Home » Going Back to Basics With Instagram

Going Back to Basics With Instagram


Instagram seems like such a sore topic lately… well for the past however long really. Everyone hates the algorithm, but as it’s been the way it is for so long it doesn’t seem like it’s going to change any time soon. I still miss the maps feature, but each to their own.

Around Christmas time I took a break from Instagram and the internet as a whole with the intention to get back on it in the New Year. Which has slowly started to happen. I’m posting on Instagram and trying my best with Twitter. You may not notice it, but I have changed my attitude to Instagram completely.

Being Involved in Instagram Pods

I feel like I was caught up in the whole algorithm talk, that I changed how I used the app. The main change was that I got involved in pods. Cue dramatic music… not really, but you get the idea. I’m not saying that pods are bad or anything. I just realised that they completely changed my attitude to the app.

If you don’t know what I mean about ‘Pods’, it’s basically a group chat with the intention to share your recent post and interact with each other. This means you’re pretty much guaranteed around 10 likes and comments when you post. The only catch is that you have to like and comment on their photos too. It’s only fair, it’s I’ll scratch your back if you scratch mine. I’ve been in a fair few pods in my time and some can be really strict, but others are more laid back. If a pods strict it’s better to get out quickly, as it’s not fun and keeping up can be tough.

Going it Alone

I’ve been in pods ever since the algorithm changed, and I left at the beginning of this year. Already I’m enjoying Instagram a lot more. Even though there’s a part of me that feels like I’m going about it on my own now, as that safety blanket of the pod has been whipped away. It’s better to see comments and likes from people who don’t have to do so.

I’ve also noticed a huge change in my feed, as I’ve figured out that the way the algorithm works; is that you see more of who you engage with. I’m 90% sure on this okay. This meant that the photos that come up first on my feed are the ones I was in a pod with. As I engage with their photos more, as I like and comment on every single one of their posts, so of course Instagram is going to push their content to me first. This meant I was seeing a lot of the same content, and by the time I had commented on their photos I didn’t want to engage with others, as I needed an Instagram break. Sometimes there is a lot to catch up on.

Now that I’ve left the pods, I’m seeing a variation of posts on my timeline and I’m enjoying interacting with the accounts that I forgot I followed, as I never saw their posts before. It feels like a huge step forward for me, and I’m enjoying using Instagram again. Don’t get me wrong the algorithm is still a pain and getting likes isn’t easy, but I’m not focused on that anymore. I just want to enjoy using the app for what it is, instead of trying to beat it.

It’s also given me the motivation to really get it together with my content. Which is a kick that I’ve needed for a while now.

Starting a Conversation

I feel like this is the most pointless post. As I’m not here to make you leave your pods and go it alone. It’s just something I wanted to talk about, and see what your opinion is. I’d love to get a discussion going in the comments. 

Well it’s been a while since I’ve rambled on and called it a blog post, so it was overdue really. I feel like an Instagram weight has been lifted

Thank you for reading.



  1. 20th January 2019 / 4:33 pm

    Love this post Hannah, so interesting! I decided to leave all the pods I was in before Christmas too and I’m enjoying the app so much more now. Although like you say the safety net has gone and some posts may get less engagement, I know the comments etc are genuine and not forced. I’m seeing a more varied range of content now too. I always love your instagram! xx

    Amelia | http://rosetintedpics.co.uk

    • 21st January 2019 / 2:00 pm

      Thank you, that means a lot! Yes, definitely agree that its so much better without the added pressure of Pods. Yeah that safety nets gone, but at least everything is more natural now. Thank you so much, I always love your posts too xx

  2. 20th January 2019 / 8:38 pm

    I enjoy Instagram a LOT more when I’m not in a comment pod, I prefer organic comments rather than “nice pic”, “great shot”, I want comments from people who genuinely want to engage with my content too and don’t feel forced to like you said. At first it can be a little bit of a downer seeing your engagement go down but after a while, it starts to pick up again and you’re like I DON’T NEED COMMENT PODS ANYWAY hahah

    Fran | http://www.franciscarockey.co.uk

    • 21st January 2019 / 2:01 pm

      Yes, totally with you! It’s so much more enjoyable. Those comments are the worst! Yes same here, when people don’t have to comment it’s much more rewarding. I get what you mean and that is so true!!xx

  3. 21st January 2019 / 9:09 am

    I always try to think of instagram as a fun and inspiring place. Also, I like that it connects me with all my friends.


    • 21st January 2019 / 2:01 pm

      That’s the best way to think about it, and that’s true xx

  4. 21st January 2019 / 9:43 am

    I was late to Instagram so I don’t remember the good old days before the algorithm! I left a few pods last year but am still in a few – really just with friends whose photos I would be commenting on anyway so I don’t feel like it’s a chore. I don’t like spending loads of time looking at my phone so I think that it’s tricky as people say that you need to engage for an hours after you post a pic but I just couldn’t be bothered doing that & I’d get a headache if I was looking at my screen for that long! Your photos are stunning so I don’t think you’ve anything to worry about with regards engagement xx

    Beautylymin | Jaclyn Hill Eyeshadow Palette Giveaway

    • 21st January 2019 / 2:03 pm

      haha aw no! They were good days to be fair haha! Yeah that’s definitely a lot better to be in a Pod like that then the strict ones. Yes I know what you mean, spending all day on Instagram is not the one. Thank you so much xx

  5. 21st January 2019 / 12:11 pm

    This is such an interesting post hun! I’ve been enjoying using Instagram a lot more now ever since I stopped caring about numbers, it literally changes your perspective. I only post whenever I want and I spend more time interacting with others. Your pictures are gorgeous and I love your feed on Instagram!


    • 21st January 2019 / 2:04 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you think so! Yes it’s definitely a lot better to enjoy it for what is rather than stressing over numbers. That’s the best way to be. Thank you so much xx

  6. 21st January 2019 / 2:55 pm

    I’m another who’s left all the pods I was in. Life is so much easier now the pressure has been lifted. I still have good comment engagement but I think that comes from showing up and returning engagement. I can’t say I’ve noticed much else in terms of reach or more likes etc but I’m working on it! Loved the post, very insightful. x

    Samantha | https://thebeautyspyglass.com

    • 21st January 2019 / 7:02 pm

      Definitely agree with you, it’s better to not have that knowledge in that there’s a lot of posts to catch up on. That’s true, it’s a better to return engagement that’s been shown naturally rather than they’ve been forced too. Your account is gorgeous though, so I’m sure you’ll see a difference soon! Thank you so much xx

  7. Nina
    21st January 2019 / 3:29 pm

    I’m glad, you enjoy using Instagram more now. I don’t know about pods, but I try to comment back on all my Insta friends that comment on my pictures genuinely. It’s fun to interact with them. Happy Monday dear. xx

    Nina’s Style Blog

    • 21st January 2019 / 7:07 pm

      Thank you! That’s true and a good way to be, it’s a better feeling to return natural engagement rather than someone who has to comment, it’s definitely a better experience! Happy Monday xx

  8. 21st January 2019 / 4:04 pm

    Loved this post! I have such a love/hate relationship with Instagram. I like the photos I’ve been posting but the unfollow game is still going on so it seems so hard to grow! It’s like no matter what we do, very little works. I feel really mixed about pods. I’m in a few and it’s nice to get that engagement but also some are so strict, it’s so hard to keep up! I’ve also found there are others who also just send their posts and never return which is so annoying. I’ve been thinking about leaving them for a while and seeing how it goes with just natural engagement, it sounds like it’s worked for you! So glad you’re enjoying Instagram a bit more now xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

    • 21st January 2019 / 7:18 pm

      Thank you so much! Yes the unfollow/ follow game is so annoying! I just don’t follow anyone back unless I like their account, and then it doesn’t get to me as much. I hate the strict ones, when it becomes a chore it’s no longer fun and that’s what Instagram should be; fun. I’m glad you’re in some that you enjoy though! Yes that’s so annoying, when they expect it back, but don’t give anything! I just think it’s more enjoyable without knowing you have loads to comment and like on all the time. Thank you so much xx

  9. 21st January 2019 / 4:04 pm

    I no longer worry about my following count on Instagram – I just follow people who I really admire / can relate too! I sometimes find myself using Twitter more so than Instagram. Although twitter is becoming a bit of a place to moan now.

    • 21st January 2019 / 7:22 pm

      That’s the best way to be! Yes, it’s better when you only follow accounts you like rather than everybody. Totally get what you mean with that one too!xx

  10. 21st January 2019 / 5:30 pm

    I’ve been in pods and it helped me to remember to comment, but I’m loving the app so much at the moment, I will have to drop you a follow on Instagram my lovely!

    Love, Amie ❤

    The Curvaceous Vegan

    • 21st January 2019 / 7:26 pm

      I’m glad you like it in the pods you’re in. They can be great. Thank you so much xx

  11. 21st January 2019 / 5:52 pm

    I found this blog post super interesting lovely, I have recently started using instagram again and I’m really enjoying it so this post was so helpful to me. Thanks for sharing! 🌸💜

    With love, Alisha Valerie x | http://www.alishavalerie.com

    • 21st January 2019 / 7:30 pm

      Thank you so much! I’m glad you’re enjoying it too xx

  12. 21st January 2019 / 6:13 pm

    Interesting post, Hannah! Instagram is a tough one to crack, isn’t it? Before I started my blog, I was OBSESSED with Instagram. You know, those awfully annoying ‘shout out for shout out’ people? That was me. I was obsessed with the numbers. But once I started blogging, I eventually changed my account and started from scratch and now I use it because it’s fun, I enjoy it and I like to use is as an extension of my blog as well as a place to post personal things too. I don’t think about the numbers and it’s SO much more fun that way!

    I’ve never been in an Instagram pod but I’m in a fair few blog comment pods and can definitely relate. Some can be really strict and there’s always some people in there who aren’t active and never return anything. It’s hard to keep track!


    • 21st January 2019 / 11:01 pm

      Thank you, I’m so glad you think so! It really is, I’ve learnt to stop trying to crack it and just go with it. I’m so glad you changed your outlook and started to enjoy it more. Totally with you, it should be fun not something to stress about.

      Yeah, they’re pretty similar! Yes, they’re very hit and miss as some people only post their own and never comment on anyone else’s which is rude. Thank you for the comment xx

  13. 21st January 2019 / 6:18 pm

    This is a really interesting post Hannah! I’m not in any Instagram pods, I’m not sure I can keep up with anything else right now, lol. I like the idea of going it alone and any comments you get are natural. I always enjoy getting unexpected comments when people genuinely like the photo, it does make Instagram a more enjoyable and friendly place 🙂 Thanks for sharing your thoughts! <3 xx

    • 21st January 2019 / 11:09 pm

      Thank you so much, I’m glad you think so! Yes, Instagram Pods can be hard to keep up with. Yes, it’s definitely a lot better. It means a lot more too when it’s natural. Definitely agree with you! It’s no problem, thank you for reading xx

  14. 21st January 2019 / 6:36 pm

    I love the natural engagement that the platform can inspire, and have found that the atmosphere of a pod can either make or break that. My biggest hang up with Instagram is the whole follow/unfollow thing lol
    Britt | http://alternativelyspeaking.ca

    • 21st January 2019 / 11:15 pm

      That is so true! The natural engagement is a lot better. Some Pods can be quite good, but some can be too strict. Yes, it’s so bad isn’t it?!xx

  15. 21st January 2019 / 8:41 pm

    I really relate to this post! I’ve been in a fair few pods in my time and some of them just feel like work and really suck the fun out of being on the app. It’s also super annoying when you give so much support to others without seeing any back though. I’m enjoying the app a lot more recently too!

    Soph – https://sophhearts.com x

    • 21st January 2019 / 11:16 pm

      I’m glad you find it relatable! Yes, some of them can be really draining, and it completely defeats the purpose of the app. Yes, that can be the worst! I’m glad you’re enjoying it too xx

  16. 22nd January 2019 / 12:54 am

    Thanks for this Hannah! I’ve been considering joining a pod but maybe not anymore! Happy blogging 🙂

    • 24th January 2019 / 5:00 pm

      They can be alright, it just depends on the nature of it. It may be worth trying to see if it’s for you. Happy Blogging xx

  17. 22nd January 2019 / 1:45 pm

    Now instagram is really hard to get larger audience.

  18. 22nd January 2019 / 7:14 pm

    I really enjoyed reading your thoughts on Instagram at the moment! I joined a comment pod at the start of 2017 and it really did help me get better at commenting on other people’s Instagram photos. But after a while it just felt too forced and I left, and honestly it made me love Instagram more too! It’s nice to be able to interact with who you want and know that people aren’t commenting because they have to.

    x Kara | http://karascloset.net/

    • 24th January 2019 / 5:19 pm

      Thank you! Yeah, I think pods can be alright at first, but they soon start to drop off which is a shame! I’m glad it made you enjoy Instagram more too xx

  19. 22nd January 2019 / 9:31 pm

    Great read! I’ve always been far too terrified to join a pod just in case Insta make a change of some sort that penalizes this sort of activity. Instead, when I get a spare hour I set myself the task of leaving s certain amount of people comments. It doesn’t gaurantee return engagement but at least my feed is full of stuff I find interesting.

    • 24th January 2019 / 5:20 pm

      Thank you so much! Yeah, there has always been a lot of rumours that people in Pods get penalised, but nothing happened to me after being in them for quite a long time. That’s definitely a better way to go about it anyway, and like you say, it keeps your feed more tailored to you xx

  20. 23rd January 2019 / 1:19 am

    This was totally not a pointless post. In fact I liked it a lot! I’ve heard about pods but they seem like so much forced work and that it makes instagram less fun. I love that you laid it all out. You gave it a good shot and I appreciate you sharing it with all of us!

    Danielle | FollowMyGut.com <3

    • 24th January 2019 / 5:21 pm

      Thank you, I’m glad you think so! Yes they totally make it less fun. Thank you, it means a lot that you enjoyed the post xx

  21. 23rd January 2019 / 2:18 am

    I’m glad you’re enjoying Instagram again after your break! I got SO MANY messages over Christmas about wanting me to join Instagram pods but I know they are against the terms of service so I’ve never done it – they must be working for people for me to get so many messages though, haha! It’s quite strange!

    I’m trying to be more regular with using Instagram – I’ve realised if I haven’t used it in a day or two it fills my feed with 3 day old posts and I never get to see any new ones, but it’s a pain to have to remind myself to use it every day to avoid that!

    Hope that you are having a great start to your week 🙂

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 24th January 2019 / 5:23 pm

      Thank you! Yeah, there a lot going around and I always see people asking to join on Twitter. Ah I never knew they were against the terms of service though!

      That’s so true! It’s frustrating how they start showing you content from days ago!

      Thank you, and I hope you’re having a great week too xx

  22. 25th January 2019 / 8:12 pm

    I used to be in pods but I left them all as the comments were mostly “this looks nice” haha! I’m enjoying focusing on Pinterest instead, but I miss how IG used to be xx

    Gemma Etc. ❤️

    • 6th February 2019 / 2:40 pm

      Yeah after a while some of the comments were pretty poor. Yeah Pinterest is a lot better to focus on, but I’m with you on that one xx

  23. 9th February 2019 / 7:48 pm

    I been in many pods and they did helped a bit . I hate what IG become, it was so much more funner and better years ago.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

By continuing to use the site, you agree to the use of cookies. more information

The cookie settings on this website are set to "allow cookies" to give you the best browsing experience possible. If you continue to use this website without changing your cookie settings or you click "Accept" below then you are consenting to this.