I thought it was important to discuss my experience and everything that has happened in the last 48 hours.
What frustrates me further about Instagram, is its sheer lack of customer service. There is no way you can speak to a real human being, with real feelings and expressions. Instead you have the limitation of preset questions and having to explain yourself to a computer, typing out what has happened, along with evidence that you are a business who is trading and making money. Now here’s the catch. Firstly, the ‘attach file’ option doesn’t work. You have to report your account using a process that is actually corrupted. See Dani Amsalem’s article for more on the shambles that are the Instagram “Help” Center. I have had more support from a training bra.
What’s more, when I followed the awful process of being emailed a code (which took a couple of hours to arrive in my inbox), I had to write the code, my username and my full name on a piece of paper and hold it up in a picture. I had to also make sure my hands were both clearly shown and that my whole face was lit.
For your entertainment I attach said picture. I look like a criminal featuring in my first mugshot. It wasn’t my finest hour and granted I could have got dressed before I took this photo, but I was so upset by the situation that I didn’t care. I wanted them to see just how distraught I was.
|You’ve got to laugh at yourself right|
It’s funny and somewhat educational when I look back at this picture now. This photo demonstrates just how much of a slave I am to social media, in particular, Instagram. Kevin Systrom (Instagram’s CEO) really does have a hold on us all. What’s more, whilst I was posing for my not-so-Insta-worthy mugshot, Systrom was on business in Tokyo, turning a BLIND-EYE to the madness taking place on his social media site. No statement, no apology, no updates. Systrom has and still is being quiet about the scale of this hacking. I am not sure he really cares about the impact this hack has had on brands, bloggers and business globally.
I kept reporting the account as hacked every hour or so, in a bid to bring it back up to the top of the pile of other hacked account reports. It worked! I received a message saying my account had been salvaged. All I had to do was wait for my password to be accepted so I could change it to a new one. I now have full access to my Instagram account. Thank Goodness!
So after this whole ordeal, I have spent the last 48 hours contemplating everything I have worked for. It is so scary how a company like Instagram hold the power over my success, my intellectual property and my brand. I put my full trust in them every single day, sharing exclusive content to my followers and using their app as a platform for my brand.
I feel let down knowing that whilst users (businesses, brands, bloggers, artists among a few) panicked, commenting on forums and on Instagram’s insensitive posts, which were not addressing any issue of a hack, that still nothing was said by the company itself.
I know I am not over the Instagram hype, but a stubborn part of me wants to cut ties completely with the social media site and take my business elsewhere. We will have to see if Systrom and his team can salvage the other accounts affected. I was so close to losing four years of photography, blog content and contacts for good. Some people have unfortunately not been so lucky.
But there are many positives to this situation
I got so many lovely messages and comments, almost as soon as my account was deleted from Instagram. I am so thankful for every message of concern and encouragement. The social media community has really come together to support those who have had their accounts taken from them. I would like to thank @Primalguise for sharing my Instagram handle to his followers and getting my name out there again. I would love it if you gave him a follow. Also check out his blog here.
I have taken this entire experience on board as a major learning curve and I am more determined than ever to post cool content for you guys. This girl is going nowhere!
If you have been affected by the recent hack or know someone who has, please share their handle with the hashtag #BloggersHelpingBloggers and lets get this community of Instagrammer’s back on its feet again.
Stay Safe & Stay Sweet,