Blogging VS Instagram—What Say You?

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We all know change is inevitable, change can be good, change can be bad, but nothing stays the same. Change is a fact of life. Although today, it seems our half lives are doubling down quicker then we can say “cheese”, that we barely have the time to absorb the latest trend or master the latest technological advancement when it has already moved beyond the horizon. And as we scramble to keep up we are often left scratching our heads—wondering, hmm now how did that happen?

that in the not too distant future blogs will be a thing of the past—a fuzzy distant digital memory like mixed tapes and zip drives

There has been of late, much chatter in the blogosphere about the increasing encroachment of Instagram and the impact the social media app is having (or not having) on the world of blogging. I have spoken with more then one blogger that has expressed their concern that in the not too distant future blogs will be a thing of the past—a fuzzy distant digital memory like mixed tapes and zip drives. To be usurped by Instagram, which will become the go to visual resource for everything from fashion to food, and that all creative online interactions will be reduced to a quick insincere “like”.

And it seems the blogosphere and the non blogging IG sphere of influence has become increasingly competitive with everyone trying to outdo one another for more followers and likes. Just scroll through your Instagram feed and do a little exploring and it won’t take you long to find people with 25,50, 75 to over 100 thousand followers. How do they do it we ask? How do they attain that elusive “K”. Especially when they are not the likes of Kendall Jenner or Gigi Hadid. How does one get that much exposure?

Despite all the helpful tips on how to grow your Instagram feed the internet is rife with, anyone who spends anytime at all using social media is fully aware that it is not just about posting great photos, and liking and following other people. One would literally have spend eighty plus hours week doing nothing but that, and they would still be hard pressed to reach these seemingly dizzying heights. So Friday night as I commuted home from work I decided to do a little digging.

I went through the feed of a random person on Instagram who had about 70k followers or so and I looked closely at this person’s followers. I looked for names that did not sound like real names or followers without a profile image and it did not take me long to find a dozen or so suspicious profiles. The red flags that went up when viewing these profiles were that these “followers” tended to post very few photos, they usually had under hundred followers, but were following thousands of other people— we are talking anywhere from roughly three thousand to over seven thousand followers. Why would some one who only posted 24 photos be following seven thousand people?

yet with minimal effort I was able to uncover blatantly bogus followers on the very first person I investigated

I am certainly not a professional sleuth, and I only invested a whopping ten to fifteen minutes, and yet with minimal effort I was able to uncover blatantly bogus followers on the very first person I investigated. So the question begs—what are we to believe? And if so many people are buying followers and playing the system, does that not change the landscape? I mean if everyone is buying fake followers and quickly blowing through their feed liking photos only to move on in blur of social media aqustion. Is anyone actually looking? Wasn’t that the point of Instagram to begin with? Looking? To be inspired by and influenced by great photos and to share these images with the world at large? But if no one is spending any time actually looking, and the ones doing the looking are not even real, then what is the point?

I for one, need more then a thumb sized image and a quick one line explanation to be truly excited and motivated

Not that Instagram can not be a powerful tool, it certainly can, and for all the bogus inflated accounts out there, there are influencers who gained their followers via a combination of hard work, creativity and some luck. Case in point: Lynn Slater of The Accidental Icon.  I had been following Lynn for a while when she happily informed me one evening over drinks that Gray Magazine had found her through Instagram and that they liked her feed and her blog so much they wanted to feature her in their magazine, and not only that they were even going to put her on the cover. And I watched over the course of a few months how her Instagram postings went from an average of 80 likes to well over a thousand. And ironically this increased exposure was achieved via an “old fashion” medium— a print magazine. It also, needless to say, increased traffic to her blog two fold. And though this is a wonderful example of the power of Instagram, to me it should always be what it is— an app, a tool, a way to connect with the world, and yes a way to market yourself or your brand if you so choose.

The world would be sad and dreary place indeed, if it is reduced to the visual equivalent of a soundbite

But I for one, need more then a thumb sized image and a quick one line explanation to be truly excited and motivated. I want too look at and read blogs with their large beautiful photographic images and insightful writing. And on that note, the same could be said for magazines. I love them as well with their exquisitely curated styling, high end photography and long from stories. The world would be sad and dreary place indeed, if it is reduced to the visual equivalent of a soundbite. So bring on the blogs and keep those magazines coming, because the world—and that’s us folks, needs to slow down long enough to see the beauty that is right in front of it.

  • Shybiker
    July 4, 2016

    I’m not worried. Blogs perform a function Insta- and others do not. Good analysis, though, and I agree with you that there’s too much fraud in social media stats.

  • Jackie
    July 4, 2016

    I’ve been working on growing my instagram but want to do it the right way – what’s the point in having “fake” followers? I try to use Instagram as an extension of my blog. I think for maybe some blogs, Instagram is more important but I don’t think we’ll see blogs completely go away for a long long time. People who want informative content will still find bloggers they trust.

  • Rowena
    July 4, 2016

    Your findings with that one account are pretty interesting. I suspect that the buying of followers is quite common and rampant and I think it happens with the so-called big bloggers even more. To be honest if I didn’t have a blog, I probably wouldn’t even have joined Instagram and I actually find it’s a good source of photography inspiration but I don’t think it could replace blogs for me at least because I still like to read words and in depth reviews. But I guess it works for those with a shortened attention span which I sometimes have as well.

    July 5, 2016

    So much of everything is becoming disposable. Attention spans are 140 characters and 6 second videos. It saddens me that in order to be seen, one resorts to buying followers. I crave authenticity, but I know it’s all about the face, the look, and pretty pictures over talent and knowledge, unfortunately.

  • elle the Elle Diaries
    July 5, 2016

    Insightful post and timely! I read this with great interest. I am also a bit suspicious about some bogus likes. I like IG, it is fun to use and see, but it lacks the breath an depth of a blog. It is like comparing an meaty article with a soundbite,, there is room for both, but one does not equal or invalidate the other.They are separate and distinct. I like Polyvore, by the way, it has a great number of creatives working hard there., and it is also great to shop.
    I love a pretty picture, but without something substantive with it, i feel as if I over indulged in cotton candy.
    Great post!
    xx, Elle

  • Edita
    July 6, 2016

    It’s tough with Instagram. Even good bloggers who I am sure would see organic growth sometimes get pressured into buying followers – I saw this happening myself with their following growing and their engagement still the same… It’s a hard thing to answer but I believe in following people you genuinely are interested in and getting followers who love following you because of your content. Hence I am here – following your blog for many years now!

  • Eye Feel Shady
    July 6, 2016

    Great points and I noticed the same thing. I really love Lynn’s style too. Thanks for sharing and be sure to check out our SUNGLASSES GIVEAWAY.

    Eye Feel Shady |

  • Shireen L. Platt
    July 6, 2016

    I don’t think blogs would be a thing of the past, I still heavily rely on blogs to read reviews on products or to catch up with the latest in and out of fashion trends. Instagram on the other hand is where I find inspirations but I don’t think it’ll ever replace blogs, there’s nothing but just a pretty picture and a few captions, I can’t rely on it if I need something in detail. I have a few bogus followers, I trash them as much as I could but they are just everywhere, spamming my pictures, sending DM, it’s annoying. I know some resort to buying followers but seriously, I think that’s desperation at its best.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  • elle the Elle Diaries
    July 6, 2016

    This comment is for the Akris pre-fall look! I love the collection, it feels film noir, sort of dark, and very urban. The green dreess is fabulous and the shift with the flock of birds, is transformative! Lovely, and wearable!
    XX, Elle

  • Taylor
    July 8, 2016

    Absolutely LOVE this post…
    I can totally relate when it comes to looking at other’s followers and noticing something a little fishy…
    Love your blog.

  • joseph
    July 8, 2016

    Great article

  • Wildfire Charm
    July 9, 2016

    Absolutely love the look you’ve put together! Those jeans look lovely on you xx

  • Wildfire Charm
    July 9, 2016

    The previous comment got accidentally pasted and commented on your blog (Silly me) so please ignore it.

    However, I think instagram has become way too popular and essential for anyone with a blog or a youtube channel. It definitely drives a lot of traffic and sadly a lot of people prefer looking at pictures than reading which is the main reason why it’s so popular. I will always prefer reading blog posts though.

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    July 10, 2016

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Akris Pre-Fall 2016 For Lookbook Friday
Blogging VS Instagram—What Say You?