I just quit my day job to become a full-time content creator/ influencer… and you’re trying to tell me that Instagram is dead in 2023?
I can’t count how many opinion pieces and fear-mongering posts I’ve seen about the great death of the once-great photo sharing app that is Instagram.
And while there is some merit to a lot of the commentary out there, I’m always wary of anyone telling people to abandon the platform completely, especially in favour of an alternative like TikTok.
So let’s get into it.
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Signs that Instagram is dying… or at least is on a decline.
Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that Instagram is on a slow decline and there are definitely some signs of end of life.
It almost feels as though the platform is treading water, throwing around new features and removing them just as quick hoping something will keep them afloat.
This is especially the case when the many of changes and additions are just TikTok ripoffs.
It’s like, come on Instagram… can’t you do anything unique after being taken over by Facebook? Or I mean.. by Meta?
For example, did you see you can now pin three posts of your choice to the top of your Instagram profile…exactly like you can with TikTok?
I honestly hate it and only changed it for the 15 seconds it took to snag this screenshot. Anyone who saw my feed during that time frame… no you did not.
Creators are also seeing lower engagement rates, and users complain of seeing nothing but ads and recommended content from people they don’t follow and don’t care to.
It’s no wonder people are leaving the platform and heading straight to TikTok, where the algorithm seems to “really get them”.
Why Instagram is NOT dead in 2023
All that being said, I do not think that Instagram is dead…yet.
Has become incredibly frustrating?
But I don’t think it’s dead, and I do think it’s still worth your time.
Instagram is where your community is.
Instagram is where you can nurture your community and build trust. By design, the platform primarily serves your in-feed content to your followers.
In 2022, if I post something on Instagram, yes, it’s going to reach fewer people than it once did. But it is still going to reach my people.
Compare that to TikTok, where your content is primarily pushed to your FYP, to people who don’t know you and don’t particularly trust you yet.
And if there’s one thing you need to be a successful content creator, entrepreneur, or business owner, it is the trust of your audience.
The follower count is more valuable.
People also say Instagram is dead is because of how difficult it is to grow there compared to other platforms.
… Which is usually just a way of saying, it is harder to grow on Instagram than it is on TikTok.
And this obervation about growth is valid. I’ve noticed it myself.
I have 65k followers over on TikTok, and only 11.5k on Instagram despite having my account for years.
But I’m not about to quit Instagram for Tiktok, because I know that Tiktok’s “easy” growth cheapens the followers you have there, and that IG followers are more valuable.
In a lot of people’s (and brand’s) eyes, 10k Instagram followers is worth way more than 10k TikTok followers. This is due in part to the understanding that Instagram is more difficult.
I also think that TikTok’s easy growth is part of why people are so excited to create on the platform.
We see those numbers go up more quickly, and it inflates our sense of value or self-worth. It gives us a bit of a cheap thrill and satisfaction.
But again, anyone who wants to do this long term shouldn’t just be chasing low-hanging fruit.
I also have a theory that it will always be more difficult to grow the longer a platform has been around, and your success will increasingly become less reliant on luck and more on strategy and skill. Just look at YouTube, or even trying to rank on Google for that matter.
Instagram is where the money is (for now).
And finally, from personal experience, a major reason I don’t think Instagram is dead yet…
It’s where the majority of my brand deals are from.
And this is because of the previous two factors. So far this year, signed about $40,000 worth of brand deals and partnerships, the majority of which have been on Instagram. I made almost nothing from TikTok.
If anything, I posted some sponsored content on TikTok as an add on to an existing Instagram campaign.
Instagram is where we get to really connect with and nurture our audience and that’s where brands are going to put their money.
A brand is going to pay for the predictability that the content you post is going to reach your community, people who already trust you.
They are less likely to pay as much for TikTok content where it may or may not reach your people.
It’s why on Instagram I feel completely comfortable charging four figures for brand partnerships even when I have fewer than 10,000 followers and I don’t feel comfortable charging the same on TikTok even with my 60,000 plus.
People are burnt out from social media as a whole.
And finally, I think people are mistaking social media burnout for the death of Instagram.
We have been living in “unprecedented times” for a long while now.
People are prioritizing mental health rather than doom scrolling through all the bad news that seems to only be interrupted by influencers and celebrities living their best life.
I myself tend to open up Pinterest for some mindless scrolling and good vibes.
How do we use Instagram in 2023 and beyond?
So where does this leave us?
We need to start looking at Instagram a little differently.
We should be less focused on growth and numbers and more focused on deepening our connection to the community.
Stray away from being an as
And if you find Instagram burns you out, that means you spend a little bit less time on the platform, but don’t abandon it completely. Also do what you enjoy. If you truly absolutely hate reels, just stick to posting photos. Know you may not have viral growth, but you will still find your people.
Don’t leave behind your active engagers just because you’re not getting enough engagement.
The people who are liking your content are still people. Don’t just chase the inflated numbers,
and if you want to be part of my Instagram community where I post lifestyle and beauty content, and a good chunk of content creator tips, be sure to subscribe to my email list so you don’t miss any more Comfy Girl Curls.
Thank you for listing your pros and cons of sticking with Instagram!! I still enjoy it. I found it valuable for my business as well, but my account was hacked. Any insight on getting it back?
Oh no!! I’m so sorry to hear that—I don’t know too much about recovering accounts, I have friends who have lost their accounts and had to start from scratch, and those who have successfully retrieved them.