Here’s a short background. Instagram pods were created after Instagram changed their algorithm to show the content you most likely were to, well, like.

Remember when your favorite bloggers and photographers posted photos saying something like, “Click the three dots in this corner and make sure to turn on notifications so you can still see me on your Instagram timeline!” It almost seemed like it was the end of the world. Instagram users were panicking because they thought their photos might be pushed back in some people’s feeds and become irrelevant. They had less than 24 hours to fix this.

For most, the next day started out like it used to. The interface didn’t look any different and it was like last night never happened. It was only within the day when you experienced something both familiar and strange. It was a notification sound. ‘instagramuser just shared a post.’

For most, the next few days didn’t seem like much. You double-tapped if you liked it, and that was it. It was the harmless start of Instagram’s content curation. The next weeks, you would notice that posts did not come in reverse chronological order, kind of like Facebook. Posts from 12 hours ago came before posts from 3 hours ago. You were shown content that Instagram thinks will interest and engage you.

For some, this meant they would sooner or later be pushed back. Thinking many would feel the same way, they formed groups. I don’t know, maybe through the Instagram group message, or through Telegram or Facebook messenger, anywhere a number of people could talk simultaneously without having to see each other in real life. You post a photo, you tell them. And they will do the same.

That was the birth of Instagram pods. An Instagram pod is a group of people with the same interests who notify each other when they post something so the other members can like and comment. To play well with the current algorithm, likes aren’t enough. Members should be able to comment something that shows genuine interest.

You either create an Instagram pod or be invited to one. You don’t just randomly join. However, if you do feel like joining an existing one, sources tell us that you can find people on Twitter looking for ‘pod pals’.

Instagram pods aren’t bad. In fact, it’s quite an interesting phenomenon. If you happen to be a member of a group on photography, it’s almost just like that. You get to be immersed in different photography or Instagram content styles. Members can also give you constructive criticism on your photos so you can improve. It’s just a pity that the Internet portrays them as some cult with bossy leaders and robotic comment formats.

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