Have You Heard of Instagram Pods?Instagram Pods

Up until recently I had never heard of the term “Instagram Pod”. They’re also known as “Instagram Engagement Groups” – they’re a hack to beating Instagram’s Algorithm in an attempt to get more likes, comments, followers etc.

It all seems pretty hush-hush, which is probably why we’ve never heard of them. If it’s an alien term to you too – then you’re in the right place.

Instagram’s Algorithm Update

Understanding Instagram Pods makes a lot more sense if you know how Instagram’s Algorithm works.

Here’s a quick recap:

Previously the newest post appeared first, but since their update in 2016 users have a completely personalised order for their feed, with what Instagram thinks you care most to see featured at the very top.

To find out more, visit our blog post – Inside Instagram’s Algorithm

Instagram PodsWhat’s an Instagram Pod?

It’s a DM (direct message) group of around 15 / 20 people who are all in a similar industry. For example, fashion or hospitality.

Basically, whenever a member of the group posts something new, they share the post in the DM, and everyone in the group is obliged to like or comment.

By doing so, this allows the post to rise to the top of news feeds so that more people see the post and engage with it.

It’s pretty much the same as personally messaging people / businesses asking them to engage with your post – expect using an Instagram pod saves time. Members are mutually benefited and are in a constant stream of messages informing them of when they’re expected to engage with a post.

Should You Use an Instagram Pod?

Why not? Whilst it does seem a bit extreme, it could be a good marketing tactic if all members are fully committed.

There are benefits …

  • – Increases exposure
  • – Potentially increasing followers
  • – More likes / engagement
  • – Greater brand awareness

Is There a Downside to Instagram Pods?

It depends how you look at it. Some may argue it harms a business’s integrity and is simply cheating the system. Yet others would argue it’s a smart tactic with rewarding results.

The engagement isn’t technically authentic – since businesses will have directly asked for it. It actually violates Instagram’s terms of use too – since participants are tricking the algorithm. But it’s hardly the crime of the century.

How to Find Instagram Pods

They’re on the down-low so finding a group might be hard.

There’s actually a Facebook group for Instagram Pods – not that we condone using it, but if you’re interested look at Instagram Marketing Mastermind PODS

Our Verdict

Instagram PODs aren’t a long-term strategy – you get a boost in engagement but that doesn’t necessarily achieve anything.

How are you supposed to know what engagement could convert into a sale? How are you supposed to know whether your content is interesting potential customers?

How do you review what content is working and what isn’t? Since the engagement you’ve generated is built on trickery?

Pods could be beneficial for initial boost – but it’s completely authentic which isn’t what Instagram marketing is about.

Why not check out our Digital Marketing Terms Glossary?

About the author:

Marie Harwood is a Digital Marketing Assistant at Different Gravy Digital, Hale, Cheshire.

Different Gravy Digital are a full service Digital Marketing Agency operating in the Hospitality & Leisure, Financial Services, Legal & Property sectors. Products and services range from; 3D & 360° Tours, Website Design & Build, Social Media, Video Production, Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), Content Creation, Email Marketing, Online Feedback / Review Systems and Paid Advertising (Google, Bing and Social Media).

Contact Details:


0161 706 000

120a Ashley Road, Hale, Altrincham, Cheshire, WA14 2UN