Alternate title: Lamenting Instagram
I’ve spent a fair chunk of my evening tonight trying to clean up my social media accounts a little bit. Deleting apps I downloaded and tried but didn’t like, canceling accounts with apps and sites I don’t use and the like. I am still rather disappointed there is no suitable alternative for Instagram, yet. I really detest the changes they have made this year, and have not used it since they switched away from chronological feeds. Apparently I was part of the early roll out for that, yay me, and the changes took effect even though I did NOT update the app. I mention this because people like to throw out “just don’t update the app, you won’t get the changes” as a “solution”. Sorry, that is a very non-solution response; the developers clearly have a way around that to force updates on users anyway!
Oh, how I loved Instagram, once upon a time. Then Facebook bought them. No further explanation required.
I googled once again for an alternative tonight and as usual, there is nothing. Lists of “alternatives” abound, but the apps in those lists tend to be only photo editing apps rather than social media. The very few that do have social aspects suck. I got a little excited tonight when I found a new article about some big changes made to an app I had previously tried but I didn’t like it. (FYI, the app in question is VSCO.) The hype about the changes made me think perhaps they would finally be a good alternative. Sadly, it was not meant to be. The app was terribly slow, the UI was kind of clunky and difficult to navigate; not user friendly at all. The only “social” aspect was being able to “follow” other users. No comments, or “likes” on content; nothing beyond simply following other accounts. I don’t think there’s ever going to be a truly good alternative that is built similarly to what Instagram USED to be, before Facebook bought them.
I miss Instagram, dammit. But I absolutely hate the algorithm based feed they are using now. Yes, after my account changed to utilize this I tried to keep using it. I tried to give it a fair chance, to keep an open mind that this would NOT be the awful change I was expecting. But it is just like Facebook – you keep seeing “top” posts all the time, rather than new posts. I hate that. They claim the reason for the change was because on average users were missing 70% of content in their feeds. I call bullshit on that. You’d open the app, scroll down to the last post you had seen the last time you used it, then scroll back on up seeing ALL the new posts since then, in order. I NEVER missed anything this way – it was plenty easy. But with the algorithm based feed, guess what? I scroll and scroll and see some new content, mixed in with old content, with seemingly no rhyme or reason to their order. If I visit individual profiles of those I follow, I see posts that had not been shown in my feed at all, no matter how much time I wasted scrolling hoping I was not missing anything. A LOT of posts are missed this way. Chronological feeds are better, they make more sense, they are easier to follow and there’s never any question about when something was posted or if you may be missing something. You scroll to the last post you’d seen at the end of the previous use, and everything from that point upward is new. That works. That is preferred. Why mess with that?
If anyone ever comes up with/finds a truly good Instagram alternative, please let me know. I’m suffering withdrawal, here. The negatives of the new UI far outweigh the positives to the point there is no danger of my returning to Instagram. But that does not mean I don’t continue to miss what it used to be! =T