Into Instagram Darkness

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In the days & weeks to come, I am curious to learn more about the impact of the Instagram outage on third-party apps. From my own experience, the post I had crafted on Plann was lost completely when it failed to sync to Instagram. Not even a draft saved on either platform. Plann has been an awesome app in my social media tool belt, allowing me to preview a grid layout, prepare messages and view analytics (even without an Instagram Business account). I was pretty aggravated that the post simply disappeared from my Plann grid, without a trace, just as it disappeared in the Instagram vortex during the outage.

Obviously an inefficient use of my time.

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Outages suck. Especially for the folks who work there.

As a Marketing professional, I empathize with the teams who were undoubtedly working around the clock to fix the issue. Instagram only shared two tweets about the event. Perhaps they could’ve communicated more, and in greater detail. Instagram’s users have been slamming them left and right on Twitter, even when Instagram reported the issue was fixed, announcing it with a joyful Oprah meme. The app still appears to be down for many folks. For me, my app went down for about 6 hours. I’m grateful that the conference I had been covering social media at had concluded the day before Instagram’s outage.

Back Up Your Caption

This is like IT 101, but it’s true. And when you do much of your work on your mobile device, backing up your work could be as simple as copying & pasting it to a note-taking app, like Evernote. I often jot my text down in iPhone’s “Notes” because it is incredibly simple to use. If I have a story or caption idea for Instagram, but my photo or graphic isn’t ready to import into my Plann app, I’ll draft the text in “Notes.” Easy peasy.

I’m not sure why Plann lost my post during the Instagram outage, but it was frustrating to lose the caption & hashtags I had crafted together. My photo was still saved in the camera roll, so at least I didn’t need to re-edit that.

My advice is to back up your caption—especially one you put a lot of thought & preparation into—even if you’ve already drafted it in an Instagram Previewing or Planning style app. You just never know. Copy + Paste, baby.

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The Mystery of the Vanishing Text

Did you know that if you post an image on Instagram that’s over the 30 hashtag limit, your entire caption will simply not show up? If you didn’t select & copy your text prior to posting… Poof, it’s gone. And if you post and ghost, you may note be unaware of the issue until hours or days later.

I learned this after a few times & figured out it was because I had exceeded the hashtag limit. If you’re thinking: Wow, do you really need 30 hashtags? Yes! I don’t always use that many, but it can be vey helpful to target engagement & find the audience you are hoping to connect with. So copy your hard work, just in case you accidentally go over this limit.

It’s not the End of the World

I’m preaching to myself here, because it really can be aggravating to lose the work you put into something. I’m a busy mom, and I don’t have time to waste. I work on my personal freelancing in between nap times, dinner & chasing the kids around. But if you lose the work, consider it a second chance to get it right. And maybe it will be even better the next time around.

And while technology can be utterly frustrating when it fails you, it is still pretty darn amazing.

So Instagram, we’ll get past this. You’re still my favorite social media app.

Katie SundquistComment