Surviving Instagram’s Popularity Contest

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Who doesn’t like reliving high school? From cliques and popularity contests to awkward in between phases – high school had its fair share of horrible, terrible moments that I for one, have no desire of reliving. With that being said, Instagram is about to drop some serious nostalgia on all of us. In an update that will now put posts it thinks you want to see at the top of your feed instead of sharing posts in chronological order, Instagram is officially making internet popularity a thing, and making it a bit more challenging for everyone else to become ‘instafamous’ – and, what’s the point of Instagram if you can’t be instafamous, #amiright?
If you haven’t noticed the change, it’s because Instagram is currently testing the function in small groups and is currently still making adjustments. It could, in fact, be months before this new feature is rolled out broadly to the Insta-masses. While Instagram claims to be listening to feedback from those who are currently in the testing phase, we’re still totally unimpressed. If we wanted to see the posts that have the most interaction and be told what we want to see, we’d be looking at Facebook. (Then again, Instagram is now owned by FB – anyone else see the correlation here?) The whole idea of this update is to allow people to monetize Instagram. Brands will now be able to pay Instagram for top-shelf placement on your screen which will push you and your friends’ posts beneath the popular ones.
So, how will up-and-coming brands, small businesses, and wannabe Instagram models survive, grow, and thrive in the new Instagram era? Well, we don’t know that they will. But here are some tips to give you a fighting chance if you’re worried about having your posts drowned out by those who are already far more popular with larger networks and engagement rates.
1. Turn On Post Notifications
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Sure, turning on those annoying push notifications isn’t the ideal fix for most of us. I’d personally not like to have my phone drowning in push notifications on my home screen or banner when my friends post several times per day. It’s annoying, and chances are people are more likely to unfollow you if you annoy them enough. But, in the event you’re interested and this is the way you’d like to go, have your followers click on the ‘…’ on your post and click ‘Turn on Post Notifications’ to ensure they won’t miss a beat.
2. Brand the Shit Out of Yourself
Alternatively, we can play Instagram’s game and brand the absolute crap out of ourselves. Invest in photo-editing apps, hire an insta-assistant, master the ‘I just stepped in gum’ fashion blogger #OOTD pose…
3. Curated Content
On the heels of #2. the goal is understanding what your audience reacts to and sticking with it. Test the times you’re posting, the content you’re posting, and see what does the best. Which photo gets more likes and comments? Your Instagram future now rests on your brand awareness and social worth, which means spontaneity goes out the window and carefully executed posting is now a way of the future. Hey, I guess there’s always Snapchat.
4. Fight the Power
In the event you want to tell the ‘man’ that you want things to stay the same, there’s actually a Change.org petition you can sign. It’s 150,000 signatures short of 500,000 supporters, which means it’s actually gained a lot of momentum. So if you’re dead-set against the changes, add your name.
How do you feel about Instagram’s new changes? Let us know with a comment below and don’t forget to follow us on Instagram @TheAlyWolfe to see how we’re keeping up with the changes.

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