Why I Quit My Instagram Comment Pods

If you’re a blogger or are trying to build up your following on Instagram, chances are you’ve heard of comment pods. Maybe you’re even in a few yourself.

They sound great in theory. If you don’t know what a comment pod is, it’s a group of people that share their Instagram photos with each other in a message thread and then the group will then in turn like and comment on your picture.

This helps you rate higher in the algorithm so that more people can find you, which results in more engagement overall, and of course, the real reason most people are in comment pods, more followers.

As we all know, Instagram keeps playing around with the algorithm and our posts are getting seen less and less frequently due to the pay to play mentality that has taken over our favorite social media platforms. Seriously, what I would give to have chronological order back again.

In order to beat the ever-changing algorithm and get our content out there, many of us have resorted to joining a comment pod or two to help us be found in the endless stream of 1 x 1 photos. But for me, they weren’t the answer. Here’s why:

(Please note: this post is not intended to make anyone feel bad about being a part of a comment pod. These are just my opinions.)

It’s not genuine.

As a blogger, looking good to brands is important to me. I’m not ashamed to admit that I DO make money through sponsored social media and blog posts. I want my social media to show that I have an active and engaged following. Brands and businesses are quickly realizing that social media marketing through “influencers” is a cost effective and growing form of marketing that has taken off in the last several years due to the rise of people spending more and more time on their phones. But are comment pods truly genuine? When a brand visits your social media profile, do you think that they are going to notice that the majority of comments you receive are coming from the same people, day in and day out?

It takes up valuable time that is better spent somewhere else.

I was in two comment pods for nearly a year, and let me tell you, it took up SO much of my time. Time that would have been better spent if I could focus 100% on what I was doing at the moment. Comment pods just didn’t make sense for my busy schedule. I’m currently a full-time student, working part-time, and planning a wedding in May. In addition to that, I am also a blogger, which as many of you know is a job in itself.

It’s exhausting.

Most of all, it’s exhausting. As of right now, Instagram only lets 14 people in a message thread. This number may not seem like a lot of people to keep up with when it comes to leaving comments on a picture, but for me, it took the joy out of Instagram.

The app I used to go to for inspiration and community now became a burden for me.

I dreaded the endless notifications that came throughout the day, silently reminding me that I needed to go leave a comment. Being in two comment pods took up all my time, so I didn’t have any left to leave genuine comments to the people I cared most about; the community that I had worked so hard to build in my one year of blogging.

I found myself constantly stressing out about keeping up with the pods. Many of the comment pods have no limit to how much a member can post a day, so sometimes I would be struggling to keep up with leaving genuine comments on every single picture a member would upload.

When I decided to finally leave my comment pods, I felt that a big weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I could finally relax without my phone blowing up with all of the notifications from these groups. Instagram is slowly becoming more enjoyable for me as I focus on building a genuine community.

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve connected with a lot of women in these Instagram pods that have become my friends- both through the Internet and in person. But for me, comment pods were not the answer to growing my social media.

My advice to you is to think carefully about the groups you join, both on Instagram and on other social media platforms.

Are they adding to your life, or are they causing you unnecessary stress?

Being more mindful about where stress is coming from, even just the little things, has made a huge difference in my life already.

Are you currently in a comment pod? How do you feel about them? I’d love to hear your thoughts and opinions below!

7 Comments

  • Wow, I had never even heard of these before, Katelyn! It’s refreshing to hear someone talking about the added stress social media can be when we are trying to use it for branding purposes. Great post, thanks for bringing this topic up! 🙂

  • Amelie says:

    I’m currently in three comment pods, but I feel the same. I’ve been thinking of quitting one, actually, but I keep postponing it. It’s definitely nice to see a different side to comment pods though!

  • I’ve just recently joined a comment pod and when I went away for the weekend with no internet I had so much to catch up on when I came back! I think I will try it for a bit longer and if it takes up too much time, I will leave.

  • I recently joined a pod but I’m already thinking about leaving! 😀 A lot of people online praise them but I honestly didn’t see any increase in engagement, it even dropped.. My engagement of people reached used to be around 50% and now it dropped to around 30%. And I relate to what you’re saying – I don’t have he time to like/comment on photos I genuinely like. I’ll give it some more time, maybe the latest photos were not that good, but I’m glad to see that there are other people who see their bad sides

  • Viktoria says:

    I’ve never heard of comment pods either. I so appreciate when established bloggers speak out about issues like this. Sometimes it’s frustrating that social media seems to lose its genuine social aspect and begins to be more like a numbers race. I get that we all would like others to see our content (and Instagram is starting to behave like a major enemy of that), but I would still take 5 people who are genuinely interested over a thousand for whom I’m just another number.

  • Hannah says:

    I am really glad I read this today. For the longest time I have felt really uncomfortable with the thought of joining a comment pod, but lately I had kind of felt backed into a corner and like I had to join one to do the “right” thing! Thank you for posting this! I feel encouraged that my way can be the right way!

    Hannah Meade
    TheBeginningOfHannah.com

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