Instagram pods are now a thing, and should we be scared?
Pod people. Peas. That moving storage company. These are just a few things that come to mind when we think of pods. Yet, none of them adequately explain what Instagram pods are. “Instagram pod” sounds slightly unsettling, so Mashable broke down this mysterious social media term and it’s not as scary as it sounds.
Just like Facebook, Instagram has an algorithm when it comes to what content you see — which makes sense considering that Facebook owns Instagram. So “pods” were formed by Instagram users — usually photography and lifestyle bloggers and influencers — as an attempt to bypass the algorithm to get more likes and followers.
Instagram pods are pretty much secret groups of around 15 like-minded individuals — and their goal is to get more Instagram love. Since Instagram changed its algorithm to no longer show you posts in reverse chronological order, but by what you are most likely going to engage with, some people think that these pods help. While other people are not so into them.
Each pod group has their own rules, but the general idea is that you would share your most recent post or post you are trying to promote in the pod and the other members should like and comment on it as soon as possible to build engagement. Writing specific comments on your fellow pod members’ posts — instead of emojis or generic comments — works better when it comes to working around the Instagram algorithm. And including their username in the comment is even better.
While Racked wrote that Instagram pods are too new to know if they are truly effective yet, there is one tangible benefit: These pods can act like mini support groups for Instagram users. So while there’s no need to fear the pod people, you may want to keep your eye out for pod-like interactions, since they aren’t as genuine as the real thing.