a personal style blog by Lauren Pfieffer

Thursday, February 25, 2016

Has Instagram Replaced Fashion Blogging?

Black Turtleneck (similar): Thrifted.
Navy Corduroy Skirt (identical to mine!): Thrifted.
Mini Backpack (similar to mine for a great $48): Thrifted.
Gold Chain w/ Pearl (similar): Thrifted.
Black Riding Boots (high end/ low end): JCP.

I first started blogging in 2009 at its height: bloggers in the front row instead of editors, huge campaigns featuring bloggers, and just a general world-wide fascination with the blogosphere. My blog obviously started out small but grew a lot those first years when blogging was still ardently popular. However, it was also the beginning of blogging's decrease as things became over-saturated and inauthentic. 

I noticed a definite shift in my page views and comments around 2013 or so when Instagram really became an integral part in the social media world. As my Instagram following and likes increased, my blog traffic and engagement decreased. 

I started my Instagram in 2012 and I loved it because it was an easy, convenient way to share my own photos, as well as, view others'. We are an incredibly visual species, and we react best to photos. It's a no brainer Instagram became such a success.

 Instagram makes it easier to curate a brand than traditional blogging does. Anyone can be an Instagram blogger. You snap a photo on the iphone, do some quick editing in an app, post, and BOOM. You can get 100+ likes in a few hours. But actual blogging is different, and a lot more time consuming. It takes time photograph using a tripod or photographer, look through them at home, edit them, resize them, upload, write a post, proof read it, link outfit details, and then promote it via social media. Why do all that when you could do a simple one, two, three step?

 Instagram is more gratifying, as well. It may take a few hours, days, or even a few weeks to get all your readers to look at and react to a post. Followers on instagram can view your photos 10 seconds after you post it and let you know what they like about it: giving you useful, real time analytics. Achieving "insta-famous" status takes a fraction of the time versus the years it takes to establish a well-followed blog. Smart hashtags and optimal tagging get you there in no time.

I've found readers react better to my Instagram posts rather than blog posts, too. In a busy world, people rarely have time to actually sit down and read blogs anymore. I know when I was younger and had less responsibilities I would dedicate a few hours weekly to reading my favorite blogs. Now, I'm lucky if I can even keep up with my few favorites. I find it so much more convenient to check between classes what a blogger is doing on Instagram.

Also, I feel like once I've seen the outfit on Instagram, I no longer need to go to the blog to see the whole post. It's sad, but true. How many of you have seen a preview of my outfit on Instagram, with the outfit details tagged, and thought "why would I go through the trouble to go to her blog just to look at a bunch of photos of something I've essentially just seen the jist of?"

The one advantage traditional blogging has over Instagram blogging is the power of words. It is impossible to write a post of this length and substance in a tiny Instagram caption. With the recent Instagram update to 'view more' it's even a sign that the company is telling us "write less, this isn't the place for a novel." And it isn't. Instagram is meant for snappy, witty captions that catch attention, complimenting the visuals.

I love Instagram. I love blogging. But it makes me sad to see blogs becoming less relevant as our society demands more convenience, speed, and instant gratification. Blogs are a defining element in our generation and represent a pivotal point in media's history we can't take back. I know technology changes and that excites me. I just hope that blogging remains an important medium for self expression, connection, and inspiration for years to come. 

With much love, Lauren.

P.S. I'd love to hear your thoughts on this topic!


Bobsphotography said...

I hope so too!!
I do not have Instagram, should start an account?

My blog: Street Style City

Also have a look at my photography page: Photography

Emma Gordon said...

This makes me sad as well. I guess it's been a shift from reading magazines, to blogs, and now to instagram for fashion inspiration. I still love to sit down and read blogs, but I know many people don't have time for that. It's like society wants something quicker to look at with our busy lifestyles. Blogs give me infinite more inspiration and excitement compared to Instagram though. Instagram is nice, but sometimes I want something with more quality and substance to it in what bloggers have to share and say.

Emma | ohflowerchild.blogspot.com

Katie Selt said...

I don't think it has, I just think Instagram is easier. Instagram is simpler, more instant, while blogging takes more effort and time.
I treat Instagram as sharing site and I don't share anything on Instagram that hasn't already been posted on my blog. And, when I post outfits on Instagram, I try to make sure that I'm only giving a peak into the outfit, so it entices people to want to see more.

Instagram is great because of instant gratification--you post a photo and you get engagement immediately--but it has it's drawbacks. There isn't a spam filter for comments or likes, and there isn't a mass editing tool. They also don't allow hyperlinks in the description, which makes sourcing your content back to your site, and tracking your traffic absolutely terrible. Blogger (and other blog hosting sites) have those standard, to make blogging easier.

I think that people are more likely to be engaging on Instagram is because the ability to comment is right there, versus on blogs, you have to scroll through an entire post to comment, and then, some bloggers require you to have an account, or Disquis, and it just makes the whole process 10 times longer. I think the usual person who uses Instagram probably doesn't know how to navigate a blog, and that may be the issue.

I like Instagram but I love blogging. If Instagram really wants to be a threat to blogging, they're going to have to change some integral stuff to compete. The more you treat Instagram as an extension of your blog, the easier it is to see the distinction between the two.

P.S. You look great, as per usual!

Katie | katielikeme.com

Unknown said...

I agree that Instagram has become more popular than blogging as of right now. But it will probably have a decline phase soon and something new will come along. That's always what happens. I hope they stick around for a while too though.


Unknown said...

Quality over quantity. I've always been a late adopter, so I've never read blogs until fairly recently, but I get so much more from blogs, from people writing about their experiences than I do from Instagram. I have Instagram and use it like a photo album but to me, Instagram is like a bag of chips, blogs are like a full meal. Do not mistake quantity for quality.

Unknown said...

Maybe I'm the only one, but while I am horribly addicted to instagram, I don't actually want to follow bloggers there - I'd much rather go to their blogs. Perhaps because I used to blog myself, I love the total of experience of going through my Bloglovin' feed, scrolling through multiple pictures, reading about the outfit at the bottom of the post.

Melanie said...

I still love traditional blogging!! I feel like I have to keep reminding myself to use Instagram. =)

Carmel Elizabeth said...

AMEN. I love traditional blogging, but it's sad to see that the direction some people have taken with their blogs (overly advertised and plasticized) has affected the image of what a Blogger is in general, though so many of us are very genuine people. What I think is ironic, though, is that to me some Instagram-only "bloggers" seem even more fake than the real bloggers - which also makes me wonder what direction we're going with social media, and if it's really a good and uplifting one.

Also, I prefer the format in general with traditional blogging. It's just so much more welcoming, I find, especially when every person's space can be so vastly different, like our personalities...

Great post. :)

Amanda said...

I hate to admit it, but I agree with you Lauren. Sadly, the only blogs I truly look at are galmeetsglam., barefootblonde.com, and thelittleduckwife.com, because I always love seeing the incredible photography and reading what the bloggers are up to. :) And I like your blog alot too!! :) This kind of made me think that maybe I shouldn't get back into blogging, if people are truly not even reading blogs much anymore. I don't know what to do now. :( Any ideas anyone?? I have been experimenting more and more with photography and the only reason I would get back into blogging is to post pictures I've taken. :)


Kristin said...

I get sad too about all the changes that have happened to my favorite blogs. Many tend to update less and/or have completely changed styles in the past few years. I honestly just like to go back through the archives of my favorites from the height of blogging years, I like those posts and outfits better!

I'm really slow when it comes to new technology trends (I only got an iphone last year and Instagram a few months ago, and I'm intentionally keeping it a very small circle of family and close friends) so I don't follow any bloggers through IG, but I realize I'm probably in the minority because I prefer blogs. Yours is one of the few that has been pretty consistent for several years and I love visiting!

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