Comment Pods: A Dirty Word?

Shirt: Club Monaco; Pants: Zara (similar here and here); Earrings: Cuchara; Shoes: Gucci

Today I want to address a topic that’s become something of controversy in the Instagramosphere – comment pods. I’ll be discussing everything from my experience to the ugly side. Basically, in this post, I’m sharing everything you need to know about comment pods.

So, first things first, what are comment pods? They are private message groups where Instagrammers share their pictures and comment on them. A lot of people believe that comment pods distort the perceived relevance of an influencer, making them seem like they have more engagement than they really do. So now that you know the basics, here is my take:

The Root 
Comment pods started popping up like daisies when Instagram changed its algorithm. I can tell you first hand that I sometimes miss posts from some of my favourite Instagrammers because they aren’t shown to me. So, comment pods were created by Instagrammers to battle this visibility problem.

The Bad
The first few times I was invited to a comment pod, I was confused. Girls that I’d never spoken to messaged me, asking me to join a comment pod full of other people that I neither followed nor had ever heard of. It felt kind of like a dark alley dealing, so I politely declined. I couldn’t understand why people would join a group where they would have to engage with people who they didn’t genuinely admire.

I was also invited to Telegram groups. Telegram is, from my understanding, an app similar to Whatsapp, where people share their pictures. It allows you to invite as many people as you want, whereas Instagram messaging puts a limit on the size of a group. So these groups include a ton of girls, and each member is expected to comment on every single picture. Imagine 50 people in this group! What a shitshow! How is it even possible to keep up?!

The Good
A little while back, I was invited to join a comment pod by one of my friends. This is a girl whose work I genuinely love, and when I saw who was in the group, I accepted. The reason behind this being that it was a small group of women I admired, and knew that it went beyond writing meaningless comments on every single picture. Here, we share advice, and discuss topics like agencies, editing tips, and business tactics. Of course we share pictures too, but these are girls whose pictures I would have engaged with anyway. This just ensures that I see them.

My Takeaway
Now that you know my experience with comment pods, here is my stance: I think these groups can be good or bad (subjective, of course), depending on how you approach them. If you’re joining a group where you cringe at the pictures which are shared but comment anyway, then you’re cheating the system. These are not people whose work you admire, so why are you pretending to? Just so you can contribute to each others’ false sense of popularity?

However, if you are joining a group of women whose work inspires you and who you would normally engage with, then I don’t think it’s a problem. It doesn’t have to be a clandestine group that operates shadily and comes after a person who forgets to comment.

That being said, this is only my opinion. And it’s not necessarily the right one.

What are your thoughts on comment pods?

Photography by Erin Leydon

SaveSaveSaveSave

SaveSave

Follow:
Share:

31 Comments

  1. June 20, 2017 / 12:55 pm

    I don’t really like pods, I get the point but having to comment on someone’s photo because I HAVE to instead because I WANT doesn’t really suit me.

    xo | Cindy Elena
    http://www.boringclothes.com

  2. June 20, 2017 / 1:50 pm

    Love your pictures! <3 and I agree, not a fan of comment pods. They seem very ingenuine.

    Her Style Says It All

  3. June 20, 2017 / 1:57 pm

    I am with you on this one. They can definitely be a good thing if you are genuinely engaging with accounts you admire but on the other hand they can be a terrible thing when you are forced to comment on a photo you are not interested in at all!
    x Emily
    http://shedoes.com.au

  4. June 20, 2017 / 2:12 pm

    Bah, comment pods. I don’t think being part of a small one with little pressure to engage is a terrible thing. Actually, it can be a great place to share blogging woes, experiences and a way to not miss our friends’ posts! And I mean, come on, it’s not like getting those extra 8 comments & likes out of it is going to skyrocket engagement & opportunities all of a sudden!

    Problem lies in the fact that some bloggers are part of MANY pods. I’m talking 5 and over. They’re essentially devoting their days to blatantly cheating IG, brands & fellow bloggers. The sad part is that it works, which is likely why more bloggers are beginning to engage in dodgy Instagram practices (or at least thinking of doing so) in order to catch to these cheaters. I mean, IG is certainly not catching up to them!

    xo Cristina

  5. June 20, 2017 / 5:08 pm

    Such an amazing look! xoxo

  6. June 20, 2017 / 7:00 pm

    Those shoes are so cool! Yeah, I’ve have a love/hate battle with comment pods. I totally agree that if you wouldn’t comment on a picture why join that pod. It’s a tough situation with Instagram’s algorithm…at first you think this will help, but then you realize in the long run it’s not authentic. When you don’t know what’s up Instagram, it gets very confusing navigating these types of groups.

    xx Yasmin
    http://banglesandbungalows.com

  7. June 20, 2017 / 7:08 pm

    Great post lady! I’m so glad you’re talking about this.
    The world of Instagram is so interesting – I think with pods it can either be a great fit, or it can get annoying really fast. The algorithm has definitely made it more difficult to get the same engagement as before, but then I keep reminding myself, you can’t put all your eggs in the instagram basket!
    It’s all about good content, and staying true to yourself.
    Thanks for sharing 🙂

    Lyndi
    http://www.stylecalling.com

  8. June 20, 2017 / 10:12 pm

    I have to say that I am part of a comment pod. Initially I thought it was a great idea to help with engagement. Sadly over time it became tiring. It’s hard to stay true to myself and I sometimes feel like I need to put fake comments not to offend anyone. I think it’s time to leave.

    Her Hive

  9. June 20, 2017 / 11:22 pm

    First off, I adore this outfit! Those pants look so chic on you and great paired with the white top. I also, of course, love those slides, they’re so interesting! In regards to pods, I share the same sentiments to be honest. There are benefits and of course down sides, too. I think these days, Instagram is making the platform that much more harder to navigate and obtain organic growth and engagement, provoking new tactics on combating these changes. I’ve noticed about 3mths ago, they’ve made some changes within the app that they’ve yet to state and it just keeps getting more and more frustrating and you feel left in the dark. I feel as though if they simply leave the app with very little updates, perhaps focusing on updating the features, such as IG and videos, it would make things a lot less stressful and more enjoyable. Ever since IG was bought by FB, things began to change and fast and it shows no signs of stopping. All of that said, I can see why people are thinking of “creative” ways of getting their work seen, though some tactics are questionable. Thanks for sharing, beauty, and I hope you’re having a great week so far!

    XO,

    Jalisa
    http://www.thestylecontour.com

  10. June 21, 2017 / 1:46 am

    I love your take on this. I guess it can be a good thing if you join pods with people whose posts you are likely to engage with! Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

    Jessica | notjessfashion.com

  11. June 21, 2017 / 3:10 am

    I love your comfy casual style! Great shoes! =)

    – Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

  12. June 21, 2017 / 8:10 am

    Really love your views on this. It always better to join pods with people whose work you genuinely like and give genuine advice rather than putting irelevant comments just for some engagement.

    Manavi | http://www.beforbeauty.com

  13. June 21, 2017 / 8:51 am

    I agree with 100 percent, firstly love the shirt super chic secondly, if its people you always engage with that invite you, then yes but if its spammy and people you would not normally follow then no….I love your posts like these btw I read all of them even if I dont comment on each one 😉 xx

  14. miri
    June 21, 2017 / 11:26 am

    Hi Siffat,

    I think that comment pods are a good thing when you are in a group of people that you follow and would comment on their photos anyway. It works for me and it is easier to keep up with those you like especially now since the algorithm changed.
    X
    Miri

    http://currentlywearing.com

  15. June 21, 2017 / 2:11 pm

    I think you are right in that if you aren’t happy with what other people in your group share, then you really shouldn’t stick around. But being supportive with friends and even sharing that you have posted can be helpful. I often find my Insta feed is full of posts from 18-24 hours ago. Meaning I am missing people I want to see with their posts by a day or so. I hate that!
    xx Jenelle
    http://www.inspiringwit.com

  16. June 21, 2017 / 4:10 pm

    I definitely share you view! They’re good as long as they’re done in the right way. If you love the style of all the other ones that are in the group, it’s an excellent opportunity to bond and get new blogger friends. If it’s a smaller group, there’s room to chat and support one another too! Xx

    http://www.thefashionfolks.com

  17. June 21, 2017 / 10:32 pm

    Loved reading about this as I just came to learn what “pods” really were & to be honest i think they’re good only when you’re in a group with a bunch of women you actually genuinely like and share tips and empower one another. I hate the pods that make you comment…you’re comments just aren’t as genuine. I’d love to join your group if there’s room for more (@dashofjofashann) as I’d love to keep learning & growing in the blog world.

    Thanks for sharing babe! Xxx

  18. June 22, 2017 / 1:26 am

    I honestly didn’t even understand Comment Pods when I first started blogging on Insta, I admit I still don’t understand the point of them! I find they are so fake, just a way to garner likes rather than actually engaging properly in other people’s content. Unless you’re in a group of people which you actually care about, like you have mentioned I think it’s totally useless!

    xx Rubi

    Pose & Repeat

  19. June 22, 2017 / 5:37 am

    Totally agree with you! I am part of one comment group but it is only made up of some male bloggers that I am friends with and whose instagram feeds I admire. I was always missing their photos because of the stupid algorithm but thankfully now I get to catch all of them!

    -Didier
    http://www.didieryhc.com

  20. June 23, 2017 / 8:25 am

    Only heard of comment pods through other bloggers and to be honest I don’t think I would even have the time to be part of one. That smaller pod you mention sounds way more appealing, as it is frustrating when you miss your favourite instagrammers’ pics but the bigger accounts are shoved in your face over and over again… We are too obsessed with numbers and sometimes forget that the real engagement is what should matter. Have a great Friday, gorgeous

    Saida | She talks Glam

  21. June 23, 2017 / 3:01 pm

    You look gorgeous! I love comment pods as long as they’re genuine and sincere 🙂

    Blessings,
    Edye | http://gracefulcoffee.com

  22. June 26, 2017 / 7:29 pm

    You look incredibly gorge hun! You have beautiful hair. Just love!! I’ve been on a break and really missed your lovely posts. I’ve never heard of comment pods before 😀 so I’m glad I popped by. I’m with you on that – I also think that small groups would allow you to be more authentic. Sometimes its really hard to keep up and we miss the best. Also now following you on insta x
    ♥Kumari
    http://stylesociety.co.za