In this newsletter, I'd like to deviate and talk about Instagram. I thought I'd tell you about how I've felt about Instagram over the years.
Instagram is, without a doubt, my favourite app. It used to, at least. But now... I have mixed feelings. Things have changed significantly. A LOT, in fact. I recall when Instagram was the go-to app for connecting with like-minded people, particularly in photography. Instagram has changed the way we think about mobile photography. And the advancement of photo-app filters is exploding. VSCO is my personal favourite; we interviewed the founder in Musotrees Vol 4 here. 
Instagram allows us to share our passions with people all over the world. It truly bridged the world's gap. I could be wrong, but I believe Instagram was the first to get the world connected in photography and videography. The community is growing like a cult! It could be a photography weekend walk, a group sharing session, or even new hashtags to showcase different work styles such as #soloparking, #tinypeoplebigplaces, #bluronpurpose, or even #ootd. It's liberating to discover that the entire world has its own growing Instagram community.
But those were yesteryear days. It's all about chasing the engagement right now. Everything is algorithmically calculated: the number of views, likes, and followers. It all comes down to choosing between quality and quantity. Unfortunately, quantity prioritises over quality. True, consistency and persistence are critical factors in getting our content seen the most. At the same time, the rapidly growing community that enjoys fun (near-zero)-substance content and ridiculous challenge trends is growing exponentially too.
I was actually conducting a small experiment on my personal Instagram account, @kerolizwan. I try to assess how this engagement will affect me personally. Disclaimer: I'm not a public figure or a celebrity. My findings may differ from yours. But here's what I've learned from this experiment. In my defence, we're on the Instagram platform for a variety of reasons. Whatever you believe for, I respect it. You do what you want.
I've been posting primarily on Reels for the past week. I try not to post via Stories. The obvious results were that my views increased nearly 200% in a short period of time, including new views from non-followers, which eventually led to new followers. Posting on Stories is more common; of course, this solely means for your own followers' view, or 'close friends' on occasion.
You can tell from this simple rule that Instagram encourages us to post more on Reels. The short lifespan of Reels causes us to spend more time looking at screens. After one reel, you continue to browse. The last thing you realised was that you had spent hours just browsing random Reels from strangers! 
Here are some of my inferences and conclusions:
1. It's all about quantity rather than quality. My conclusion: Don't be too concerned with looking good or flawless in your editing. People will like it if they like it.
2. Reels help you in engaging with multiple angles. They could be potential customers if you own a business. Which is good, especially to creating the awareness.
3. Music may or may not be beneficial. Viral music may aid you in engaging more viewers. Some hipster indie music may lead you to the right niche community, if you will. In my case, I stopped adding music to my reels. No personal reasons, just because. 
4. Sharing Stories through Reels never worked. This is because Instagram wants us to use Stories and Reels independently. Again, the more time you spend on the app, the more engaged you will be. Choose your battle.
5. Captions that promote or advertise your business will always receive fewer views. A straightforward binary. They want you to pay for the ads in order to get more views. 
This is solely my personal opinion. Your results would have been different. It's fine if you disagree. But I hope this brief has helped you decide where and how you want to be present on social media. As I previously stated, you do you.
Speaking of which, have you followed @musotrees or @kerolizwan? If yes, thank you. If you haven't, it's fine. All good.
Happy Merdeka to all Malaysian. Take care now.

Anyway, we're happy to extend the 30% off for another two days. Purchase today until September 2nd to take advantage of our discount. The offer is valid for all Musotrees issues. There is no code required. Enjoy!
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