Thursday, August 18

Sorry, That Was Only a Bug That Gave You More Followers on Instagram

Sorry. That last picture of your cat wasn’t so amazing that it earned you a few hundred new Instagram followers. It was just a bug.

Instagram confirmed to TechCrunch on June 11 that a bug caused some users’ follower counts to rise meteorically. The social network is working on fixing it. Users’ follower counts will plummet back to normal levels when it is.

The news is kind of a bummer to many, as Instagram is arguably the most popular photo sharing network around. In the 186 years since the first photo was ever taken, there have been more than 3.5 trillion pics snapped — 16 billion of which had been uploaded to Instagram as of 2014. Considering the fact that another 40 million are uploaded each day, that number has likely almost doubled since.

If your profile is suddenly going to return to its regular popularity when the bug is fixed and it’s depressing you, don’t worry. You might be losing a lot now, but that doesn’t mean you’ll forever languish in social media obscurity. You just need to post smarter.

One way to get more followers is to post at the right time, when people are most likely to see your photos. According to Search Engine Journal, engagement is high on Wednesdays between 5 – 6PM, while more people post on Thursdays.

It’s also important to hashtag your photos. This creates links to your pictures that make it easier for new people to see them. It also puts your pictures in front of people who are going to want to see them. According to Media Bistro, #selfie is the most popular hashtag, with more than 34 million photos with the hashtag. Counting the other possible variations in spelling, such #selfy, there are 54 million.

Though the bug might have given you false hope, it doesn’t mean you have to resign your Instagram to social ambiguity. Just remember to post when people are looking, and use hashtags. If you do, you’ll find your engagement will go up. Who needs a bug anyways?

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