In 2016, Instagram stopped its chronological feed for an algorithm timeline. Naturally, after this change many users lamented because it would now be more difficult for them to reach audiences.
But now as it appears that Instagram communities are looking to counter the algorithm by creating Instagram pods.
What are these pods and what do they mean for influencers and brands? Here is a look at situation.
Instagram pods are groups of people who join forces to increase the engagement on the posts. They do the same thing as the Instagram bots – leaving comments and liking the posts to confirm that posts appear higher in in the user’s feeds. There are some rules which are followed so that the engagement would appear natural such as not posting comments which are less than four words. So, the members of the pods turn on notifications in order to like it as soon as it is published.
It is not easy to become a member as each member is invited by an “invite” only and the members are able to know about the opportunity via Instagram direct messages or on other platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.
Seems like, the majority of pods are made up of influencers or micro-influencers looking to improve their presence on the platform, so that brands would look and take notice.
The main problem with Instagram pods is that they make it difficult for brands to see which influencers are succeeding. So, potential partnerships are formed on fake engagement and will only lead to skewed data.
Eventually, pods seem to go against the reasons the brands want to work with influencers in the place of traditional advertising.
By this engagement, influencers could run the risk of harming their own reputation in the long run.
So far, it looks like Instagram is not doing anything to prevent pods. But it is demonstrated that Instagram is not willing to let fake accounts impact the user experience for everyone else. If Instagram pods continue to grow in popularity, then we can expect to see a crackdown on fake engagements in near future.
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