Instagram: Please Fix the Problem of the Followers Game

If you have an Instagram account and are like Scott Kelby, you too will have over 119,700 followers while you yourself are following only 157 people. All this would be accomplished with only 510 posts. He can achieve these numbers because he is a prolific and best-selling author, a fine photographer, and gives great seminars throughout North America and Europe. He's a famous, friendly and engaging guy who travels a lot, and posts beautiful images from his travels.

Unfortunately, many Instagram users try to achieve a similar high followers to following ratio in an attempt to make themselves look good. This is accomplished by following everyone they can, and they may even leave a nice comment about your work. If you do not follow them back they will unfollow you. If you do follow them back they will still unfollow you.

If a person follows me, I politely follow them back, but a high percentage will then unfollow me. To track this, there is a free app called Followers. I installed it and check it once a day for people who have unfollowed me. These are nearly always people who have a lot of followers, yet they themselves follow very few people. With a single click you can unfollow them back. This is a somewhat ridiculous waste of time, but is the only way for me to be sure I am following those who are likewise genuinely interested in my work.

Back when Instagram was in its infancy, having a lot of followers surely was a sign that you were important and/or great at your craft. Today, however, it is absolutely meaningless. LOTS of people are playing the Followers Game on Instagram. Plus, you can even buy followers! How big a problem is this? BIG! Since I reset the Followers app, I have gained 75 new followers, but 79 have unfollowed me.

So, if you get a follow from a guy named Joe Doaks, he has 8,200 followers, is following only 200 people, and you have never heard of him, you can be certain he is playing the Followers Game. It is a silly waste of time. Why? Because the followers/follow ratio is meaningless. What is meaningful is how many likes and comments you get. In other words, how well you can engage viewers, which is a reflection of quality content.

Hopefully Instagram will remedy this problem by simply deleting the Followers and Following counts from everyone's home page. Those numbers are now meaningless, and signify nothing. We should be interested in content - not followers/following ratios. Such an upgrade to their app would put a stop to this game, and thereby improve Instagram for everybody.