What Are Instagram Pods, and Should You Join One?
An Instagram Pod is a group used to increase engagement on Instagram. Users comment and like each other’s content in an attempt to boost engagement on their posts. These groups can exist on Facebook or Instagram group or other social channels. Pods are typically in three categories.
- All users must comment on and like every single post within 1 hour.
- All users must comment on and like every single post within 24 hours.
- All users must comment on and like relevant posts whenever they can.
Generally, Social media “pods” is a good strategy to get more attention and engagement through a social media channel’s algorithms. Although many pods involve people who already know each other, it’s also possible to create a niche or topic pod, find followers, and then ask them to participate actively.
A pod can be many sizes, and not all pods are created equally. There are pods with more than 1 000 active participants and pods with 100 or fewer active users. While easier to join, the big ones can give your profile a sudden unrealistic boost, which also means Instagram will catch you out (more on that later). The smaller pods are harder to join but can yield really good returns.
What Are Instagram Pods?
An Instagram pod is a group of users who band together in group chats or forums where users indicate to the rest of the group that they have just posted a photo or video on Instagram. The other users in the ‘pod’ will then go like, comment, follow, or share your post to help each other increase engagement on their content.
When a user posts the content, everyone in the Pod is alerted to it, and the post is then flooded with likes, comments, and engagement. In turn, other Instagrammers who aren’t in the Pod are more likely to engage with that post, seeing that it’s so popular and everyone else is engaging with that.
The number of people in each Pod can vary. There are often pods with over 1,000 active users and ones that have 50 or fewer active participants.
How does Instagram pod work?
Each Pod has its own rules, but most include these general guidelines:
- Comment and Like quickly to take advantage of the “timeliness” aspect of Instagram’s algorithm.
- Don’t use the chat for networking: If you want to connect with people, send them a private message. Instagram pods aren’t for pleasantries.
- Do not leech: Always Like and Comment on other people’s posts if you expect them to return the favor.
- You will also encounter a few other rules, such as having a certain number of followers before joining, the type of content you post (e.g., wedding photography, cooking, lifestyle, etc.), and the length of time it takes to meet the requirements for interaction. You have (from one to five hours, usually from the time the content is posted).
Why should you join an Instagram pod?
A while ago, Instagram changed its algorithm from showing content in the chronological order it was posted to highlighting posts it thinks you’ll want to see based on your past behavior. Remember the algorithm arrangement the content from accounts that have a high engagement in your feed and on your explore page.
This change in the algorithm has made it very hard for brands and users to build engagement and followings on Instagram. So, to get around it, Instagrammers decided to work together to trick the app’s algorithm so that their posts show up more in their followers’ feed.
The more likes or comments you have on a post, the more you signal to Instagram that your content is engaging.Thus, their content gets served up to more of their followers. These pods are seen as an attractive and easy way to increase your numbers.
How to join an Instagram pod?
Joining a quality pod is not easy. Pods can generally be divided into two groups:
- Pods that have more than 1,000 members and are easy to join.
- Pods that usually have a maximum of 20 members and are difficult to find.
- Facebook and Telegram
There are several places where you can find pads. Facebook and Telegram and an encrypted messaging app like WhatsApp are the most popular options.
Telegram is a great place to find a group of thousands of users or more, although there are smaller, more dedicated pods on the platform.
Facebook also has many groups that you can join. However, unlike Telegram, these are often closed and require an invitation to join. Your content is also verified to ensure ranking. They are also reluctant to post or share their Instagram content on the platform itself. Since Facebook owns Instagram, they do not want to present themselves as users who play the system.
Reddit has a subreddit IGPods where you can find pods that are calling members, or even if you want to start your own Pod, you can leave a call for members. These pads will often be in the Instagram messaging system. Members send messages to the rest of the group to announce their new content, and other members need to like and comment.
And finally, of course, some pods start within Instagram itself. I have come to see these as the ‘White Whale’ of engagement pods, as they’re very difficult to find and very difficult to get invited to. More often than not, users don’t want to admit that they’re using pods, so it’s a bit of a game of hide-and-seek and gentle prodding to see if you can get an invite.
The difference between Instagram Pod and buying likes and comments
How you use Instagram pod and what pads you work on, this is real interaction and not fake at all! Because the group members are real people with real accounts who do anything for you, whether it is like or comment, it is a completely human-like behavior (not like a robot). Finally, they are waiting for reciprocal behavior from you.
But in buying likes and comments, there is no person behind the virtual accounts; even their photo and profile name show this, and they will never wait for your reciprocal behavior, and you will not see any other reaction from themّ. As a result, we have to say that Instagram pods or groups really interact and are continuous in comparing the two. Still, buying likes and comments are just a temporary interaction.
Should brands use Instagram Pods?
Instagram pods are a great way to increase engagement on Instagram, but there are many problems and reasons to avoid them:
- It is time-consuming
- Does not produce significant results
- The results seem questionable
- You should like and comment on content that is not related to your brand
- The Instagram algorithm is probably smart enough to know what you are doing:
However, there are several reasons why Pod can work for you and your brand:
If you work hard to reach a corner relevant to your brand, this can be to your advantage. This is especially true if you are a small or new brand looking for ways to connect with your audience. You can learn from what your target audience is looking for and also find ways to improve your content.
Almost like corner pads, small pads can provide a more realistic interactive experience. If you agree with the social manager, many of them can give you tips on your content. So you know the real truth behind the Instagram pod.
While they may seem like an attractive solution to help engage your Instagram channel, it’s a good idea to do some research to get a full picture of whether they’re good for your brand.
And remember: If you are an influencer, artificially enhancing interaction is cheating, like buying a follower or likes.
Now you can make a decision to join Instagram pods or not.