I started writing this blog three and a half years ago. It was intended as an online journal of our lives and that’s what it still is to a degree. Although I have been trying to write more in the last few weeks I go through periods when I write very little at all. But there is another place I write, and I write there almost every day. That place is Instagram and I suppose what I do there could be called microblogging.
Instagram is a funny beast. When I first started using it, posts were shown in chronological order, the whole point was that it was ‘instant’ – people posted pictures of what they were doing right at that moment. If you were so bold as to post a picture that hadn’t been taken just then there was even the #latergram hashtag to use.
But over the last six months or so it has changed. And I have changed the way I use it too. As Instagram is owned by Facebook it didn’t take long before a similar algorithm to the one which determines what you see in your Facebook news feed was also introduced on Instagram. Instead of seeing posts in chronological order, the Instagram algorithm now uses a combination of factors such as previous content you’ve liked, engagement on posts and things or people you’ve searched for to decide what it is going to show you.
As a result fewer people are now using Instagram to post pictures of life as it happens. There are more ‘curated’ feeds that have a theme or post to a schedule. And Instagram has also become a place for brands and ‘influencers’ to make money so there are a lot more adverts and paid for posts now too.
So how have these changes affected how I use Instagram? I wouldn’t say my feed is curated as such but I almost exclusively post pictures of Toby and Gabe (as opposed to things like landscapes, selfies or flat lays). I also nearly always use photos taken on my DSLR and edited rather than straight from my phone. And I mostly post just once a day, usually in the evening.
The biggest change for me in the last six months though has been using Instagram for microblogging. In each caption I write about what is going on in my life that day. I use it for things I want to remember, to talk about my feelings or worries, to record milestones or things I would perhaps rather forget! Each Instagram post is a mini blog post in its own right.
I know this isn’t for everybody and I bet the majority of people who see my posts don’t bother reading the whole caption even. But I like it, and I’m going to keep on doing it.
It occurred to me the other day though that I don’t really want to lose all the things I’ve posted and written on Instagram if it disappears one day (as is entirely possible with anything online). I don’t know if there is a way to download and save your posts so that’s something I need to look into – if anyone has any ideas please do let me know in the comments.
I would love to know what you think of microblogging too – is it something you do or maybe something that would put you off following someone?
On and of course if you would like to read more of my ramblings then you can follow me on Instagram here.