It’s a new year, and with that comes a new focus on how to approach Instagram. Brands and those lovely influencers will take to the app to push the latest trends that will help them ace their IG game. In an article posted on Later, the author shared seven key points that those who live for Instagram should focus on in order to succeed. None of them are groundbreaking, and all of them are, well, rather soul-destroying.
Instagram Continues to Lose Itself
It would be wrong to say that Instagram should only be reserved for quality photography by the best photographers – although that wouldn’t be so bad. But at the same time, it’s sad to see what the app has become. Pretty much all of the seven trends in the original piece are focused on influencers. And pretty much all of the examples of accounts include thin, white girls either sipping on an overpriced drink or sitting in a larger than life environment.
Why, in 2020, should photographers care about an app that continues to show it does not care about them?
Why is this a problem? Do I have some issues with middle class, fit, white girls? The answer to the latter is no. And for the former, well, it seems that as we move into a new decade, social media still wants to perpetuate the lie of the perfect life. Even after all we have learned over the past 10 years about how social media impacts mental health, it looks like the social media giant will still give priority to those influencing their audience and selling something. Instagram is no longer a photo-sharing application – it hasn’t been for a while now. It’s an e-commerce marketing machine that has pushed quality photography way down to the bottom of the list of priorities. As someone who loves photography, this is a hard pill to swallow.
Video Will Lead the Way
Another trend that looks set to happen is the increased focus on video content. I’ve always seen photographers and videographers as brothers and sisters in arms. But, as someone who is predominately a photographer (as are most of our readers), it’s sad to see the still frame take a back seat in favor of the motion picture.
Apparently, the algorithm won’t be giving further exposure to quality content, either. Instead, it prefers to see unedited, raw content. What this means is that someone who posts a five-second video of their walk to the car is likely to get more eyes on their content than somebody who has a professional-grade photograph. It’s an extremely deflating time when all your hard work and photography skills get lost in a sea of short video clips or peoples’ average life activities.
“…Instagram is, a huge billboard – and it continues to grow.”
The focus on video is mainly because of the rise of Tik Tok. A social media app that allows users to post one-minute videos. Instagram saw it’s popularity, and to remain relevant, it jumped on the bandwagon.
The Rise of an Instagram Influencer Society
According to another one of the trends outlined on Later, everyone is becoming an influencer on Instagram. More and more people want to be loved and adored while having the power to set trends and get people to follow their lead.
So in 2020, we should expect more images of donuts and even more videos of walks in the mall. Add in some sponsored content selling us bamboo toothbrushes and girls with waist and hip ratios that don’t look real (because, for the most part, they’re not), and we have the perfect feed of what Instagram is – a huge billboard that continues to grow.
The Big Question
A question we must ask is, “Why do we bother?” Why, in 2020, should photographers care about an app that continues to show it does not care about them? The answer? We shouldn’t. But the sad reality is, we’ve all got Instagram Stockholm syndrome. There are alternatives; the door is wide open for us to leave. But we choose to stay, “because we love it.”
Could a trend set by photographers in 2020 simply be #boycottinstagram? Or will we continue to play its game in the hope of something better? Only time will tell.
Images are screenshots from the original article.