Thursday, 7 May 2015

Lifestyle: Why Instagram Doesn't Work For Me

Why Instagram doesn't work for me

How are you? When it comes to social media platforms, using Twitter is my preference. The quick and hassle free communication that allows you to connect easily with people around the world and the high level of interaction makes it a clear winner for me. If asked which platform will be the most successful one in the coming years I will say Twitter. But you may suggest Instagram. I do have Instagram, but I'm struggling and I'm nearly about to give up on it.

I've been using Instagram for 9 months now and find it particularly messy. Since I had it, it hasn't worked much in my favour and it constantly frustrates me. Posting pictures gets me some likes but hardly any interaction, which is a completely different story when I post the same picture on Twitter. Maybe I haven't cracked it yet and with this post, I hope to get some opinion and advice from some of you.

- Insta is static. The great thing about Twitter is the quick interaction which is possible through an accessible layout. On my feed, I can see what people are up to and it also shows me activities of accounts yet to discover. Insta, on the other hand, feels really static. I feel I stay stationary within my account and have no idea how to 'find' and 'connect' with others. The 'homepage' doesn't help much as it is messy and unattractive.

- Follower Overview. It is important to me to regularly declutter my social media accounts, to see who I follow and who has made the effort to return the favour. In the option 'Followers' it will tell you who follows and if you're following them too, but I wish that same principle would work under the 'Following' option. I follow more people than having actual followers and would like to know who hasn't followed me back so I can declutter.

- App only. I know Insta operates completely on the concept to provide live action snippets and is therefore designed for phones only. But this is something that really annoys me about this social media. Since the Lollipop update, my phone's camera is shit and crashes all the time. The picture quality is beyond great, so often I use my compact camera. Unfortunately, you can't upload pictures from a desktop version nor can't you access your follower/following. Again this is something far too static for me. With social media, I need access from a phone and desktop.

- The Pictures. Don't get me wrong, I love pictures and I equally love sharing them on social media. With Insta it's such a long process though. First of all, the format. It is so weird and half of the time, my pictures are weirdly cropped with the best bits chopped off. Secondly, Instagram was designed to show people live moment snippets of your life, meaning to use the app 'in the moment'. As mentioned above, my phone camera's quality is shit, so in most cases, I use pictures from my compact cam. It's again a long draining process. I have to transfer the picture to my phone and then upload it to Instagram. Don't get me started about the editing tools.

- No swipe. If I've fallen in love with a person's profile, I'd like to 'binge watch' their pictures. On Twitter, I can open the picture section and swipe easily through all of them. Not on Insta. I can't swipe. In order to see the next picture, I have to return to the profile first, then click on the picture I'd like to see. For an impatient German that's far too long and draining. It really sucks the joy out of it.

- Followers. People only follow your account if it has crisp, white, clear, airy pictures. This may be possible with a DSLR or with an iPhone, but not with my crappy Nexus 4. So ironically, most people ignore the main purpose (providing live snippets at the moment) of Instagram. I can't blame them because everyone loves nice pictures and wants to depict themselves in the best light. We're visual creatures after all, but it puts a lot of pressure on someone like me who is not very fond of picture editing.

Instagram Troubles

- Spammers. The moment your profile goes public, you'll be drowned with spammers. Comments ala F4F and creepy followers (porn girls with calling me accounts, Russian and Arabian spam profiles) will literally kill even more the joy of Instagram.

- Copyright Infringement. Well, this is a great deal for me. Instagram does not protect your pictures unless your profile is set to private. And if it is, I can tell you, your account's growth will be zero and brands won't consider working with you. So you set it back to public view, get spammed and eventually see your picture on another account. Course you can report it to Instagram (again long, complicated process) but it actually says in their T&C's that every picture of a public profile belongs to Instagram and they can do with it what they want. So your pictures can be used by them in their marketing campaigns without asking you. I find this ethically and morally questionable as I feel very strongly about protecting my work.

|Why am I still on Instagram?| 


Well, I haven't given up on it just yet, you may have seen my #lovebritain postcard campaign a few weeks ago. That was a lot of fun and I'm thinking of doing it again with some highlights of Germany. However, with Instagram like it is with FB (which I think is pretty much dead), the picture app is highly overrated but it is a requirement for brands to work with you. Lastly, I hope I haven’t upset or offended anyone, this wasn't my intention. I’m just very honest and direct about my experience and I feel Instagram hasn’t worked for me. There are some very pretty accounts on there and people put effort into their pictures (not everyone is as lazy as me) but as I've said the way Instagram operates and functions bares a lot of contradictions and frustration to me.

Thank you so much for reading today's post. Do you use Instagram? Am I too clumsy to use it? Where do you see the benefits of Instagram? Would love to hear your thoughts and some tips how I can improve as I haven't given up on Insta just yet.


Till next time,

xx CAZ xx

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