The release of the new Instagram algorithm in May of 2016 caused a massive decline in engagement levels for Instagrammers everywhere, sending bloggers and influencers into a tailspin. Accounts are getting less likes, less comments, and ultimately, less exposure, forcing them to get creative to boost engagement levels.
Instagram Pods are a popular way of doing so, and if you don’t already know what they are, Instagram Pods are group messages including anywhere from 15 – 1,000 people. Essentially, each member sends the group a link to their most recent Instagram post so other members can like and comment on it. Each group pod has its own set of rules intended to hold members accountable so they reciprocate engagement. If you don’t follow the rules you get kicked out, but participating frequently in several pods at a time can get you hundreds of likes outside of your followers.
When I first started blogging it seemed like a great concept. I was so excited to be a part of a friendly, supportive blogging community to motivate me and boost my social media presence, but there are also several problems when it comes to Instagram Pods: they produce fake engagement, they deceive brands, they saturate the market, and they are a massive waste of time.