Why are artists leaving Instagram? Is it really a dying app?
Updated: May 12
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I have been on Instagram for a decade personally and it was a great app at the beginning where you could share your images with friends and family. But two years ago I decided as an artist to open a business account on the app and thought I would get as much engagement on that one as my personal one, boy was I mistaken.
Instagram for me became a burden after a year. Mostly because I was listening to how to promote your art on the app, and everybody was saying that you need to post daily posts, stories, and reels. Since being an Instagram creator or influencer wasn’t my priority, I was limited by time, and creating daily content just to feed the algorithm burned me out after 6 months. I just couldn’t keep up with it. And the results I got weren’t really any good, so I started to post less and less, and eventually, it came to posting a few times per month or even not posting for a month.
Since I live outside of the US when reels were a huge thing, I didn’t have access to them. I was hearing about how you bring traffic and followers through reels, but I wasn’t able to make them. And I’m not really that comfortable being in front of the camera. Making art posts wore me out but now if I want to keep up, I need to make videos too, and they need to be on a daily basis. No thanks. And with the algorithms my content is pushed first to the people around me, geographically speaking, people here are not really that interested in art or buying online. So, I’m already at a disadvantage by simply living where I live.
Creating daily content only for social media (not just Instagram, but also TikTok, Twitter, and FB) doesn’t leave me much time to actually create art and designs. And it often puts me in a frantic state of:
“Did I post today? I need to post today, but I have no new content. The last post didn’t get any likes, does that mean my art isn’t good? My posts were shown to only 15 accounts did I not use the right hashtags?”
And I’m pretty sure I am not the only one in this situation. Besides once you post new content your old posts just get forgotten in a few days and nobody ever sees them unless they go to your profile and scroll through it. Which makes me think, is it even worth it? I mean posting on YouTube and Pinterest has more benefits in the long term, even older posts generate views and clicks, and subsequently also make you revenue.
I believe the initial idea of Instagram was great but through the years of its existence, it became something that is not really welcoming for artists, especially new artists, and beginner artists. You need to work at least 5 times harder to get somewhere. And it does depend on where you live, some might argue to differ but it’s the truth. Your location and the people around you can either make or break you.
The old artists, when Instagram was in its baby stages, were versatile in photography and fine arts and could grow their following easily. Now if they want to keep the momentum going, they need to switch to videography as well. They’ve built whole communities on this app and now the algorithm is not pushing nor showing their content to their followers. Their engagement went down by at least 20% to 50% since the implementation of the algorithms, they are also suffering from being shadow banned, and taken down for supposedly breaking the community guidelines, based on computer analysis. And by the looks of it, it’s only going to get worse from here on. This is why most creators, mostly artists, are leaving Instagram and creating their own websites and portfolios to showcase their art. They only use Instagram to communicate with their followers through DM’s.
I’ve also recently noticed that the app pushes your content more if you spend more time on the app and also if your posts consist of “women in bikinis”. Every third post in my feed is either an advertisement or a half-naked woman. Two years back they even did a research that showed that photos of women in underwear or bikinis were 54% more likely to appear on the feed than other photos, while images of food and landscapes were 60% less likely to be shown.
Where does that leave artists that draw or illustrate or design none of these things? Do they even get pushed?
As an artist and designer, my art style is not really defined. I like doing lots of different art styles and maybe this is the reason why my account is suffering and not growing. But I don’t want to be bound down by a niche, what if I want to venture out and expand my knowledge base? Do I need to make another account for that? Go through all the hustle all over again? Who has the time to do that? You can see through my website how my art style changes through time and evolves. I grow and evolve as an artist and as a designer, and I don’t want to be tied to one thing just because I need to feed the algorithm.
What do you think about all this?
Is Instagram even an app for artists anymore? Share your thoughts in the comment section, and don’t forget to look around the site.
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Until next time….