If you're a blogger, or follow other bloggers on Twitter, chances are you've noticed that it's currently very popular to complain about Instagram. Every other Tweet on my timeline at the moment seems to be someone whining that Instagram is out to get them. If you're lucky enough to not follow a significant amount of bloggers, or you don't use Twitter at all, the thing that's got everyone upset is the algorithm. A while ago now, Instagram changed its feeds so they don't appear in chronological order anymore and many users feel that the changes to Instagram have harmed their follower count and engagement, or for you non-bloggers, the amounts of likes and comments they're getting.

I'm at the point where I'm unfollowing or muting everyone I see doing it so that Twitter remains an enjoyable social network for me to use. I hate to break it to you, but complaining about Instagram is really, really boring. No one wants to hear it and it's incredibly unoriginal.

In fact, I've got some hard truths for you to hear. Starting with: Instagram is not out to get you, and it doesn't owe you anything.

What people don't seem to have grasped, is that Instagram is a completely FREE app. It's also a free app with millions of users worldwide. Running an app like that is expensive, and if it's a free to use app, how on earth does it generate enough money to cover its running costs? That's where the algorithm comes in.

Like most apps, Instagram monetises itself by selling ads. To survive, Instagram has to constantly adjust its algorithm to maximise its profits. It's obvious that a chronological feed is not the best way for it to do this.

I personally feel that claims that people never see content from the people they're interested in or only see photos that were posted a week ago are greatly exaggerated. Whenever I open up Instagram, the people I am most interested in always show at the top and I only ever see old posts if I haven't opened the app for a while. In this instance, the old posts I see are from accounts I frequently engage with. Instagram is making sure I don't miss posts from people I might want to see! I do admit that when I follow someone new, they dominate my feed for a few days, but after that, other people begin to pop up again.

I don't doubt that people have seen decreased engagement since non-chronological feeds were implemented. Unfortunately, what I have to say next is probably going to touch some nerves. The Instagram algorithm is designed to show people the content it thinks people want to see. If your engagement has decreased and your follower count is going down, it's probably because you're not posting anything particularly interesting. 

Over the years, your photos have most likely improved. You probably take really good photographs and know how to edit them properly. Sadly, this isn't enough. There are millions of blogs out there now, all with a very similar photography style and very similar content. It's really, really hard to do something that's totally unique now. This is why your likes are decreasing. You're doing the same thing you were a few years ago and expecting it to yield the same results even though Instagram has moved on since then.

As for the people that cry "Instagram is destroying my business!" - well., I have a lot to say about this and it's not particularly nice. I will leave you with the following thought: it isn't wise to base your entire business on a platform that you don't own. I'd also like to point out that nowhere does Instagram claim to be an app that helps businesses grow. It's just a  FREE photo sharing app. It's not obligated to provide free marketing for your business. 

What baffles me the most about all this is why people continue to use Instagram if they hate it so much. As I said at the beginning of this post, the algorithm is designed to maximise profit. If you're that disgruntled, stop using the app. If enough people did that, Instagram might actually be interested in changing. However, it's clear that most people don't have a problem with the changes it makes because they're still using the app. Until it stops being a money maker, the non-chronological feed is here to stay.

FURTHER READING: if you want a less ranty, more useful post about Instagram, my friend Lauren wrote an excellent one