Out of all the social media I ever enjoyed, Instagram was my favorite. It’s weird, because I’m more of a writer, but I really enjoyed the simplicity of browsing photos and sharing information in quick small bites. I’ll never forget the day Instagram was sold to Facebook and the founder promised nothing would change. And like in so many acquisitions and mergers, I knew that was a lie. It didn’t take long for Facebook to monetize and make Instagram more invasive, and thats when I stepped away from the product.

Pixelfed is a Fediverse alternative that I’ve been dabbling in for a couple of years now. It reminds me a lot of early Instagram in that there are no ads, no algorithms, and so forth. It’s just people sharing photos in chronological order without the mess that is Facebook’s involvement.

I’ve created five Pixelfed accounts in the past two years. I’ll create an account, experiment for a month and then delete it. The reason for me abandoning it is always the same, there is a major lack of things for me to follow.

Currently, I’m part of the pixelfed.social instance, which is the largest instance. The local feed is dominated by photos of flowers, cats, and hobbyist photographers. Usually when someone new joins that photographs something other than their local landscape, they post ten photos and then abandon the account. There just isn’t enough traction there to make it worthwhile to grow their brand. Which is both a blessing and a curse.

I don’t want to see Pixelfed turn into Instagram where most of the posts are low effort, memes, or advertisements. I’d like to see real people doing real things and people sharing their passions. But at the same time, there needs to be more diversity than just flowers, cats, and landscapes.

For example: I like discussing movies and pop culture. There is almost none of that on Pixelfed. Looking to chat about the latest book release? Good luck finding anyone with a post.

I’m not sure if I’m disappointed or not to be honest. I know that once a proper app is available more people may find their way to Pixelfed and I also know that I really don’t want to see it become the cesspool that is Instagram, but I feel like there has to be a happy medium. There has to be a place with a bit more engagement from non-photographers, but not flooded with influencers.

When I first created my Pixelfed back in May, I used it solely as a place to post screenshots from Red Dead Redemption 2. I enjoyed having an outlet to share these photos as it has become a bit of a hobby of mine. But I realized that all of my thoughts and frustrations about Pixelfed were not helped if I didn’t use the service like I would like to see others use it. So, I scrapped my account, started over, and began using it like I did Instagram back in the day. I post the occasional Red Dead photo, movies I’m watching, random photos of things I run across, and so forth and it’s just another place for me to share my thoughts and passions. There’s not much of an audience for that, but I’m doing my part to help shape the community I’d like to see. Maybe someone else will run across my account and decide to do the same.

You can find my Pixelfed here.

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2 thoughts on “Pixelfed

  1. I have the same problem — it’s hard to “stick” to an PixelFed instance when it’s pretty boring but you make a good point we can try and contribute more. Care to share your PixelFed account for us to follow/check out?

    Ray

    1. Hey Ray,
      Sure, you can find my Pixelfed here. I posted all my old posts this morning but still need to pop back in and update some of the links here on the blog! Thanks for mentioning it!

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