Where did Instagram go wrong?

In my "About", I list Instagram as my favorite app. And by far and away it is. I've been an avid user since its inception, and even though it has gone through MANY changes it still is my favorite way to share images. (Sorry Squarespace). I've discovered many amazing creatives on IG as well as amazing people I've worked with. I would like Instagram to be as good as it could ever be.

Unfortunately Instagram is flawed, and the folks in charge either don't care to fix it or don't even know what the problems are to begin with. Cynically; Instagram is about making money, rather than being "good" or "bad", so it probably falls on deaf ears. This is my manifesto on fixing Instagram.


1. Ditch the Algorithm and make Instagram chronological again. If the instagram algorithm exists to show me what I want to see, it does a poor job of it. The most accurate feature that determines what a user wishes to see? The follow button. Added bonus, show me the posts of the users I choose to follow in chronological order. That simple.

2. Ditch suggested posts. There is already an explore page, I don't need to see posts by users I didn't choose to follow clogging up my out of order, algorithmically determined feed.

3. Give us a little more nudity; the female nipple. I'm not asking to go down a slippery slope to hardcore pornography or anything, I am just advocating common sense. It is a sexist double standard to allow male nipples and censor female ones, I ask the charade be dropped.

4. When Instagram deletes a photo that we've shared, they really should tell us which one. When I get a notification of a deletion, it's just a blur. Thinking logically, I can't determine what I should and shouldn't post, if I don't see what I did wrong.

5. Fix the Instagram crops. Back when it was all 1:1 it was a simpler time. When IG added landscape and portrait crops I rejoiced. Though there is an odd inconsistency; when I share a photo that is 1280 pixels wide, it is shown at the proper height but when I share a photo that is 1280 pixels tall (at a 3:2 ratio btw) I get the oddest top to bottom crop. I really would like to see that stop.

6. End Shadow-banning. Shadow-banning is an ineffective way to limit spam... The idea being if the same user is using the same hashtags over and over, then they are obviously posting spam, right? Wrong, I use the same hashtags over and over because I want my photography to reach the same audience over and over. This is a problem caused by the algorithm, by limiting my exposure to my followers I now have to go out and get exposure via hashtags. Then when I seek consistent exposure, I get shadow-banned. I see a vicious cycle here.

7. Provide meaningful tools for reporting stolen work. The current system for reporting posts on IG is a bit... bland. Three or four clicks and then about a day or so later, you get a soft no or a soft yes as to whether the post was dealt with. The most effective way to get someone to properly credit you or take down offending post is to shout abuse at them over a DM.

8. Be smart about who you take money from. Though it seems Twitter and Facebook were more susceptible to Russian election hacking, Instagram is also guilty. So I really would like Instagram to be smart about what entities it accepts money from when it comes to buying adspace. Vet these entities and organizations in a responsible manner. Democracy is more important than a quick buck.

9. Destroy bots and botting. Instagram's success goes hand in hand with interaction and traffic. Users can buy fake likes and fake follows with ease and up until recently you could subscribe to a service that would use your account to comment, like and follow for you. Using a site like Socialblade, it is easy to determine who buys followers, and you buy followers to inflate your clout on IG. I mean, if Instagram releases its users from the algorithm and squashes all botting, then wouldn't all interaction be organic?

10. Support Net Neutrality in a very vocal manner. A free and open internet is key to literally everything on the internet.


 Thanks to Kelsey for sharing this graphic on another social media site.

Thanks to Kelsey for sharing this graphic on another social media site.