No, it’s not because your pictures are terrible.
It’s not because I got offended at some statement you made.
It’s definitely not because I use the F/UF method.
It’s because I don’t recognize your name.
When I started using Instagram regularly back in January 2016, I followed EVERYONE. Everyone and anyone. I loved so many of your accounts that I just kept hitting the Follow button.
But I started noticing recently (as many of you have lamented) that I’m not seeing the accounts that I really, truly enjoy in my feed anymore. My Insta-friends. Isn’t that the whole point of the algorithm? To see more of what we want to see? The algorithm is supposed to detect accounts that we engage with and push more of those posts to us in the feed.
But….that just doesn’t seem to be happening.
So, a couple weeks ago, I pulled up my Followers app and first went through and unfollowed *most of the people that unfollowed me (assuming they were employing the F/UF method and that just ain’t cool. Boom. Unfollow. (Honestly, there are a few of yas that I actually really do enjoy your pictures and even though you unfollowed me, I don’t care and I’ll still follow you. Remember girls…Elsa panties.)
Then, I looked at who I was following, but wasn’t following me back. Not that this matters in a huge way – I am just fine following people that I find inspiring and amazing and if they don’t follow me back, I’m just fine with that. And, if I didn’t recognize your name, which means that I never see you engage with my account by liking or commenting, I unfollowed you. I don’t even recognize you.
I’m just hoping to narrow down the people I follow to the people I consider friends plus accounts I just adore. If I unfollow you, I do it without even looking at your account – so please don’t feel hurt, or think I don’t like your pictures.
If I DO recognize your name, because you engage with my posts, through likes and comments or I see your pictures around, then you get to stay on the island. You get a rose.
It’s not an insult, nothing against you, and honestly… You probably didn’t really dig my account anyway. That’s why you never engaged with it. NBD.
(Edited to add: Duh. You weren’t even following me. No wonder you didn’t engage with my account!)
(Edited to add part 2: I do know that my typical workflow on Instagram is to check my notifications for new followers. I usually check their profile to make sure they’re not a creeper, and if it looks like a nice account, I’ll give a follow back. But – there are definitely times when I get busy and don’t go through that routine as I should. So, what if that happened…in reverse? What if I followed your account, and you were just busy and never got around to following my account? Then, you open up your followers app and you’re all “Ugh, why did Amanda unfollow me?” (If you even know who I am!) Well, guess what? Go ahead and follow me and start engaging with my posts and I promise, I’ll follow you back. That’s just the natural way of things.)
I recently heard from a HubHack member that she was confused and feeling down about a loss of followers. She had downloaded the app and saw many people that she thought were her friends, had unfollowed her. Even people she did a Follow Friday with! She mentioned that she used to mod at a hub that I was familiar with, but I had never heard of her. I asked her, and she then revealed that she changed her name. Oh! But I did remember her former username!
I’m not saying you should never change your username. But just know that this might be a drawback to doing so. If you do change it, be sure to engage with accounts you enjoy and they’ll figure out it’s you. You can mention it in your profile, but remember, I never even went to anyone’s profile – I simply decided to unfollow based on the fact that the name was unfamiliar to me.
I’m a family photographer in Gwinnett County, Georgia.