If you’re reading this, you probably don’t enjoy using Instagram either.
When I started my Instagram business account (circa 2019) I made Instagram the central part of my content marketing. And for a long time I really enjoyed posting content, sharing educational tips and coming to connect with my community.
Fast forward to 2022, I dread to even open my Instagram app.
So what has happened to Instagram? In this post, I’ll share a few red flags about Instagram, that made want to stop posting on Instagram.
Why Instagram Sucks lately?
1. Instagram sucks because of Reels videos
In my opinion Reels should’t even be on Instagram. They’re a stand alone content format and they definitely have their fans – so I would move them to a different app…
What are Instagram Reels?
Reels are 15 sec-long videos, that are a new form of content: Edutainment. Since they were introduced on Instagram, they became the best way to grow and reach a viral number of views. Thus, everyone is using them. But with more content on the app, they soon became annoying, repetitive and not relevant to many people.
The problems Reels create for Marketers
#1: Instagram shows Reels to random people
Okay, so I already mentioned that Reels only benefit is that they can go viral. But you cannot control who sees your Reels video. There’s no targeting option by geography or anything else. So we can assume that Instagram is pushing Reels to random people and as a result they may attract a lot of spammers, fake followers and bots.
#: Lack of insights and analytics for Reels
There aren’t any analytics insights for Reels content – in my opinion, they’re trying to hide the information about certain user accounts (ehh… like bots?). So there’s no real purpose for marketers to create Reels, since you can’t measure how effective they are.
#: They forgot that Instagram users want to connect with friends
When asked why Instagram is prioritising Reels, Instagram CEO, Mosseri, said (repeatedly) that VIDEO content is the future… and they see an increase in people’s preference shifting towards video.
Okay… but they forgot one important thing. The main reason Instagram users open the app every day is to see pictures from people they follow and connect with their friends and family.
If all I see on Instagram is random content from people I don’t follow, why should I still “Follow” any accounts?Tweet
My opinion is that this style of video should stay on TikTok. The majority of Instagram users don’t want to see random, meaningless content.
2. Too Many Ads and Content from Celebrities
I went to count the posts I see when I opened my Instagram app today. Every second post on Instagram is an ad. And every 3rd story is a promoted post. This creates a feeling that Instagram is a sales platform – and I hate being sold stuff all the time.
I know that Facebook ads are an integral part of the Instagram experience. But with the integration of Facebook, Instagram Shops and Messenger into one big advertising machinery, we are bombarded with the same ads across multiple social networks.
The problem with Instagram ads?
They’re disruptive to user experience. If I have to watch 3 ads in 5 minutes just to catch up with my friends – I will think twice about even opening my Instagram.
This also leads me to the next disadvantage of Instagram.
3. The Sense of Community & Close Relationships is Vanishing
Instagram used to be the main platform for building meaningful relationships with your friends, fans and family. It wasn’t about watching celebrity content and ads that make you feel so far away from their lifestyle.
The image that most celebrities and influencers are spreading on Instagram is also not a genuine one. Their photos are highly edited, filtered, and enhanced to look like their life is perfect.
And if you don’t look like them, can’t afford their expensive lifestyle or don’t have a perfectly happy life – you shouldn’t post content. Because nobody’s gonna “like” it anyway.
For the common folk, who want to meet and talk to like-minded people – Instagram is no longer that platform.
4. Takes a Lot More Work to Create Content for Instagram vs Other Apps
Imagine you’re a new business owner having to choose which social media platform to market on. But you can’t afford to hire a full-time social media manager or agency to do your content. Would you still choose to focus on Instagram?
Here’s all the skills you need to create 1 month of content on Instagram:
- You need to master 5+ content formats, including: Images, Reels, Lives, Stories, Videos and Carousel posts. These formats are not easy to create. I know from experience, that proper video editing can take hours to produce a single post.
- Captions writing. You can’t just post an image and pray it’s going to do well. Instagram posts perform better with relevant or story-telling captions. If you can’t write fluently, then you’re going to get stuck.
- Choosing Hashtags. A post is not complete without 10 – 25 unique and relevant hashtags. So, you’re welcome to search the internet to find the best hashtags for your industry. Then you need to test a few variations until you find the hashtags that work for your page.
- Posting A LOT OF CONTENT. Instagram CEO suggests that businesses post at least 3 posts on Feed per week, and 2-3 Instagram stories a day. Not to mention 2-4 Reels. That’s a lot of content to create, and you’ll need to use a content scheduling tool to plan it all in advance.
- TIP: Schedule your Instagram content with Pallyy – FREE alternative to Buffer!
So why should marketers still bother with posting on Instagram?
The real issue for many marketers is that it takes so much TIME and EFFORT to get any results! Not to mention that you need to learn advanced reporting skills if you’re planning to run any Ads on Facebook or Instagram. From my experience, NO other social media platform has so many content formats and steps to publishing content, like Instagram.
In comparison, you can just insert an image or paste a link of a blog post on Twitter and call it content!
5. Instagram can deactivate your account for no reason
Don’t get me started with the Instagram policy. I’ve already shared my personal experience of how my Instagram business account was wrongfully deactivated for “impersonating” myself. This has majorly affected me personally and my business growth.
I’ve also lost all confidence in Instagram as a REAL marketing platform.
And I am not the only one. There are about 1000s of people that wrote in my DMs they’re desperately trying to get back their deactivated Instagram accounts too. The majority don’t ever get a response back.
So, clearly, my advice is don’t make Instagram your only marketing platform. Diversify your social media content and build an email list – this way you own your contacts 100%.
The reality is: Instagram sucks lately. And it will continue to do so!
*Update: It’s 12 Sep 2022, and Instagram is still a BIG mess!
If you still want to be on Instagram, you must follow their Rules. IF you don’t post regularly or post too much at one time, Instagram may flag you as a spammer – and your account is gone! FROZEN….
And good luck with getting it back!
PS: I have an article with the steps I took to recover my account in 2021. May not work for everyone, but this is what worked for me. This is not advice, I do not help people to get their accounts reinstated. This is just my story.
What does the future hold for Instagram?
It’s hard to say whether I will continue to use Instagram or delete my account completely. It would require a lot of changes from Instagram, mainly in how they deal with customer complaints and deactivating accounts for no reason. And if it’s going to take me 5 x the effort to create a post for Instagram than on Twitter and LinkedIn – why should I bother?