The life of an Instagram post

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Image by Wells Baum

The first five minutes in the life of an Instagram post are key. This is your ‘hype’ period where the velocity of likes predetermines the organic reach of your content.

As the clock strikes 11 AM, your goal is to publish something you know people will like, not what you think they’ll like. Predictability is the name of the game. There’s little room for experimentation, the freedom of trial and error.

Instagram went from a tool for¬†seeing to a competition of optimizing an algorithm, which seems to emphasize its users’ activity on the platform. Instagram rewards its members with more¬†attention if they¬†like and follow other people’s accounts. The social network wants you to act like a bot so it can sell your rabid activity to advertisers.

We are all Instagram’s participants and its workers, chomping at the bit for more followers and thus more credibility. The expectations hamper creativity and reward conformity and mechanical behavior. It’s all a bit banal, addictive more than exciting.

If you care about the art of photography, you’ll have to go elsewhere.

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