What is a “Comment Pod?”
Some call it a support group, some call it a comment pod, and a lot of people
call it cheating an authentic engagement. “Comment pods” are just one of the
newer trends that Instagram influencers are using to attempt to boost their
engagement and/or their following.
With Instagram’s ever changing algorithm, influencers are forced to find new
ways to expose their content to new audiences. The concept of a comment pod is a
pretty simple idea. Users post their newest Instagram post in the group, and
each group member must immediately go comment on and/or like the post. The size
of the group can range from a handful, to even thousands- that’s a lot of
The rules don’t stop there. It is common for these comment pods to set strict
rules and standards of the group, if someone chooses not to follow those rules,
they will most likely be banned indefinitely. Some groups even go as far to
mandate each comment made must be a specific number of words.
The whole idea behind comment pods is really geared towards boosting an
influencers engagement rate. With a higher engagement rate, Instagram will pull
that post to the top of their followers feed, and even heighten their exposure
on the explore page. Engagement is something that brands look at closely when
selecting their newest influencers, so it makes sense for these users to want to
boost their rate.
Is it Ethical?
So, one might ask what's the issue with this? These users are simply trying
to help each other in anyway they can. It’s not like these influencers are
paying money for their comments or likes. These are active Instagram users, with
real accounts, and real people behind the screen.
Though their enhanced engagement is coming from real people, it lacks depth and
authenticity. Comments are written based on rules and word counts, not actual
support from their following. The empty compliments and feedback are used to
falsely inflate their engagement rate leading brands to choose these influencers
over others that have grown organically.
The real issue behind generating an unauthentic engagement rate, is that brands
are fooled into thinking their reach is going further than it actually is. If an
influencer is getting the same exact people liking and/or commenting on each
post, its really not being exposed to anyone new. Brands are wasting their hard
earned advertising dollars on influencers who are not really going to influence
anyone at all.
Not to mention that comment pods violate Instagram’s platform
policy, rule 17: “Don't
participate in any "like", "share", "comment" or "follower" exchange programs.”
It’s not worth the risk of one’s Instagram getting taken down after they catch
on. Instagram has a way of tracking links, and can tell where the like came
from, this could lead to them finding the actual comment pod and it could result
in repercussions for every member of the group.
In theory, comment pods seem like a great idea. They act as a way for users to
fight back against the unchronological algorithm that Instagram switched over
to. It combates the issue of their newest post not being shown to everyone in
their following by boosting their post higher on the feed. However, despite pure
intentions, it still creates a false engagement rate. This leads to unwise
investments from brands, and them picking these influences over others who
worked hard to grow and thrive on their own.
Don’t be the cause of a brands wasted money.