How Instagram has changed in the last 10 years!

I am on Instagram for 10 years and it has changed so much. You know what speaks louder than words? Pictures!

Here is my very first Instagram post from August 30, 2013! Nail polish pics were back then a huge thing in the beauty community! This was my favorite nail polish. 18 likes, 2 comments. Haha. Cute.

This is how in 2013 my Instagram feed looked like. We see mostly nail polish swatches, my watches and my cat Schmusie. Most importantly: NOTHING here was sponsored or gifted. That was not a thing in 2013. People would just randomly post whatever they wanted. Just for fun! It was also very easy to get new followers because everyone would follow back! You would get 1000 followers in no time.


This is my Instagram feed in 2014. Still some nail polish pictures and we are starting to see some makeup- flat lays. Nobody would do that today anymore. Way to boring lol. But back then flat lays of things were totally new and the thing! Again: everything pictured are things I purchased myself. Nothing gifted, nothing sponsored! Super authentic. Schmusie (my cat) was still featured as well.


This is my Instagram feed in 2015. The nail game is still strong. A couple fashion post are popping in. This is the first time I see a product featured that was gifted by a company (the hair tool). The pictures start to look a little more professional, but we still see very boring flat lays of products. People would start to play the follow/unfollow game to gain more followers. Annoying!


My Instagram feed in 2016: I am still doing nail pics. I started to actually apply the makeup on my face and show it instead of just flat lays of makeup laying on the table. The flat lays start to look more polished and elegant. Schmusie is still included! Nothing sponsored or gifted- all my purchases. 

At some point during this time Instagram changed the chronological order of the feed and switched to the algorithm-based feed that shows posts it thinks you would be most interested in. EVERYONE- including me- hated that. We lost so much engagement and it was a struggle! 


My Instagram feed in 2017: Alright! I can see here instantly: Instagram has changed. MOST of my posts are PR gifts from companies! This must have been the year that brands understood the value of Instagram and they started sending out the most ridiculous gigantic PR packages. It was so much y'all! The feed looked more polished as we were taught it should look aesthetic and cohesive.


My Instagram feed in 2018: EVERY SINGLE POST is either a PR gift or a sponsored post (meaning I have been paid in cash too).  Octoly (a platform where Influencers could order high end products in return for an Instagram post- today it is called Skeepers) became a huge thing for Influencers. And the word Influencer? Probably was born during that time too. I just grew into this! Ads, ads, ads! White backgrounds were the thing and the whole feed should have a certain vibe.


My Instagram feed in 2019: I see a little more balanced feed of sponsored but also unsponsored posts, a little drizzle of fashion posts and my 2 new cats are presented too! All pictures kind of look like they belong together. We would use Apps to check before posting if it matched the feed. So much work lol. 

During that time so many new beauty content creators came to the platform and gained so fast new followers. There was a ton of cheating. I was pretty pissed because I was here for so many years and these new gals kept popping up and gaining so many followers in such a short amount of time. Instagram was only about promoting products. Everyone and their mom wanted to be in the game.


My Instagram feed in 2020: a lot more fashion posts, a couple of free products but not that crazy anymore like in the past years. Well, it was also the year we hit a pandemic and brands really slowed down sending free stuff. Here and there we started to see more video formats on Instagram- but music was not available yet so the videos were still pretty lame- mostly not vertical yet either. Notice how there are no more flat lays of products and no more nail polish pictures. 


My Instagram feed in 2021: video content and Reels became a big thing in 2021. We would see more videos than still pictures. I remember how some creators were able to use the music library but I wasn't and I felt like that was so unfair. It took a couple of months when the feature was finally available for my account. However, I see a nice balance of unsponsored posts and some sponsored content. It also did not matter anymore if the feed was cohesive or had a certain vibe. The video content made everything look a little less polished but therefor more authentic again.


My Instagram feed in 2022: I focused a lot on fashion hauls here- but they were not sponsored. I see only 2 posts with free PR gifts in this feed! Brands were not crazy anymore with the amount of stuff they would send to Influencers after the pandemic. Reels are taking over! There was a time when Instagram paid also for Reels, so video content exploded in 2022. Almost all my posts are Reels! Fast paced, transitions and such were the new thing.


My Instagram feed in 2023: still a lot of fashion (unsponsored) and I see 2 posts with free PR gifts. I still post a ton of Reels- even though Instagram no longer pays for it. But we are starting to see more still pictures again because Instagram is not "hiding" them anymore.


What a crazy ride y'all! I have to say: I kinda miss the old days, were we would all just post for fun and did not care about how many likes or comments we would get, or if the picture was "Instagram perfect". It is also sad that all the brands prefer Instagram over bloggers with a real website.

Since around 2021 I have gotten rarely any sponsorships on my blog anymore, which used to be a big thing. All the brands care about these days is Instagram. So, I feel like I have to play the Instagram game. Let's talk in 10 years again how Instagram has changed lol. If they are still around....