Since the change in the algorithm, Instagram growth and engagement has been something that bloggers of all sizes have had issues with. Because Instagram feeds are no longer chronological and instead show posts with higher engagement, meaning that bloggers and other Instagram users have been resorting to using pods in order to “fake engagement”. Cosmo recently wrote an article on Instagram pods
which highlighted it to the national press, and now massive news outlets including The Independent
are calling bloggers out for ‘cheating the system’.
But are Instagram Pods really cheating?
I’m going to confess – I am in an Instagram Pod. I only recently started Instagram to promote my blog posts
and for me, joining a pod has been a great way to find other Instagrammers who have similar interests to mine and discover new blogs – and even make new friends! Not only does it increase genuine engagement and help your posts become more visible on others’ feeds, it also means that you get to help others out who are in the same boat and discover new feeds at the same time! But still, people have issues with these pods.
They don’t provide genuine engagement! Comments are just fake niceties!
This is where I disagree. Whenever I comment on a post, it’s usually a post I would comment on anyway and have an interest in. Therefore, my comments about how nice the bag is, or how I’ve always wanted to try that face mask are real and true. In fact, quite often I scroll Instagram and like and comment on these posts before I’ve even checked the pod. None of the comments I receive on my photos I perceive to be faux in the slightest. They’re all from lovely, wonderful girls who are happy to cheer me on and help increase my engagement – and thus I return the favour!
It’s just as bad as buying likes and followers!
Again, I think this is an absurd statement and is usually made by those who don’t understand comment pods. The one I’m in has no more than 12 people in it, and a few of those are inactive, and they’re all real. No bot generated them, they’re not being paid for their services. I see pods as a snowball effect – you have five or six similar accounts like and comment on your posts which helpfully moves it up people’s feeds so that the ‘genuine’ engagement can start! Buying followers is downright deceitful but pods are using resources openly to try and crack the algorithm. Not the same.
Pods are so strict with all those rules! I can’t be doing with that!
The rules of the pods I’m in are very simple: don’t spam the chat and make sure to comment on and like everyone’s posts. Nobody has a gun to your head. Nobody can make you comment. Sometimes I fall behind but I haven’t been savagely extradited from the blogging community yet. Of course, I can’t speak for all pods; some may well be incredibly strict but I am yet to join one which resembles a totalitarian regime!
I think it’s accepted by the majority of the blogging community that pods aren’t cheating the system but it’s the wider world that doesn’t understand them. Since being in pods, my instagram account has actually been growing, going from 115 followers to 430 in just shy of three months, which by my books is very positive. When I asked on twitter what people thought about Pods, the majority weren’t in them but accepted that they weren’t cheating the system.
What do you think about InstaPods? Are they cheating the system, or just common sense if you want to grow?