I like to think of the blogging scene in India as divided into two halves- one half started before Instagram came along and the other after it. I belong to the former-to a time long long ago (it sounds like 1963 when I say it but really it was just 6 years back) , where there was no social media except Facebook and most people reached your blog literally by typing it in their address bar (Honestly it sometimes baffles me how we managed to get traffic at the time, and therefore all the ‘first gen’ Indian bloggers- you know who you are..hats off to you guys.) It was a time where opinions, words, thoughts, personalities differentiated one blog from another and you followed a blog because you loved the voice that wrote it.
Lets cut to 2017 now. With Instagram providing instant gratification, there is now a league of what I call “Instagram bloggers”. Their blogs dont get much traffic (when is the last time you visited a top fashion bloggers website ?) , there is in my opinion precious little to differentiate one from the rest and yet the Instagram following seems to be crazy. Brands love them, and rightfully so because these bloggers are influencing purchase decisions like its nobodies business.
In the midst of all this though, there is something that’s kind of lost- and you might call me idealistic for thinking of this. But in a grid of perfectly edited photos, and multiple outfit changes – somewhere the authenticity, the voice and soul of what blogging was has been diluted into a mish mash of selfies and pouty faces. There are ofcourse- still some exceptional bloggers out there who I love and follow and actually listen to what they have to say. I always check their feed out, click to their links in bio and buy that newest pair of flats or that new lipstick they reccomend but its like picking a needle out of a hay stack.
Let’s also not forget two things-
1.) People followed blogs because they provided authentic, trust worthy opinions on things that Magazines and publications could not. Magazines were paid by advertisers , so bloggers came in to give a ‘real girl’ perspective. Of course, bloggers have to earn (Im one of the first bloggers who came out in support of bloggers making money) and it is but their right to advertise products but when 90% of your feed is a sponsored product, then how do I trust you any more than a magazine ?
2.) Instagram will change its algorithm anytime. Its like a ticking time bomb- see what happened with Facebook ? Don’t think Instagram won’t follow suit. I would exercise caution in becoming overly dependent on one social media.
Now, I love Instagram as much as the next person. I am obsessed with editing my photos so my Instagram feed looks good , and everytime a post does well, I do a mini yahoo inside of me. And I have to admit, the reach you get with Instagram is insane, so I understand why most of us are addicted to it. I think the question however is – while Instagram is helping you gain a million followers, is it killing your blog in the process? How many of your followers click through to read what they have to say. Or perhaps I’m asking the wrong question- maybe I should ask, whether that even matters anymore? Is the Instagram profile the new blog ?
Would love to hear your thoughts !
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