Instagram Pods, The Low Down

Girl floating over purple heather

Yesterday via Stories i shared a post from One Roof Social.  Within the link was information regarding the new rules and regulations for Instagram influencers.  Information that from now on will be really important if you are being paid or gifted and promoting via your platform.  Within this post was a section on Instagram Pods and their uses.  So here’s some points from me.

“Instagram is well aware that “pod behavior” (account users who collate a pool of fellow users who engage with their content as soon as it’s live) is spoiling the “organic” reach potential of Instagram content. This is being heavily watched by advertising bodies and Instagram are under great pressure to find a way to stop this behavior.” Anna – One Roof Social

What is an Instagram Pod?

Just in case you are not aware, as i wasn’t until recently there is such a thing as hard core podding.  Sounds weird right? Right. But it is a thing.  Some Instagram pods can contain upwards of 60-70 members and the idea is as soon as your new content hits the grid you notify the pod.  The pod then springs into action in order to ‘boost your engagement.’ Meaning, they race to your profile, like your post and sometimes are obliged to leave a comment.  In return, the same is expected of you.  In extreme cases, not that i’ve ever encountered it, but there is an application process to be part of this kind of activity.  Crazy.

Pods like this are designed to make it look like your organic reach is travelling far and wide as quickly as possible.  But this is not the case.  Instagram are aware of this behavior and are having a crack down on it from here on in.

What now? 

Initially when i read about this i panicked.  I mean, shit. I’m in two Instagram pods. What if the Instagram Gods are watching me? Is this why i’m never featured for the WHP?? (lol)

…No, it’s not.  My so called ‘pod behaviour’ is nothing like the aforementioned and i can say that confidently.  Only a few days ago i made a statement about Instagram Pods in my previous blog post.  If you caught it, you’ll remember me saying that yes, I was part of two Instagram Pods and i was encouraging you to be part of one too.  That was before i learnt about the changed to the rules. And certainly before i learnt anything about ‘hard core podding’ (i’m not sure if it has a name, but we’ll go with that for now)

I also stated that i use these as a source of support, an outlet for advice on my posts.  That has not changed.  I would still encourage you to have a group of like minded friends on Instagram.  After all, they don’t want to disable to the DM function, and they can’t punish you for seeking support.

Pod Best Practice:

So what we have decided to do, as we all agree this is for the best. Is to keep our pods. We know that we don’t use if for false engagement stats.  That will be clear to Instagram should they ever want to take a peak at our end of their empire. We have also decided not to share our content with each other via image shares.  We all agree that we see them anyway.  With around a third of us being Mothers VERY rarely do we ever get to a post the minute it’s posted to like/comment.  We will continue to discuss, support and inspire and i still encourage this. If you feel you need that online, that’s okay and you’re doing nothing wrong.

Personally, i think this is all a good thing.  It means that everything cut and dry.  The post from One Roof Social clears up the fog around sponsored posts and keeps influencers safe.  Sara has written a great follow up post explaining how it affects each side, company and influencer.   If i was you, i’d get that bookmarked it’s going to come in very handy.



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  1. August 31, 2017 / 8:18 pm

    I feel weird about ‘hardcore podding’…’s too sexual 😱

    Great post 🙂 L x

    • sarahcolvine
      September 1, 2017 / 8:02 am

      Mwahaha!! I was hoping someone would comment about that! I can always rely on you! Sx

  2. September 1, 2017 / 8:50 am

    Well said Sarah! When I started “gramming” I really wanted to grow so I found some of those groups on Facebook. And left straight away. I think if people would rather focus on the content and all that time spent “fake commenting” used for making their photos better, more engaging, more beautiful, they would grow much more anyway!

    I am in one Pod (ahem) and I love the support. We talk about anything, about our life, business, kids, dogs, well, all the important stuff 🙂 And that is what is so charming about Instagram community, when you find right people it can be such a bliss.

    I also comment on many peoples photos to support them, because I like what they do and want them grow, but the intention is genuine.

    • sarahcolvine
      September 5, 2017 / 6:25 pm

      You’re totally right Barb! It’s so lovely to chat to friends online. Sometimes the ones you’ve never met are there for you more than the friends you have in real life. And isn’t that fabulous!! Sx

  3. November 8, 2017 / 2:37 pm

    Hardcore podding. The death of me, I swear. I have been invited to join pods of hundreds and THOUSANDS of members even. Yes, thousands. What the? No thank you! I feel that the landscape of this “pod” thing is so discouraging and probably making my organic reach much less visible. To be quite honest, it pisses me off. I like the idea of a small Insta DM pod but I’ve got such a bad taste in my mouth from the these hardcore podders.

    Thanks for posting this, Sarah!


    • sarahcolvine
      November 10, 2017 / 11:32 am

      Oh really? That totally sucks! I’ve never had anything near to that size approach me… crazy! I’m quite happy with my cosy little groups of friends! Sx

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