform; but for the life of me, I can’t see a way out.
Instagram I love you, but you’re freaking me out.
In early June you initiated a new update; you said you wanted to curate my feed for me. I know you think you know me better than I know myself, but frankly I find that insulting. I know you mean well, I know you think you have my best interests at heart, but I can’t help but find your attitude over bearing and over protective.
My morning routine often began by scrolling through my feed, seeing what my friends on the other side of the world had posted while I slept. Now the thrill is gone when you present me with photos that were posted 12, 17 and 21 hours ago. Really? Is that what you think I want to see, yesterdays news? I know you told me that
But what is this based on? How are you determining what I want to see? Is it based on my last 10 likes? My last three comments? Are you showing me the photos of the people who’s photos I value the most?
Considering how many times I find myself giving a particular photographers feed multiple likes, sometimes going back two weeks of missed photos, I can only think that you don’t know me as well as you think you do. I know you’re withholding photos from me, are you withholding my photos from my friends as well? The precipitous drop in likes, comments and new followers to my feed, suggests that you are.
Maybe I’m wrong, Maybe your right.
I know you think this new algorithm is going to keep me more engaged with you. At least thats what you told your friends the marketers and advertisers. But I have news for you, it doesn’t. I used to be able to scroll back to the photos I saw the day before and be pretty sure I saw everyones posts for the day. Now that you serve me a curated feed, I seem to only see a small percentage of the over 500 people I follow. Because I have to spend more energy hunting for the feeds I know I’m missing, hanging out with you Instagram resembles work, you’re not fun anymore. I grow frustrated easily, my time is limited, so I leave rather than stay. So much for your theory that I would hang out with you more.
Instagram, I love you, but you’re bringing me down.
While you’re trying to impress your new friends, the marketers and advertisers, I think you should know, I’ve found someone else. My new friend G+ has been treating me very well and even my old friend Flickr, while not very flashy, has been showing off my photos to good advantage. I know they aren’t hip and cool like you; maybe you’re simply too good for me.
Its hard for me to turn my back on all the good times we’ve had together, but for my own peace of mind I’m going to take a break. I’ll keep checking in, hoping you’ll change back to your reverse-chronological order (or at the very least make it an option). I know you won’t miss me, because I’m only one of many core users, not an influencer, marketer or advertiser.
Instagram I hope we can part friends. We’ve been through so much together, so many changes; I feel like we grew up together! But this last change is too much for me. I hope it was worth it for you; I hope you got out of it what you where looking for. As we go our separate ways, I want you to know that I will always look back fondly on the five good years we had together.
~ Shelly (@xxsjc)
Feel free to leave your own comments about Instagram’s latest update below.
PS – I will still occasionally post on Instagram, but I won’t be active their like I used to be. I’ve found a good social media home with the fine folks at G+. You can find me there, making new friends and continuing to grow a new toy photography community. Also my apologies to James Murphy and LCD Soundsystem for highjacking their lyrics to New York, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down.