I fell in love with Instagram, another platform where people show pictures to the masses. What is awesome and different from Google Plus, which with all its pretended complexity seems to be just the place where amateurs and professionals show and appreciate each others’ photos? Now, because Instagram is mostly a mobile application, there is a greater probability for pictures to have been made by the sharers, instead of being taken from Pinterest or 500px.com.
In February 2013, Instagram (owned by Facebook) started to allow users to comment on each other’s photos from a regular computer, a great move through expansion. Of course, like Pinterest, you push your pictures on a stream, they are liked and commented, without creating real conversations. What people like most in this Social Media site is to communicate and make new friends through pictures. Most of the pictures are made by the person who posts them. Even if some of your friends are not posting only their personal photos, they mention who’s picture they have posted and give whole credit. If not, that’s all the same as on Google Plus, where people became famous posting Pinterest pictures and being shared in circles.
Actually I want to shake off the sad memories when I found out that no Social Media corporation actually cares of what users have to say. Facebook was initially more customer oriented, but now they seem to lightly pass over social relationships. The content loses its value and to promote it you have to pay.
Since Google Plus changed its user interface, one can’t see anymore if a certain friend still follows him or not. It seems that they are not the only one. Instagram, my recently most favorite Social Media site is doing the same. They make a lot of fuss about correctness and personal presence, trying to “eliminate bots”, but in the mean time allowing expensive bots to do their jobs, following – unfollowing accounts, liking and commenting just to keep the marketer’s account “lively” there.
Everyone has a followers gaining technique, and I am no stranger of such one. Fortunately, I have made some genuinely talented friends among people I follow and I am followed by. I like to be followed back, that’s for sure, I maintain this inner principle throughout all my social media accounts. I don’t follow back unconditionally, but when I feel I like a certain account and I court it, I’d rather prefer my attention to be reciprocated. I’m not a liking freak, I don’t even pretend to operate on a like 4 like directive, or follow 4 follow. I don’t lie when I say that I’m not feeling compelled to follow anyone back, or to explain why I don’t do it when I do it.
Nasty Moves explained
My greater disappointment came when I couldn’t access my un-followers list with Crowdfire, a fairly accurate app which used to show recent followers and unfollowers for Twitter and Instagram. They don’t do it anymore (or maybe only for Twitter), because they’re restricted by Instagram. Instagram also lately imposed some other restrictions about liking and following. These nasty moves are insane. I like what I like, when I like, I don’t have to wait a certain amount of time till I’m allowed to like another picture only to avoid my account of being suspended. I understand to put a limit of followers per day, I understand a limit for the total number of people you can follow, Instagram is not the only one restricting this, Facebook and Google Plus are doing that from their beginnings.
You have to unfollow sometimes, hence the total followers limit, which is pretty large, is only 7,500. When you unfollow, you start with the accounts who left you first, if you check periodically, say every two weeks or so, you’ll be surprised by how many have unfollowed you, especially the megalomaniacs who gain a thousand followers and think themselves Ariana Grande. Doesn’t matter, if they unfollowed you and they posts only selfies or uninteresting stuff (sometimes even selfies can be interesting if they’re made with a drop of inspiration), it is actually in your favor. Less ballast to keep you busy. You followed them back when they craved for your following, and next day, or even in the next hour, they have unfollowed you. I don’t want to blindly pass over something like that, as Instagram suggests by not letting you to know who is playing with you. I don’t want to be a sheep in a flock.
Solution for PC users, or “webstagram-ers”
Google Plus eliminated the function just to de-socialize the network, they don’t care of your “relationships”, they care about your depersonalized content, no matter if it’s yours or you stole it. You just have to fill their stream, to the infinite, never stop, to show you are active! What you put there without credits, it’s theirs.
I didn’t understand why Instagram did the same. Instagram is different in structure, and the pretext of eliminating bots is totally unjustified. Anyway, for Instagram, there is a solution. If you’re on mobile (meaning smartphone or tablet), use the Unfollowers app. You’ll find it.
Web feed and Instagram’s website do not allow uploading images directly from a computer; they’re simply designed to display what people have uploaded from mobile devices on the Web and to give each user their own area on the website.
If you’re on a PC, you have to install first BlueStacks, an app which transforms your PC in a virtual tablet, since it is Android operated, and only after that, you add Unfollowers with it. It’s simple, only with Windows 7 it is a little bit time consuming. Your PC is not an Android operator, so there are a lot of checks and upgrades to be done until you start the application. After that, you have to slalom through adverts (that’s not a big problem, I agree they have to sustain themselves and advertising is the main revenue thread), and delete your unfollowers from the list, one by one. It’s time consuming and with Crowdfire took you only a few minutes.
Posts don’t appear in chronological order, they are sorted “based on the likelihood you’ll be interested in the content, your relationship with the person posting, and the timeliness of the post.” Instagram chooses what you see and when. They say they did it for the user, instead this grants Instagram’s control over the advertising content.
“On average, people miss about 70 percent of the posts in their Instagram feed,” says Kevin Systrom, the co-founder and CEO of Instagram.
“What this is about is making sure that the 30 percent you see is the best 30 percent possible.” [I found this on several prestigious websites/publications none of them specifying from what Systrom interview they extracted the pearls: New York Times, TechCrunch, Union Metrics, etc… copying one after the other!] The reality is that I miss more than 70% and the minimum content I see in my stream is totally irrelevant for me. Not my close friends, not my favorites, not the persons I communicate with. I have to visit them separately!
That’s all for now, I wanted to start my Instagram series with something more positive, but I was busy and this was already written. Anyway, they haven’t changed a thing from January, oh, except “Stories”, but they’re not the object of this article.
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