Instagram pods – peas or war?

If you’re an Instagram junkie you’re probably already clued up on Instagram comment pods, however, if you’re clueless, here’s everything you need to know…

Although they’ve been around for a short while already, I only became aware of the ‘Instagram comment pod’ concept recently. Most likely because I don’t have 1M followers or a ‘Public Figure’ status! Instagram influencers use comment pods as a sneaky way of boosting their engagement figures. The introduction of comment pods was driven as a result of the algorithm update earlier this year that saw Instagram displaying posts according to popularity, as opposed to in chronological order, which lead to a decrease in engagement for many users.

Each pod is a special group comprised of various Instagram users, often users that operate within a similar niche of photography or genre, so to speak. Pods with up to ten members are said to be the best as you’re able to track who’s actively participating. Each member of the pod group is in a group message chat (direct message) on Instagram. When someone posts an image on their Instagram, it’s each member of the pod’s responsibility to like the photo, and leave a comment. If a member fails to comment, this could lead to expulsion from the pod. I for one, am still unsure whether ‘pod’ is the most fitting name, or if they should be called an Instagram high-school clique/cult.

It’s Invite only; you’re invited in if you’re considered to be part of the Instagram elite. Of course, you can start your own pod, but arguably a user with a fair few followers start the more successful pods.

The purpose was, initially, to form an Instagram ‘tribe’ through your pod, supporting one another in the form of likes and comments. However, the comment pods basically trick the system, and effectively hack the Instagram algorithm to make users appear to have very engaged followers. Although they’re proven to genuinely boost engagement, it does beg the question as to whether your post is actually resonating with your audience, or if your ‘tribe’ are just helping to boost your numbers.

If you’re looking to step up your ‘gram game and drive organic engagement, you’d be looking in the right place with comment pods. However, if you prefer more authentic engagement, and are not too keen on the idea of leaving comments on images from the same 14 accounts, leave them be!

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