Tuesday, September 08, 2015


For those who follow me, either on Facebook or Twitter, will know I tend to post my photos through Instagram. For those who don't know, Instagram is mobile app which post pictures so that everybody can search for. I like Instagram more than Twitter in sharing photos, since you can write more than 140 characters - something I find a bit annoying on Twitter. Facebook is fine for sharing photo with friends but if you want a much wider audience, than Instagram is a much better forum.

Like most users, I tend to use Instagram to post photos of holidays and culinary creations. However most of my photos are to promote the dogs I walk at Hong Kong Dog Rescue.

Even though I wax lyrical about Instagram, there are some features and habits which I find annoying:

To the makers of Instagram:
1. Please allow users to post photos from devices other than smartphones/tablets, i.e. computers. Most people will take photos with their digital cameras, because they are superior in quality. It is difficult if these people have to download the photo from the camera to the computer and then transfer the photo from the computer to our mobile device in order to share the picture on Instagram.

Sharing our photos from the computer means we can write much lengthier description of our photos. I don't want to be spending ages writing a description with my mobile device when I can type much faster on a keyboard. Like most users, I had to save a file in my smartphone of all the hashtags I have to use when posting a photo of the Hong Kong Dog Rescue dogs. It would much more faster and convenient if I could do this from my laptop.

2. Please do more to weed out spammers & fake followers. There seems to be millions out there who use Instagram to annoy people. I don't want you to just do the occasional cull. It should be 24/7/365 vigilance. This leads me on to my next group of people

To the spammers, fake follower accounts and "businesses" on Instagram
1. Stop liking my photos, tagging me in your photos or commenting on my photos.

If there are businesses who are just posting photos to advertise their goods, that is fine by me. I follow a lot of dog accounts who buy stuff from companies such as Barkbox. I don't mind users advertising their products (as long as it is not too explicit), just don't shove it in my face.

99% of people of Instagram users just want to see photos, not buy stuff of Instagram. For those spammers who are only liking my photos, tagging me in their photos or commenting on my photos just to peak my interest so that I go to their Instagram account - I will block you and report you. If you like my photo in the personal sense rather than in the business sense, set up a personal account on Instagram rather than using your business account.

For those accounts advertising fake followers - stop it! I'm not here to rack up followers, I just want to share my photos. That is what hashtags are for. I had to cut down the number of hashtags I use for my photos since I notice some hashtags attract these spammers & fake follower accounts.

To the genuine users
1. Please write a description of your photo. I know a picture paints a thousand words but some context will be nice. And just putting emojis is not a description either. Also don't go too overboard on the hashtags. It's annoying that we have to use a lot of hashtags for just one topic. For "dogs" I can use the following hashtags: #dog #dogs #pet #pets #animal #animals. If it is more specific, such as golden retrievers it would be even more: #goldenretriever #goldentretrievers #retriever #retrievers #dog #dogs #pet #pets #animals #animals #golden #furry etc.

2. I would like it if the comments were much more specific. Just saying "nice", "amazing photo" and "that's sweet" just means you are not paying attention to the photo or even the description. I remember one of the photos posted by another Hong Kong Dog Rescue volunteer of one of the dogs with some injuries. One comment by another user just said "Nice!". Obviously that user was either somebody who didn't really look at the photo, read the description or was another of those business accounts.

99% of users are mostly good. It's that 1% of shit which sours the whole crop.