The Vibe Is Off: What is going on with Instagram?

Updated: Jun 7

An image of a Macbook laptop and an iPhone placed next to one another, with a small bouquet of pink sunflowers sitting in-between the two.

Recently we’ve noticed that something has been up with Instagram. Engagement has been low, the platform seems quiet, and people appear to be overall less interested. Honestly, it feels like Instagram is kinda.... dead.

And we know we aren’t the only ones who feel this way. We’ve polled our audience in our Instagram stories, talked to others on different platforms, and we have discussed it between ourselves. And what we found is that we aren’t the only ones who have noticed these changes. Engagement has been down throughout the platform and as we said, people seem less interested + less active.

And to be honest, after pondering over this topic for a while, asking others, and having ongoing conversations between the two of us, it makes perfect sense.

OK so hear us out....

It’s a panini we’re talking about here:

First of all, we've all been living through a global pandemic. And we're tired. There's so much that has happened within the past year, and we've all been confined to our houses. And in some ways, this has been an amazing experience, for instance, many of us have learned a little bit more about ourselves, our friends, family, and society in general. We’ve become adaptable and more open to change (even if it was forced), creativity has sparked, and the small biz/entrepreneur community has been growing.

However, in other ways, this pandemic has had a severe impact on our mental health. A lot of us are struggling, as we should be. Anxiety and suicide levels have increased and so has the sense of feeling lonely.

And due to this, people have turned to social media platforms. But for some reason, it appears to us that Instagram hasn’t been the platform to thrive during this pandemic.

When you think about it, the introduction of Clubhouse could not have come at a more ideal time. Now more than ever do people want to feel connected to others, and Clubhouse allows for just that.

And then there’s TikTok, which is a whole other world. But what started off as a platform that seemed to be known only for “teeny-boppers” doing TikTok dances, has exploded into a platform that provides a sense of community and inclusion for so many people. Creators are currently thriving on this platform and brands and businesses are starting to take notice. And this also makes perfect sense. During this pandemic, as many of us were locked down and in quarantine, we have been forced to turn to our phones and screens for education, information and entertainment.

And now more than ever, people want to consume entertaining forms of content -- that being video content. And this is exactly what TikTok provides.

Mental health matters:

We believe that possibly as a result of this pandemic, people are starting to take care of themselves and put their mental health as a priority on their to-do lists. And although we know that there is not enough awareness of the correlation between mental health and social media, nor is this topic discussed nearly enough; what this does mean is that people are beginning to take their mental health seriously in new ways including, working out at home, meditating, reading, journaling, and limiting their screen time on social media.

It’s starting to feel less genuine: