Instagram Pods : Why It’s Bad and How To Detect Them

It’s a group of Instagrammers trying to defeat the algorithm by liking each others posts. The group that I joined can be up to 200 people so every time you post a picture, you tag the account and 100 peopleIn will know and go like your pics. But you also have to like all of their pictures in return.

“Falsely inflating engagement rates within influencer communities.” – Instagram

It’s pretty easy, you scroll down their feed a bit and see the old posts, once you post the transition to one post with a low number of likes to one with big amount of likes suddenly that’s how you know they are in a pod.

You can also click on the picture and see who they are tagging, the usual pod is always tagged in their pictures.

I joined A Pod and Tested It Out

This is how I start realizing how SO MANY of my bookstagrammers friends were part of this pod and how quickly they get their likes.

  1. They literally expect you to like EVERY SINGLE one of others people post?! I don’t have time for that. If you don’t, they check the posts and tell you that you might get banned from the group. Hum.. I’mnot 24/24 on my account to do that.
  2. I don’t consider it as genuine engagement, they’re just here to like for the benefits of liking in return. It’s the same thing as Like For Like all over again. They are not even interested in your content per se. And the fact that they have an *obligation* and forced to like your picture is just plain wrong.
  3. I work with a lot of brands and publishers and I feel like this is not honest towards them. They are sending you products to market but your engagement is fake. What’s the point?

I left the Pods obviously. I will always prefer more genuine engagement on social media and really comment and like the content that are appealing to me. Yes it’s demanding and yes it’s a lot of work.

But if, as a blogger, you’re not going on a platform like Instagram to do the work and connect. Why do it in the first place?

Instagram and Facebook Are Cracking Down The Pods

Yes the big giants know about it and are now on their ways to crack down, ban and suspend these Pods.

I’ve always been more of an Instagrammer, my main personal blog is on Instagram and I feel like at the end of the day I’m prouder of that account than the Bookidote Instagram one just because I put real efforts in interacting with people.

This is why you haven’t seen me lately on Bookidote WordPress either because I prefer to do it in my own rhythm and not rush or like/ post comment just to post a comment. But I’m slowly getting back ❤️😍


  • Great post! I joined one too recently, and I don’t like the rules the expect you to abide by. Like you said, I don’t have time for that. I will be leaving mine too as it was just an experiment

    Liked by 2 people

      • It was nice for my ego to get all those hearts but I’ve already been sent a warning for tagging more than the allotted pics. I’m not sure of the likes are ingenious because I’ve made some new friends and gotten new followers but I cannot
        Keep up with that many instagrammers daily.


    • Yeah I think a lot of people are not aware of this phenomenon. They approached me personally in my DMs and say it was “to connect” but pretty much I saw how it is not about connecting at all but just throwing a bunch of likes 😂

      Liked by 1 person

  • This is interesting! I’m not in the bookstagram community nor do I use facebook, so I don’t know about this. It’s interesting how people come up with new ways to beat the algorithm everytime they release something new 😀


  • I tried your method on how to detect pods and it worked, thank you. The amount of people on those pods are insane. As a marketing agent and specialist, we appreciate this a lot. It’s already difficult to find authentic influencers for our campaigns. It’s good to see you bring this phenomenon to light and be real about it.


  • How empty are these people’s lives that this is what they resort to to get likes on their posts? I’ve got some very harsh things to say about them, but there really is no need to vent. If I’m lucky, I’ll be watching as they self-destruct and destroy their miserable selves…

    Liked by 1 person

  • Well Trang I do prefer true engagement and likes! I was even offered to join a company who would pay people to like my posts can you imagine????

    Liked by 1 person

  • I didn’t know about pods before reading your post! My pictures sucks and I generally post for fun or to thank publishers and authors so I am not looking for likes. I agree with you on the fact it’s not genuine, and you can’t be expected to like all the posts! We have a life!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  • sounds like too much work for me! I think I’ll grow my handle the good old fashioned way lol even if the algorithm odds are stacked against me 🙂


  • Gosh this makes me feel so much better! I see accounts that have hundreds of likes and I’m like how?! I have noticed if you post really regularly on Instagram the algorithm is nicer to you. The instagram people really care how much you’re on their app I guess. Thanks for sharing this though Trang!!


  • I joined one once for the same reason you did, when I first joined bookstagram and then left for the same reasons. People expect you to like everything and the engagement is just not genuine. you can’t gauge out how many people truly like your content and what/if you need to work harder on it. It’s just not worth it to me.


  • Ugh. The same concept for some FB groups too. Once you post in a thread you have to go like all the other posters and vice versa… I’m not on social media all freaking day! Plus you should only be engaging with the content that you value. I don’t need random ‘forced’ engagement.


  • Really great post! I had no idea this was a thing- but it doesn’t sound good to me. It doesn’t sound like any fun to be obligated to like posts and it doesn’t feel like it’s honest with brands/publishers either.


  • I totally agree about the pods. Especially because it makes me feel bad – I don’t have days and days to like everyone’s content in a pod (and like you said. I like things I like, I don’t want to like because I have to??) So because I don’t do pods, my content doesn’t matter. It doesn’t matter how much I put in it. It’s actually why I don’t do bookstagram almost at all anymore. It’s a waste of time if you’re small and don’t read YA. There’s no point because all you’ll get is 45 likes.

    But what also makes me a little sad about Instagram knowing people are in a pod and punishing them for it is that I don’t see the photos my friends make. I would love to check out the pics like 10 people I like make through DMs. But I can’t because they’ll get punished for it. But I don’t get to see their pictures anymore because the algorithm is silly – it shows me whatever it wants and not who I want to see. For example, I never see your bookish account – only your food account, because we DM through that one xD I had to artificially inflate the likes of certain friends by going and visiting and liking half their feed just so instagram would show them to me! It’s annoying and I need to keep returning to do that because if I like any random thing ONCE Instagram now decides I must see their two week old content instead of my friends. Grrrrrrr. It would be cool if you could at least make lists or something, cause I really don’t get to see the people I like. I follow back everyone who’s a book blogger because I’m not mean like that, but it also wrecks my feed for sure.


  • Me neither. I love IG and all, but I definitely do not have time as much as they seem to require. I am ok with being an instagrammer who has a small but engaging number of followers.


  • I’m like the least active person on Instagram so I’m not sure to properly understand how it works, but I think that if you have time to do it, then it’s okay 😮 Maybe it can lead you to know other instagrammers with the exposure you get, and start actually engaging with them. I see it more like something that pushes you to get a greater community than a long-term “solution” to grow your Instagram 😮 Concerning brands and publisher, I have no clue what the implications are, it goes far beyond my understanding of social media hahaha 😂 Again, I don’t know how these things work but for me, the main problem is how platforms don’t give people an equal chance for promoting their content or “brand” 😮


  • Cool post! I didn’t know what these pods were or that they existed. Haha.
    I so don’t have time for this. I actually don’t know how to tag people on instagram, and after using it for years, i have no desire to figure it out, or spend more time on it.
    I love looking at pictures there but usually it gets boring after 3 minutes 😀


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