I’ve struggled for a while with Instagram and social media in general. There’s too much content. After so many years, it seems to me most photos are the same. But in the past months, I’ve enjoyed using Instagram again because of the stories.
First, when Instagram released the story feature, I didn’t understand it. What was the point? Then I tried it (was it during a toy safari?) and eventually understood what was the difference with regular posts. I also started to be more interested in stories than IG posts. But recently I’m struggling again. Stories are getting boring… when they’re not simply annoying.
This post is a big rant about the different boring and annoying use of stories I’ve seen. You might disagree (or think that my own stories are boring), but whatever.
But before being negative, let’s start with what I like about stories…
I care about Behind the Scenes
As a toy photographer, I’m mostly looking for stories showing me BTS related to toy or photography (or both). May it be your latest outdoor adventure, your studio setup or the latest toy you bought. More generally I also care (or at least don’t mind) seeing random stuff from your life, as long as it’s varied and in a reasonable amount.
I care about real content
When I check Instagram stories, I want to see real content. Show me what you’ve created (and haven’t shared as a regular post). Maybe it’s not on Instagram but on your blog. Or maybe it’s what you’re currently doing. In general, I want to see something about you that doesn’t feel fake or overly self promotional.
I don’t care about your followers and likes.
I don’t want to see screenshots of your notifications showing that someone liked many your photos. Yes, I understand it’s polite and that the person might appreciate being thanked… But please just send him/her a DM. Why would I care about who saw your photos?
I also don’t care about your follower or like count. Don’t post stories to ask people to help you reach the next thousand followers milestone. Or to show how many likes your latest picture got.
This isn’t real content. This is showing off and makes you look superficial, narcissistic, big-headed, self-centered and desperate for attention… There are so many things more important and interesting in life than this kind of meaningless numbers.
I don’t care about your latest post
Okay, I understand the IG algorithm is frustrating. I also understand IG uses story interactions as part of its algorithm and you want to trick it. But I don’t check stories to see your posts. I check my feed for that.
Moreover, I don’t care about your poll asking if I’ve seen your picture. If I’ve seen it, I don’t need to see it again. If I haven’t, well you’ve managed to make me want to not see it. And it only makes it worse if you add stickers on top of the photo so I can’t see it and need to click on your profile. Or if you tell me to like and comment. It makes you look desperate.
I understand all this might be a way to trick IG, but again, there are things more important than a few likes. If I follow you, it’s most likely because I appreciate your photography. But by spamming the stories with
I don’t care about your toy ads
That one is getting really annoying…
There is a difference between toy photography and advertisement. When you post pictures of toys that you didn’t take yourself, only to promote a company’s toys because you’re part of their affiliate program, it’s really annoying.
Please don’t do that. There are enough annoying ads every few posts on IG. I don’t need to see more.
I don’t care about asking you a question
The question sticker can be awfully annoying. Please don’t ask me to ask you a question. And please don’t answer to each of the generic questions your followers asked you with a story. Instead, ask people a question and use the result to gather (interesting) ideas.
I don’t care about your dozens stories.
Finally, no matter what’s the content, posting too many stories is not good. When the dash at the top of the screen starts to look like dots, most of the time I will just swipe to the next account because I don’t care. And if
If there are so many interesting things happening, make a video, edit it and post it on IGTV. Or do a live video. Or do a better job at curating your content. But please don’t spam the stories.