Instagram: “I won’t follow you”

UPDATED 8/24/2017 – Some of the previous screen shots had my antiquated username of Amazing_Hanna and even before that Lemonachi (that’s another life on deviantART). Plus I changed the dig on Snapchat title since that app is slightly more mutual! You don’t have the daunting Following/Followers stats displayed on the face of your account. I’m scarred after the spree of STATS obsessed accounts who go on following and unfollowing sprees. I will not be the first anymore to extend the follow. Please share your personal struggles, wins, tips, pros/cons, etc!

Ah Instagram (IG)… it makes our mediocre photos look slightly better with their array of filters. Anyone can be “artsy”. I’m not quite sure why I even signed up for this app in the first place? I attempted Twitter too and failed at having engaging posts that weren’t laundry lists of my mundane life.  The app has drastically changed since I first joined in the tail end of 2012 for APO Nationals photos on a horrible LG Virgin Mobile phone! Cringe with me folks.

The premise is that you take photos and “instantly” share your photo “gram”. IG used to have a strictly square interface, where users would use apps to fill in the background with negative space to bypass the limitation to upload landscape or portrait shots. Nowadays they have copied Snapchat basically feature for feature (aside from the large range of wild overlay masks i.e. flower crown, dog mask, face swap) allowing me to consolidate and delete the latter. They have a few, but no face swaps yet!


Scrolling through filter features

I’m no expert or superuser in Instagram or social media just to throw that out there! I just have my most recent feed plugged on the side of my blog, which was a serious pain to set up in the wordpress plug-in interface. I’ll just leave my link if you want to peruse below with my single most popular post for my momentary claim to fame. Yes I completed the 100 Days of Happiness Challenge! I documented for 100 straight days at least something I was grateful or happy about in my life even it was just something small as great weather. I encourage everyone to attempt it! It really challenges you to think more positively (especially if you are a pessimist). Posting everyday was tough and I have since gone back and scrubbed my account of some of the less popular sub-par quality photos. It’s great that they have the “Archive” feature now so you can un/hide it from your featured feed.


  • Filters – the first signature feature, they used to only have a few illustrated with the tree but they’ve expanded so much! Can’t forget those borders too. HINT: most social media pros use professional cameras to upload their photos… and no filter.
    • Classics filters: Lo-Fi, Nashville, Inkblot, X-Pro II
    • Current favorites: Claredon, Mayfair, Hudson, Charmes, Earlybird
  • Built-in basic photo editing – Brightness, contrast, highlight, shading, luxe, sharpness, 3×3 grid to get your thirds cropped, etc…


    Hate the flat logo.

  • Editable drafts and info box – in the past they did not allow you to edit your posts! I was never that popular haha so I would always make sure to type my first comment on the desktop version, which would default as the pic info.
  • Userinterface > Snapchat (SC) – In my opinion, it’s better. I abhor the disappearing chat messages! That drove me crazy. Also SC frequently froze / crashed on me for no reason. At least I can message my groups of friends in peace!
  • Any size / Multi-photo upload – huge deviation from the original format of content, but it allows people more flexibility. Then again it takes away from the truly “instant” aspect of the brand.
  • Hashtag and location feature – I truly enjoy browsing other people’s public photos

    Classic charming logo

    when I go to an event (concert, dining out) or place (park, landmark) and compare what other people captured for their experience.

    • It’s a shame they got rid of the map feature… I know I was probably one of the few people who used it. They allowed you to view all the places you’ve taken photos and geo-tagged. I don’t even travel that much! For 98% of people they would have a cluster in their hometown.
  • IG Stories = Quick Adventure Log – Alright Snapchat totally had this feature before IG. I used this feature so much on my travels (mostly for personal documentation) especially on San Francisco and Italy trip!
    • Auto-stitch together photos & video clips on Story – Snapchat used to have fun location filters for many major cities/landmarks but you can insert the location tag on IG for your story to be featured. (My drink pic was locally featured!) I love saving these at the end of the day to remember the special and quirky moments.
      • They do disappear after 24 hours so you have to choose when to save or else you might miss items / have overlap.
  • Following & finding people with similar interests – but not adding them as a friend on Facebook (compromising personal data).
    • I wish there was a feature to privatize some photos rather than your whole account, but I suppose you can use direct messages instead
    • I can attest that I’ve connected with some truly authentic individuals that I feel invested in the updates on their life! Some of them I actually met at a Lindsey Stirling concert.
  • Follow/Unfollow method accounts – Admittedly it may be one of the most “effective” free ways to grow your following using this unscrupulous tactic.
    • I have NO respect for any brands that resort to this as the growth is not organic.
    • Take a look at the exhibit below, this typical to have such large swings daily. The unfollows are so high because they realized I’m not going to follow back spam accounts OR they are waiting for me to follow back so they can unfollow me to make it look like they have a great ratio.
    • Then there are people who seem to FOLLOW everyone with mediocre photos except yours! Unless the account is offering truly something unique or a giveaway I don’t really want to be a one way fan when I can go straight to the source (website, YouTube channel).
    • I’m hesitant to be the first one to follow someone! I’ve been duped several times by people who just follow you to get attention and using bots to get you to visit their feed and drop some likes.

Mostly in the red! Yikes. Harsh reality of the gram.

  • Sting of Rejection by people you KNOW in real life – Along a similar VAIN (hah I know it should be vein, but seriously Instagram is great for VAIN people). Due to the nature of not automatically “friending” someone you will notice that some people simply do not want to see your activity.
    • You’ll realize you’re not as interesting as you thought you were, even though you may feel like you have quality content on your newsfeed.
      • Awkward situation – even if you see or talk to this person regularly you will wonder why didn’t s/he follow me back?
        • Better yet, when that person thinks you’re not monitoring your account s/he will unfollow you after following you.
        • Did I post too frequently? Is my content annoying, offensive, boring?
      • But Hanna, aren’t you guilty of this too?!
        • I never said I wasn’t vain too! I usually check people’s feeds and comment/like. I tend not to follow people back if they are not active. (Post once every few months/year.)
        • Then again if you are too active that also drowns out other posts from people. There’s some individuals that post 10 pics all at once.
      • As you can tell this has happened to me repeatedly. I think in the beginning partially it was because I was using the username Lemonachi, which was my attempt at avoiding adding those numbers or other identifiers. However, anyone with working EYES (which you would need to use this app) could see I had a pic of myself for the image. Alas people didn’t know who that was and the situation improved slightly when I changed it to Amazing_Hanna and RatedbyHanna as it is currently.
  • IG Algorithm Doesn’t Show Most Recent – STOP trying to curate my feed for me! They update their strange methodology for this every so often to keep us guessing the new thing is that they shuffle the content around based on recent engagement. It’s an improvement to whittle down posts from people who like to batch upload (please use multi-photo instead folks). I I have friends who don’t post that often so when they do I’d like to see their content INSTANTLY! I’ve seen posts DAYS later. Especially unfortunate when I’m seeing special occasion photos way past the celebration such as holidays.
  • Endless SPAM bots/ fake accounts / inappropriate comments – My account is public so if I post a photo and tag it with something that is very popular such as #love it draws in the spambots like crazy asking “Do you want more followers?!”
    • Difficult to keep up with reporting these accounts and comments
  • 3rd Party Scams/Promotion Tactics – Pay to “Get TONS of Likes, Thousands of Subscribers”, Automated tools to grow base for businesses
    • If you want any semblance of a usable newsfeed, don’t do this. You are sacrificing that to gain followers who will most likely not even engage in your content.
    • Anyone heard of MassPlanner / Later or other 3rd party websites that let you manage your newsfeed for a premium and program liking and managing people you follow and like. I’m sure they have other stats available.
  • App Memory Hog – One of the largest culprits of inflating my phone memory usage. The standalone app itself is only a harmless 58.4mb. However, after a month or so of heavy use the app caches unnecessary info and balloons up to over half a Gigabyte!
    • The only “remedy” to this dilemma has been painstakingly deleting and reinstalling this app. I often question if this is even worth it, as there’s no (free) web support (from 3rd party apps).
  • Punishment for Inactivity – I had an extended period of inactivity for  ~1.5 years when I had been building up my IG account as a Nature and Scenic shots focused feed. During that period:
    • I lost 50+ followers that I never regained
    • I had to start from the ground up to build up my social media presence again and it has never regained back to the same level of activity for Nature & Scenic oriented photos. Currently I’m more focused on food journaling and travel photos to supplement the blog posts.
      • Of course I don’t have NEARLY as much time to fritter away testing out social media strategies and no desire to spend $ on such services

Feed circa 2013, don’t mind the old username!

  • #Hashtags are no longer as effective!
    • Several articles point to the trend where using # method of popular tags doesn’t have the same effect as it did a few years ago with the influx of users. It just tends to get lost among all the other posts, and you should include them all in your first post as the half life is extremely short.
    • Also what’s with the POPULAR hashtag posts at the top?! I guess that may be useful but most of the time when I search it’s not the best quality. They just happen to be images from people who are “instafamous” who normally get hundreds if not thousands of likes anyway.
    • Most famous people don’t even use hashtags since they don’t need to.

Well this turned into a half review and lecture into silly social media games. Oh and in the future I can also review its parent company Facebook! I’ll leave you with this eloquent summation of social media struggles: A Proustian View on Being Unfollowed

Now let’s sum it up with my verdict. I debate why I’m still on this social media when it sometimes just brings out our worst self-interested nature. From the point of view of blog supplement, the benefit is truly negligible. (Partly from internal limitations of no links in posts except Bio, unless paid sponsor.) Pinterest on the other hand seems to be much more useful, and I’m still figuring that out! (It’s a website basically dedicated to visually appealing graphics linking to other content.)

Rating: 2.5/5 ★★1/2

Categories: Brand, Product, Review, Social MediaTags: , , , , , , , , ,


  1. I actually find it really fascinating how different people use instagram.

    I really like it, but my account is private and I use it to follow friends and see baby photos OR to find images of pretty walks if I am deciding where to go at the weekend. Recently I started following other bloggers, but only the people that I interact with quite a lot. t’s kind of nice to get to know people a little outside the blogosphere world…into their photo-world! I don’t follow/unfollow…and I don’t mind at all if people don’t follow me back!

    My husband uses it to follow quite a few of our favourite you-tubers, artists or scientists. He has hardly any followers, but he posts gorgeous images. I think he just does it for the fun of sharing them with a few friends.

    I guess there are lots of ways that it can be used. 😀

    p.s. I did that 100 happy day thing too…it really did make me appreciate things more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That is very true about what you say for people’s use for different purposes Josy! I actually did use to follow YT, brands, and “celebrities” of sorts haha. I found that I didn’t really care that much for their personal life and I never even came close to ever winning any contests/giveaways haha. There was one moment where Lindsey Stirling replied to my photo at one of her live concerts though! I love the stories feature though seeing more casual shots and videos integrated. As a blogger it’s definitely a tricky social media outlet to master! One of my friends has a travel website and hired someone to help promote his page, but unfortunately it didn’t really generate more leads towards clients so he discontinued the service.

      Oh yeah my husband made an IG account way back to upload a video and I think it’s now abandoned haha. That’s awesome that you also did the #100HappyDays challenge! Did you have it on your IG/FB or blog? Would be interested in seeing what you did for yours! I might do a follow up revisiting some highlights from it blog post in the future.

      Liked by 1 person

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