Why I unfollowed (almost) everyone on Instagram and Twitter?
Three main reasons in no particular order:
1. Duplicate content
2. Instagram algorithm updates
3. Time wasting
Before I talk about each one in a bit more detail, let me quickly say that unfollowing over 80% of business and personal social media profiles who used to appear in my feed daily for over 3 years wasn’t easy. New Instagram changes and algorithm updates made the unfollowing easier, but more on that below. I also want to say that my “mass” unfollowing was not based on anything personal against anyone and I, in no way feel fed-up or annoyed with people and my reasons for doing so. I still love Instagram and get most of my Inspiration from it in terms of visual content and Twitter is still my favourite platform for news, fellow blogger chats, industry updates and other inspiration. I don’t intend to share less on any of my profiles and certainly didn’t unfollow accounts to reduce interaction. Quite the opposite. Lately, I found myself scrolling through hundreds of feeds of people and businesses several times a day just to get to my favourite profiles, getting lost in the feed and losing track of time. Yes, it’s a great way to stumble upon exciting new content and interact with people and hot brands, but in the end I would still end up typing up my favourite accounts in the search field and catching up with them that way. Read on…
I do it, most bloggers do it and everyone else shares the same content on their Instagram, Facebook (usually via Instagram), Twitter and everywhere else we tend to “socialise” daily. I like following my favourite bloggers by the good old fashioned way – by visiting their actual blogs. I enjoy taking that time to read my favourite blogs and I have a growing list (or blogroll) I go through in my spare time as they are all bookmarked on my computer. I also check out their social profiles on all their social media accounts and follow them to learn from them, to see more of their personality and for inspiration. But I realised that:
“I simply must be a better curator of the content I am consuming, how often and via which channels”.
This goes for my own distribution of content and there are many bad habits to be broken. Don’t get me wrong I always interact differently on all my channels and some of you may prefer seeing my updates in your Twitter feed whilst others on Facebook and others on Instagram. In the same way I prefer following some accounts on Twitter where I may be able to click direct web or post links my favourite bloggers and brands are sharing and others remain on Instagram where I simply like to drool over their photography with an odd cute picture from family members and friends. My “mass unfollowing” session had helped me re-organise my lists and preferences and those who don’t appear in my Twitter and Instagram lists anymore probably already have a special spot on the bookmarked list on my desktop. So much time is saved, my content consumption is better and tailored to me with plenty of room for new inspiring content to be welcomed.
Instagram Algorithm Updates.
In a nutshell what it means is that Instagram has changed its feed to show users the photos it thinks they want to see rather than those most recently posted. And the funniest part is that they don’t have an actual image “selection” tactic fully in place so you’re basically seeing content all mixed up in different order for no apparent reason. This change launched in March, but I’ve only started to really see the changes in the last couple of weeks and got a bit frustrated as many other users did too I bet. That’s why I started looking profiles up manually as scrolling through my feed proved to be pointless. Things like seeing my own posts from yesterday in my feed and content that I already liked and interacted with ages ago kept showing up. I must admit I considered unfollowing my entire list for that reason. Why not, if more and more non-relating sponsored ads are appearing and I’m having to manually search for my favourite accounts? At least Twitter gives as the option to switch back to a chronological timeline in settings from our algorithmic timeline. Yeah, so after just a few hours of unfollowing hundreds of accounts on Instagram, it’s already so much more enjoyable opening my app and seeing updates from people and brands that I actually recognise. In a messy order, but still, all tailored for me – by me.
If you’re not a blogger, not a digital marketing professional and don’t use social media several times a day for work and fun, then all of this must probably read so stressful to you!? I hope you’re not wasting time on Candy Crush either, but in all seriousness, social media can be so dangerous for our own being, our relationships, work, posture, eye-sight and much more… My job is Social Media Marketing as well as blogging and I really love it, especially the creative side of the things like photography, content creation, email newsletters, web content and communicating my clients’ offerings to their audiences that I build and grow. You can probably guess that I spend a lot of time on social media… But it’s not all that bad. I help businesses with something they are unable to do themselves, I learn tons about different industries and the way different markets operate and all of that is very rewarding. Using my time wisely is important. I have a family, a life outside my work and I really need to look after my eyes and my neck better… Any massage therapists out there? Without sounding like I’m trying to get away from Social Media (although we all need a long break from screens), re-organising my blog’s lists of people and brands that now appear in my Instagram and Twitter feed was crucial. It feels so fresh knowing that all my accounts have more of a purpose now and a larger scope for improving those important interactions I was missing out on lately. Pleasant distractions are good, but for me they needed redefined, reviewed and have more intention – be it inspiration, friendship, education or anything else I now have “space” to discover. Now, if only it was that easy with emails. Unsubscribing from junk is not fun and if there’s an app for that – name the price!
I hope this post was somehow helpful and perhaps even encouraged you to do the same…
Off to take pictures of my unwanted (hardly-worn) clothes for sale on Facebook. Ha! There’s no escaping for me!
PS – email me if you want added to this closed Facebook group to check out my bargains…