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Recent Low-Engagement and Slow Growth Explained

Discussion in 'Instagram' started by Anderson1990, Jun 27, 2015.

  1. Anderson1990

    Anderson1990 Junior Member

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    A while ago, '@TonyTheFotographer' posted this thread (http://www.blackhatworld.com/blackh...stagram-algorithms-low-likes-interaction.html) about Instagram's newly-updated, low-engagement algorithm. There were over 70 replies, with users sharing their two cents on how this is happening and what it could mean -- only one person assumed right: @Alukard13mm confidently stated that Instagram hasn't been displaying his posts on the 'Explore' page, and that could be the direct cause for the drop in engagement.

    I have a Fashion-niche account with over 230K followers. My engagement in the past month dropped drastically from 7.5K likes on avergae to 5K. My followers went from 1k to about 500 a day. So, I decided to experiment a little and see what the problem was. I created a new account: @JohnDoe, for example. I followed @JaneDoe, who is already following @MyFashion account. @JohnDoe did not follow @MyFashion and is only following one account -- @JaneDoe. I signed in with @JaneDoe and liked about 10 photos from @MyFashion account. I then Signed in with @JohnDoe and clicked on the explore page. I found nothing from @MyFashion (normally, they should appear there 'Based on people you're following'). I refreshed the explore page over 10 times, still nothing. I signed in again with @JaneDoe and liked 5 photos from another @CompetitorFashionAccount. Signed in with @JohnDoe, clicked explore, and three of those five photos were on the explore page. I refreshed five times, and each time, at least three photos from @CompetitorFashionAccount were still there. I experimented with several accounts and got the same results. Either Instagram may have flagged @MyFashion account, or the recent updates with the explore page changes need some bug fixes. I have also tried this method with other accounts on my ISP IP and all of them make it to the explore page, so this isn't a case of flagged IP.

    It is worth mentioning that I used FL for at least a year on @MyFashion account, and had quit doing so five months ago. I was still receiving over 1k followers per day from posting only three photos a day, and up to 7.5K likes per pic. The past month was tough. I now gain around 500 followers a day from posting up to 6 posts within 24 hours.

    I am considering emailing [email protected] to ask whether this is a bug (as I have heard some other users who grew their accounts organically were also affected) or, to find out once and for all if this is a permanent/temporary punishment for using automation. I am also aware that emailing them would draw attention to my account, but it's becoming frustrating and I'd rather get banned now than waste my time on something that is inevitably getting banned in the future.

    What are your thoughts? Could this be temporary punishment? Should I email Instagram? Or has Instagram really flagged automated accounts and are just pending deletion? Because it could also be that they automatically flagged thousands of suspicious accounts and instead of mass deletion, they have set them for review -- you know, so that they are absolutely positive that the account was indeed automated and should be removed.

    I'd be grateful if someone with an organically grown IG account (that has noticed low engagement recently), could try a similar experiment just so we can be certain on whether this is happening to bot-related accounts only.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Anderson1990

    Anderson1990 Junior Member

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    I notice I've developed a knack for writing long-ass essays. Sorry! I really just wanted to make this as illustrious as possible for quicker diagnosis.
     
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  3. Killiane

    Killiane Newbie

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    Not at all, you've explained it in detail which for something like this is good. I'm new to all this so stuff like this really helpful for me thank you.
    I'm at a cross roads on whether to buy FL or not, but then again I've been using instagress to like stuff so if I was gonna be flagged I probably am already.
     
  4. Anderson1990

    Anderson1990 Junior Member

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    Thanks, buddy! Glad I could help.
    Also, this is in no way insinuating that FL caused any harm to my account. Automation in general could be blamed. The commenting technique hasn't been great lately with IG, but FL still works for liking and following/unfollowing, so if that is the method you are aiming for (especially since you're already automating), I highly recommend FL. Could save you some $$$ in the long run - as opposed to using Instagress or any other online automation tool with a monthly bill for that matter.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2015
  5. Goofy454

    Goofy454 Regular Member

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    Hmm, really interesting. And the account (@CompetitorFashionAccount, as you said) also had a recent drop in engagement and follower gaining?
    I'd assume that they didn't get any drop, because their pictures still showed up in your experiment. If they had any engagement drop, showing up in the explore tab might not be related to this problem.
     
  6. laowai

    laowai Power Member

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    Isn't it obvious that its not about automation as many has reported that their (or friends) accounts has been affected even those has never been botted? And I'm quite sure that is not a bug, instead its intentional as their are ramping up their paid ads. For me this looks exactly same what happened to FB reach.
     
  7. Goofy454

    Goofy454 Regular Member

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    Still, I'm curious what'd be their answer for such an email.
     
  8. scc777

    scc777 Newbie

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    This is simple. Instagram is doing the same thing Facebook did a long time ago. There are many fans pages on FB with over 100k followers or likes and get very little likes or comments per pick. They want you to advertise or pay for ads. In fact, look at FB ads. You actually have to pay so you can reach all your fb fans already... Its ridiculous, but its the nature of the beast.

    Instagram has been doing this for a very long time. You remember a year ago when engagement was 5 times higher then now? Instagram limits were way less aggressive? Now, since they are getting ready to roll out their ad model, they want you to feel the need to pay, which most of us will. In fact, I cannot wait to start paying for ads on instagram. The shoutout market is hyper inflated causing shoutout ads to be over priced by 1000%. I predict instagram ads will be much more cost effective than shoutouts, and will come with all the analytics needed. I honestly cannot wait, but desperate to start using their ads, as engagement is super low.

    I have many instagram pages pointing towards my business with close to 500k active followers, and I have seen engagement cut in half. It is what it is but i am ready to spend some serious cash once they finally launch their ad model to us little people :)

    In summary, theres no need to experiment with this one. This is just the way its going. Be patient, and get ready to "boost your pics" lol.
     
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  9. scc777

    scc777 Newbie

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    Let me throw something else out there that I have measured... Shoutouts are now detected through instagram and are managed in a way so you get less traffic from them. Why? Simply because IG wants to make sure you use their paid ad model... Shoutouts will be worthless shortly. Paid ads will be the only way to go. The only value shoutouts will have is if you are using it for product placement/endorsements. Then you will have to take that content and push it through their ad service to make it more visible.
     
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  10. soulcollector

    soulcollector Senior Member

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    I have to also add that if you use a bot that doesnt simulate real human behavior or post recycled garbage content as 99.9999% of the "marketers" *chuckles* on here do with cpa ads, you are going to either be banned or simply lose your engagement. Its supposed to be basic common sense here, but I see lately that ants or spiders in my backyard have more intelligence than some posters here (im not ranting at you, im ranting at people posting why they cant make $10000000 posting cpa ads and a hot girl pic that has been used 4000000 times over already).
     
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  11. Killiane

    Killiane Newbie

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    I tried to quote you OP but for some reason it wouldn't let me post it :S

    Oh I understand it's botting all together not just FL, I just said that one because that's what I'll probably buy. I'm 99% sure I'm going to buy it, the only thing that's confusing me is the whole proxy thing, like I don't really understand what they are. I know about VPS so will be getting on of those too.

    As for the adverts, I'm seeing more and more pop up on my personal accounts newsfeed. The most annoying thing is it's nearly always something that has no relevance to me at all bar the overall niche, eg getting burberry clothing coming up; I like fashion but I can't stand that stuff.
     
  12. Anderson1990

    Anderson1990 Junior Member

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    I don't know. I find it hard to believe that IG is using the same FB newsfeed technique. IG and FB are two separate platforms in terms of design and function. It's understandable why they would do it to FB feeds, but Instagram is just different. I read in an interview with some FB exec a while ago where he said something along the lines of: 'The more likes a certain photo receives, the more its visibility on friends' newsfeeds increases. Because when a photo receives more likes than average, Facebook interprets it as an important/interesting photo that deserves to be seen by more and more friends.' Oh, well. Who am I kidding. Could happen to Instagram any day.
    But how do you explain the drop in follower growth if this isn't a case of being banned from the explore page?
     
  13. Anderson1990

    Anderson1990 Junior Member

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    An Instagram proxy is a sort of middleman between you and Instagram. It tricks Instagram into thinking you are using their app from a different location than your current one. Most people who use more than 4 accounts on FL (or any other bot), need proxies to help disguise their location -- because if Instagram detects a certain, similar flow coming from more than one account, all from one IP address, they become suspicious and sometimes temporarily/permanently disable your accounts. If you are only using one account, you will not need a proxy. Let me know if you have any other questions.
     
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  14. ciderrocks

    ciderrocks Newbie

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    Oh okay, I was wondering why my activity went down!

    Thanks for the information!
     
  15. splishsplash1

    splishsplash1 Power Member

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    Buying ads will just be the same, if not better than buying shoutouts. The end goal is the same: to gain more followers for your page. So like you say, ads are welcome for that reason. However, with most people relying on shoutouts for the instagram income, won't it make it a lot harder to earn as much money as before?

    How will you be able to buy them though? I've never bought ads on social media, or anything else for that matter, before.
     
  16. ciderrocks

    ciderrocks Newbie

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    Yeah, and an advantage that buying ads with the company has includes the ad not being deleted. Many people delete shoutouts after a certain while, this one person was charging 50 dollars for a 30 min shoutout!
     
  17. Paper-Boy

    Paper-Boy Elite Member

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    I don't know if IG has the ability to make links clickable on sponsored posts but if you can, then I could careless if I had 0 followers.

    If that's the case, then the end goal is to get sales/optins/leads etc. :)
     
  18. Globalization

    Globalization Regular Member

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    If they allowed this option, all hell will break loose. It'd be the happiest day of my life lol.

    You and I both man, you and I both. I can't wait until they allow us to get paid ads. This current model is for the birds.
     
  19. tonythefotographer

    tonythefotographer Junior Member

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    Ya it's weird too, because now some of thee other profiles that have 4k-7k have way higher engagement than I do, but I have more followers that are supposed to be active. I've stopped using followliker altogether and have decided the manual approach, because my friend stopped using it before I did, and does everything manually, and though it's probably not the actual engagement but she has 14k and gets 600-700 per photo, which may still be low, but I don't know. I agree instagram is going to do the pay for post, just like facebook seeing that facebook did buy the,
     
  20. Cling

    Cling Registered Member

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    I have a semi organically grown account with content that isn't specific to any niche. By semi organically, I mean that I bot, but not all the time. My content is related to me - and I have about 19,000 followers. I've noticed really low engagement and barely any follows. (from 100 per day to about 30). To top this all off, FL has stopped working on my account (any advice on this?). FL will like 3 photos (maybe 6) and then stop. I can however manually like and comment on photos on Instagram without any problem (on my phone). Is it possible Instagram has caught on to FL specifically, and figured out a way to disable it, while leaving manual tasks in tact?