Instagram’s explore page is a powerful tool for both businesses and people looking for a greater Internet presence. Posts, videos and stories similar to ones you’ve ‘liked’ on your main feed show here as options to explore based on your interests.
If businesses can attract followers to their pages and their posts to generate a lot of likes from their target market, or get posts liked and commented on by popular pages, they’re more likely to show up on people’s explore pages, particularly those in their target market. This can help spread their brand message. You can read more about this here.
For personal users, this is a useful way to find public accounts you might like or even people you might know through mutual friends.
The explore page even lets you search for specific people, a helpful device when looking for a private account that won’t show there unless it’s tagged in a public post.
So if social media is helping us to find people we may know and what interest us, why do people still add those they don’t know?
Perhaps the simplest answer is that we are by nature social creatures with many curiosities. With so much information now so readily available, we have an almost impulsive need to know.
Is this making us too nosey? Or just friendly? After all, everyone’s a stranger until you get to know them, right?
Yeah, we say hesitantly. But it raises disturbing questions about social norms and safety. How well do you have to know someone in real life to add her as a social media friend? Is it strange to add a stranger? Is it safe? Is it foolish? Luckily, those less comfortable with just anyone seeing their accounts without their approval can use privacy settings.
Then there are those who embrace social media’s ability to give them a public presence. Some people even become Internet famous, making it a trend to follow popular pages, even if they don’t know who these people really are. Many believe social media is also a way to connect to circles beyond the ones you have in real life. It’s a global thing from what we see.
The fake followers are another issue. While follow for follows exist as a way for people to mutually gain more followers, some people will only follow you so that you’ll follow them back and then un-follow you after that. This way they increase their page popularity by appearing to have lots of followers without following many people. Not cool.
Whether you choose a private or public social media presence, the important thing to remember is that social media is a convenient way to connect. That’s the main reason it exists, of course, so you and friends, and strangers, can share information, knowledge, ideas and experiences. Social media also exist to make you more aware of others, to learn, to grow and to foster healthy relationships across the net and around the world.