Have your Instagram posts disappeared?
Mine too. About 150 of my @cat_on_the_mat_yoga Instagram posts disappeared recently, after I was asked to verify my phone number on the app. And looking at these recent comments posted on an old Preview App article, I’m not alone:
To say I was gutted would be an understatement. Yeah, yeah, I practice yoga and I should know all about the impermanence of everything and end my own suffering by practising non-attachment… But I spent over a YEAR building up my account (starting with a chronological backstory on my yoga teaching career – it was painstaking!). So yes, I was really quite narked. Perhaps not as narked as this yoga teacher had reason to be, however:
Why have our Instagram posts disappeared?
There’s a lot of speculation on why this might be happening again (there were mass incidents of disappearing Instagram posts in 2015, Feb 2017 and Sept 2017). According to the Preview App article I mentioned earlier, which was posted way back in September 2017, it could be down to any of the following:
- Instagram is ‘cleaning up’ and shutting down apps and websites which automatically like, comment, follow or post on your behalf. If you’re using them, you could be suffering from a glitch caused by the clean-up. Or you might being punished (given what’s known as a ‘shadow ban‘) under Instagram’s policy of not allowing anyone to use such tools.
- New features that have been added to the app are ‘shaking up’ your account. This seems feasible, given the huge number of Instagram updates happening right now.
- Instagram could be transferring its database, causing photos and accounts to disappear and reappear.
Another site has more recently reported occurrences of hacking (by Russian bots!), which have lead to all sorts of issues. Perhaps this is also the reason why our Instagram posts disappeared…
“Since the beginning of August, Instagram users have reported a bizarre hack: users will be ‘logged out’ of their account, and once they go to log back in, their username will no longer exist. Their handle will be changed, along with their profile picture, as well as the email and phone number that’s connected to the account, making it impossible to access their information.” – iMore
Instagram itself seems to be in a state of complete denial:
What can I do to get my missing Instagram posts back?
Well for some people (myself included), it’s just a matter of being patient. A few people on the Preview App thread I referred to earlier, which was resurrected following this new wave of Instagram posts disappearing, soon had good news to share:
Like them, I got most of my posts back – but not all. Weirdly, people can still ‘like’ and comment on some of them, such as the one below, but they don’t show up on my account.
View this post on Instagram
Elle pousse! 🌱 Unless I approach you head on, in which case, elle cache! 🙈 . Starting to feel a leeeedle bit cumbersome, but I’m enjoying this belly, especially when it feels all wriggly inside 🐛 . . . #pregnantbelly #pregnantyogi #mrgreedy #potbelly #babybump #23weeks #2ndtrimester #enceinte #grossesse #babyscan #insight #sneakpreview #petitebretonne
For others less fortunate, there doesn’t seem to be a solution. It’s a case of just sucking it up – a bit like Instagram did with your posts.
The silver lining…
There is ONE thing you can do to get your photos back – but let me say now that this won’t result in them magically reappearing on your Instagram account.
It’s very likely that Instagram does still have all your posts stored in its database – and if that’s the case, you can get a zip file full of them sent to your inbox, and then download it onto your computer / storage device. You just need to go to your account settings and request a ‘data download’.
This will no doubt come as a relief to anyone who uses their account to document their personal life. It’s perhaps not such a consolation if you’ve been painstakingly curating an account for business purposes, however.
Stick it to the man!
I did eventually accept that I wasn’t going to get those last few posts back on my account, reminding myself that real life counts for a whole lot more than ‘Instalife’. And I was relieved to have been able to download even the missing ones and store them in a safe place. But there was still a bit of me that was determined to redress the balance somehow. So I simply re-posted my favourites in a new post (see below). It wasn’t a huge act of defiance, but it seemed to close the wound… I hope you find peace, too!
View this post on Instagram
Light comes and light goes… and so, it would seem, do Instagram posts! 😱 . I lost about 150 photos the other day, after verifying my phone number (be careful, it’s a digital jungle out there! 🌴🦂🐆). . I admit, I was gutted – I’ve spent a long time creating this account, and more recently, tracking my pregnancy. Felt really quite narked! 😤 . But after a couple of days, I decided I had to let it go – they’re only photos, after all – I still lived all these moments… . Of course, as soon as I got past my initial fury and started to be reasonable, quite a lot of pics magically reappeared! 💫 . Not all of them though – I think the cosmos knew I was still harbouring some resentment and felt its job wasn’t entirely done! . So anyway, this social media lesson in non-attachment (cheers for that, @Instagram! 🙏) is why I’m posting this little album of seemingly random pics – these are the ones I didn’t get back. . The first one is new, however. I just like how the sun shines in this room, and usually spend a moment absorbing a few beams of light when I catch it like this, before the opportunity passes. ⛅ . . . #itsajungleoutthere #digitaldisaster #instagramfail #lostphotos #gutted #turnitaround #lessoninlife #nonattachment #aparigraha #yamasandniyamas #nothinglastsforever #impermanence #easycomeeasygo #lightanddark #soakitup #repost #justdoit #again #yogapics #yogagirl #yogainspiration #pregnancypics #pregnantyogi #pregnancyjourney #goodlife #healthylife #healthyfood #instagood #picoftheday #allthehashtags
If you’ve experienced this too, and know why my Instagram posts disappeared, along with lots of other people’s, do share! Better still, tell us how to get them back!