As a social-media-savvy millennial with a particular fondness for Instagram, it’s rare that I come across an Insta-term or trend I’ve never heard. The more the app continues to progress, the more innovative users become in maximizing their engagement and content exposure to ensure the highest potential for likes. The “Instagram pod” is the newest tactic, something I’d never heard of until this morning. So what is it, and further, why is it the newest trend?

What Is It?

An Instagram Pod is essentially a group text over Direct Message. Typically around 15-20 people with similar content and audiences will group together in an attempt to help each other get maximum likes and comments. A while ago Instagram changed its newsfeed algorithm, opting to prioritize content they felt users would most want to see as opposed to showing content in chronological order. This is old news but people are seriously not over it. Apparently this has been detrimental to successful Instagrammers’ popularity, causing them to rake in way less likes than they were previously used to. The Instagram Pod is an attempt to combat this loss.

How Does It Work?

The pods, which tend to be a bit exclusive, are made up by users with common ground. Every time one of the members posts something to their feed, they share it in their chat so that the other members know a new post has gone live. Every member of the pod is then obligated to like and comment on the person’s post, so it gets pushed higher on others’ newsfeeds. The amount of love your post gets a little while after it’s gone up determines how long it stays at the top of the feed, regulating how many likes it could potentially get. With the members of your pod liking and commenting almost immediately after you’ve posted, your chances of success are supposedly exponentially higher.

How Do You Find a Pod?

Though some may be wary of the exclusivity, finding a pod doesn’t seem to be as hard as one would think. There are Facebook groups specifically made for finding a group like “Instagram Comments Pods” or “Instagram Marketing Mastermind Pods” that could be beneficially in finding users like yourself, who you may not have found otherwise. If you know someone already in a pod, you could approach them for help on gaining access to their group. Or better yet, make your own damn pod.

Is It Worth It?

In my opinion, no. While the benefits of having a secure number of initial likes for your posts is tempting, the upkeep involved in giving love to all of the other members of your pod seems incredibly tedious. Say you have 20 members in your pod, all of whom post every single day, that’s 20 posts you are obligated to engage with—it sounds to me like pods turn Instagram into a chore. If Instagram success is your MO then maybe pods are for you, but if you’re a mild user who has seen a slight decrease in likes since the algorithm change and you just want a little boost, there are certainly other, less energy-consuming ways to make it happen.