Social Media

The dark side of Instagram told by an influencer.


In an interview with Daily Mail Australia, blogger Sara Melotti told some background and tricks of the magical world of influencers, revealing its “dark side”

Sara Melotti is a popular Instagram influencer, famous for her travel photography. In an interview with the Daily Mail she Australia she told some background and tricks of the magical world of influencers, revealing its “dark side”.

It has never been a mystery to anyone that Instagram photos, so perfect and enviable, do not represent reality but are often artfully constructed. Yet few know the money-making mechanisms behind it.

“I remember how excited I was when I started posting on Instagram. It was all about creativity and artistry and it was right and ethical and amazing,” she said. “Things have changed a lot since then, and now I often feel a pang in my stomach when I have to post a new photo.”

In recent years, Instagram has simply become “the new way to advertise,” and the money-making has created a negative environment. “What was once original content is now reduced to meaningless algorithmic dynamics.”

Buying 100 followers costs around $3, buying 10,000 around $70. “I know I’m a hypocrite. I have been playing this game for six months and it has made me miserable,” she recounts again.

“I think it’s time to stop the bullshit and tell you exactly what’s going on. I owe it to you, because if I live the life I have today, if I do what I love most, which is travelling, writing and doing art, it’s also thanks to you guys,” said the blogger.

Instagram has now become an advertising platform rather than a creative and artistic social network.

“The world of advertising is shifting and we influencers are working for brands and companies so that, through us, they can reach consumers (our followers) in a much more genuine and effective way,” said Sara Melotti.

“I can afford to travel all the time just because I collaborate with hotels, tours and brands. And these collaborations wouldn’t be possible if I hadn’t built a solid portfolio and engaged on Instagram.” Most companies that pay for posts, Melotti says, are completely unaware that the numbers they see on some pages are incredibly inflated. (Piece continues after picture)

This all started when Instagram changed its algorithm. In 2016 they decided to change the feed so that the images appear based on an algorithm and not in chronological order.

“There are such beautiful places, but people come up, take pictures and then walk away. The place barely looks at it. There are people who spend up to 13 hours a day on Instagram while staying in some of the most beautiful places in the world,” continues the influencer.

“Another popular tactic is to post your photos to a group account to get more followers. The amount of time people are investing in these tricks is appalling,” he continues.

“Unfortunately, however, some of these accounts also have a dark side. I emailed my portfolio to some of these accounts a few months ago and received an alarming amount of responses asking for money to publish them. It is incredible that these people, who have built their business on the content they have taken from our accounts, are now asking artists to pay to be published”, says Sara Melotti.

Among the most used tactics to have greater visibility is that of “comment pods”, a private group in which 10-15 influencers post the link to their latest published photo, so that others can comment on it. The secret to tricking the algorithm is getting high user engagement with likes and comments within the first 30-45 minutes of uploading an image. This way those photos are more likely to end up in the “photos you might like” section, resulting in thousands more likes.

“I can’t believe it’s come to this. The amount of time they are investing in playing these tricks is appalling, it could be used to work on our art, our happiness or real life,” the blogger said again.

“People are blinded by the lure of Insta-fame. They want it now and they want the benefits that come with it, but they don’t want to put in the real work that takes time, sweat and tears. You can use these tricks and join the mafia or maybe, you can continue to play fair.”

“I didn’t start doing this to boost my ego with empty numbers. We live in an era where too often the number of likes we get on a post is the value we give to ourselves,” said Sara Melotti.

Whose fault is it? – asks the blogger – about Instagram and the algorithm? Or those who are playing dirty, declaring that they want to find an “ethical solution” to the created monster?

“I want to stop the bullshit, I’m done playing, I want to do it right. You can use the information you have to play the game and join the mafia or maybe, just maybe, you can continue to play fair and know deep down that the system is flawed and corrupt. You can do your best to make Instagram something that has to do with art and creativity again”, concludes Sara Melotti.

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