By Samandra

Instagram POD Rules

20 Aug 2018

IG Pod Rules (last update September 25, 2020)

INTRO: READ THE RULES

Although this should be something that everyone should do, often people skip reading it, and later ask the same questions in the chat group that are answered here. This rules page is to save both our time and to help the pod run smoothly. If you ask/comment anything on the group chat, or privately to me, that can be answered by reading this page, you will get a warning. So please, read this.

What is this group intended to do?

This is a group for people who are interested in increasing their Instagram engagement by interacting with others who are in this group.

Do I need to pay to be in?

No, and you will never be requested to pay anything to be part of this group. It’s free for all.

Who are the Admins?

It’s me, Samandra @samandravieira/@samijphotographer with co-admins Lucy @lucybphotography, Jillie @jilliesfilms, Cece @cascphoto and Teane @TeaneMoungaPhotography

You can ask us anything, anytime. But please read the rules first to not ask things that are answered here (questions that are answered here are not going to be replied, and a warning will be set).


This rule page may look like a lot of information, but trust me, this is one of the easiest pods that you will ever join. Rules were created to make sure that people follow what’s expected, and I decided to create this page so I don’t need to explain it over and over again when new people are added.


1. NEW PEOPLE

If you join a round for the first time ever, you won’t be punished in your first week if you do something wrong, so you can learn how things work. Just comment “newbie” (when you drop your link) by your name when you join a round for the first time. If you don’t add the “newbie”  and you make a mistake, you will get a warning. So please make sure to add this!

You will see that most pod members have their @ in their name on Telegram (for example: “Lucy B. (@lucybphotography)”. Please do this when you join the pod as well. It helps the round leaders keep track of who has participated. BUT if you use Telegram for other things and don’t want to have your handle in your name, please include your handle any time you post your “done.” (Ex: “Done @lucybphotography). If you need help figuring out how to edit your name, just ask!


2. HOW DOES IT WORK?

Join the Groups

First of all, be sure to be added to BOTH groups.

CHAT: https://t.me/joinchat/H3tsrxFOO1aMMm-ncX7L5A

ROUNDS: https://t.me/joinchat/H3tsrxKA87m6-EU8sgLztg

Keep all the conversation on the chat group, and all the rounds issues on the round group. The only things in the rounds group should be: next day’s round time, your IG link, the round list, your “done”, and warnings (issued by admins). Please make sure to address any other thing on the chat group to avoid a warning.

What’s a round?

It’s the time that you will be dropping your IG handle to comment/like and get it back from others who join this round. Time varies according to the person that’s leading the round that day. Make sure to check the rounds group, or leave the notifications on to know when it will happen.

Which days and what time do rounds happen?

Days: We have rounds Monday-Saturdays. There are no rounds on Sundays. Although, if you have posted on Sunday, in Monday rounds you can receive comment in your last two pictures. Just follow the instructions at the round message. Example:

MONDAY ROUND

(If you posted something yesterday, put both your links *in the same message*, and when you are done, comment “done 2”)

Time: It all depends on the person who will be leading the round. But it always happens sometime between 11 am – 4 pm MST. Because time varies, it’s recommended to not mute the rounds group so you can know when it happens. If you decide to mute and end up missing a round, that’s your decision and we can’t do anything.

Also please note, round leaders often do the same time every week, but they are not required to and they sometimes need to change it. If you miss rounds because you assumed the time, that is not the leader’s fault.

What should I do when it’s round time?

Just follow the instructions that the round leader posts. But generally: round 1 will announce for you to drop your handle in the next 30 minutes. Round 2 will announce to begin liking/commenting. You will have 1 hour to do so and send a “done”, UNLESS there are 15+ participants, then it will be 90 minutes.

This is an example of how the instructions look:

-Part 1: ROUNDS ARE OPEN!

  • Post the link that you want to get engagement on
  • REMOVE all the text after the “/” and remove the thumbnail
  • “Like” and comment on each person’s latest post with 4+ words, not just emojis! No copy and pasting, please. Be sure if the account is personal, photographer, or another type and comment accordingly.
  • You can engage with the pics as people are dropping them

You have now until Xpm MST to drop and to comment here “done” when when you finish all the accounts. Do not comment done until the round leader has posted that rounds are closed.

For any questions regarding the rules, they may be found here: bit.ly/saminstapodrules

-Part 2

Rounds are now closed. You have until Xpm MST to comment “done.”

I have more than one account, can I drop more than one link?

You can drop as many as you want as long you have a curated/pleasing look in those accounts, and you will be able to comment from each account a different/genuine comment, WITHIN the given rounds time. You are basically commenting as many times as the number of links you drop.

Who are the current round leaders?

Monday: Stormy @stormypetersonphotography

Tuesday: Sienna @siennaplusjosh

Wednesday: Cassy @cassyvphoto

Thursday: Samantha @samanthawebberphotography

Friday: Leslie @lesliejoyphotography

Saturday: open day to anyone who wants to lead the round — please make sure to follow the same rules that round leaders follow although you don’t get the same perks for doing that.

Can I drop my link for rounds when it’s not the rounds time?

Nope. You have to be active and able to participate in order to join. Exceptions apply. See below.

Not even if in that day the round is going happen when it’s my nap time/doctor’s appoint./when I’ll be driving..?

No. Even if you have a fair reason. The only exceptions are the ones listed below (under #4). If I end up having more “fair reason exceptions” everyone would find one and this would become a mess. Which we don’t want it to be.

Why do I need to say ‘done’ at the given time?

This is a way for us to know that you have commented on everybody’s account. If you forget to comment ‘done’ after the time, you will be breaking the rules and you will be receive a warning.

This is a way to be sure that all of you will be giving and receiving the comments and likes.

What if I comment “done” before commenting?

You should comment after you are actually done. Commenting “done” before is a warning.

Can I start commenting on people’s posts before Round 2 starts?

Yes, because of the “links” system (instead of dropping handles), everyone’s posts are up when they send the link. So you are able to start interacting as soon as you see others’ links.

I missed rounds! Is there some way to still get likes and comments?

Sure! If you missed rounds, you can always drop your link in the chat group, saying “I missed rounds, I’d love to trade!” Then whoever wants to can interact with your post, and you should interact with their latest post as well as a courtesy.

DO NOT ask for a trade before rounds happen. Only do this if you have missed rounds that day.

Oops! I accidentally interacted from my personal account instead of the account I dropped. What do I do?

That’s okay! No need to do it over. As long as everyone got interaction on time from you from somewhere, and you got interaction on the account you dropped.


3. LATE DONE PERK:

Because life happens, and someday you won’t be able to comment in all accounts on the given time, you will be allowed to have one late done per month. If you have more than one late done, all the other ones will be a warning. You will have 3 extra hours to comment done after the time that people were supposed to be done. Ex: if 4:30pm was the time that people should be done, you will have until 7:30pm to comment a late ‘done’.


4. EARLY DROP EXCEPTIONS

Timezone: If you live in a country that the time zone would make it hard for you to comment at the regular round time (Europe, Asia, Australia, etc.), you are allowed to drop your link in the round group requesting to have your account added to the next round. You will have to comment as soon as possible after waking up and say ‘done’ in the rounds group.

Work: If you have a job that you’re not allowed AT ALL to use your phone, message me privately and we will figure out things.


5. FOLLOW/LIKE/COMMENT

Should I follow, like, and comment?

Yes, you should follow the people that you comment on that are in the group, leave a comment and like on the last picture that they have shared.

If you don’t follow them, or forget to like or comment, you will be breaking the rules. However, sometimes you just miss someone on accident (or someone may miss you). In these situations, calmly and kindly call them out in the chat group and ask them to correct it. If they/you correct it before the next day, it will be excused. (NOTE: Admins do not need to follow anyone back, so do not call out admins if you notice they aren’t following you.)

Can I comment on people’s picture if I am in timeout?

People who are in timeout can’t drop their link when it’s round time, but you are free to comment/like as you wish. Others aren’t required to reciprocate if they don’t want to. You’re welcome to ask to trade comments as well in the chats group.

Can I unfollow them right after I have interacted in their account?

DO NOT unfollow someone after rounds. If you’ve been in rounds together, you need to continue following them unless they/you leave the pod. You may, however, mute accounts if you wish.

How are you going to know if they don’t follow me?

It’s your job to check if people are following you. You can use apps such as Cleaner, Followers, to see if the people you follow are following you.

What should I do if I spot someone that’s not following me, or who missed liking/commenting on my post?

Message on the group chat and tag the person by typing “@” followed by their name. Tell them what they need to correct. The person will have until the end of the day to correct it. If they don’t correct it, leave a message again on the chat group reporting that by tagging an admin, and we will issue the warning.

If they don’t follow, or they unfollow me, should I do the same?

No. Follow the rules and you won’t get warned. If they don’t do that, they will be the ones to get the warning, not you.

Do I need to follow everyone that are in this POD or just the people that join the same round as me?

You just have to follow ALL the people that join the same round as you. Meaning that if end up never joining the same round as X person, you won’t need to follow X person.

Why do I need to follow these accounts?

You commenting often on someone’s Instagram without following can set a flag for IG to understand that it’s a pod. As IG is unpredictable and I don’t want us to be shadow banned, that’s now part of the rules.

If I don’t like the content of accounts I have to follow, can I mute them?

Yes, you can mute them.


6. EXCEPTIONS TO COMMENT/LIKE:

Someone posted something that contradicts my morals, religious or political views, which I don’t agree and I don’t support. What should I do?

First of all, this pod is about love and support. If someone has posted something that contradicts things that are core to your beliefs, and which you don’t feel comfortable being part of it, know that I totally get it!

Situations & Solutions:

A. The caption and image talk about the same thing: you don’t need to “like”, comment, or do any action in this post. Simply message me first explaining your reasonings, and then message the person privately explaining them too. Both of you won’t need to interact with each other posts. No warnings will be set if followed these steps.

B. The caption or the image don’t “talk” about the same thing: if the image doesn’t support the idea of what’s being said in the post, you can just comment about the picture, and ignore what’s being said. If the caption doesn’t say the same as the image, comment about the caption and ignores the picture.

C. Examples: You don’t have to comment on something that talks entirely about God if you’re atheist, you don’t have to comment on something that supports abortion, LGBT, and political choices if you strongly don’t agree with that.

“If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” I rather do this than just have you comment something that’s not true to you (remember that being genuine is a rule?), or say something back that can cause conflicts.


7. OTHER QUESTIONS

What should I do if a round leader isn’t able to run a round and asks for help?

If you’re able to lead, lead it! Leading a round is less scary than you might think. It helps to serve others just as you have been served. If you decide to lead, make sure to read the “round leader” section to know how it works and what’s required for you to do.

After the round leader has posted asking for help, you have a 5-hour window to offer help. If help is not found in the next five hours, the leader asking for help doesn’t need to take any action, the supposed round won’t happen, and people won’t be allowed to ask for comments.

PLEASE NOTE: If a round leader is unable to do their day and no one volunteers, there will be no rounds that day AND you cannot send your link to the chat group for interaction. We need to be helping each other out in this group! If no one is willing to step up for a day, then no one gets a like/comment that day.

I enjoy some drama and I like to shake things up anywhere I go. Can I add some drama here?

DEFINITELY NOT. People who cause drama are not a good fit for this group, and I will be banning all drama-starters that show up here. Don’t assume things, don’t say rude things, don’t say what you wouldn’t like to hear or that other people would read about you.

What if I don’t like the rules of this group?

I accept suggestions but if I decline, please respect it and move on. Have any questions? Come to talk to me. Message me PRIVATELY to make suggestions.

The rules of the group won’t change to fit your personal preferences. In this case, you should just create a group for yourself and set your rules.

I want the rounds time at the time that works best for my IG engagement.

We have people here from all over the place so it can’t really be customized for one individual’s engagement time. If you are posting good content consistently and getting engagement, it should be at the top of people’s feed. But if you really want to always have rounds during peak engagement, you could join another pod with people all in the same time zone.

Can I invite people to join the group?

I love to add more people. For that, send me their IG @ and I will let you know if you can add them. Don’t add anyone to the group before messaging me! If you do, they are going to be removed from the group and not be considered to join even if you message me.

Have in mind that I’m very selective of who I let to join the group. Make sure they have an aesthetically pleasing account, with a consistent work (not work mixed with iPhone selfies). If you’re in doubt, just message me anyways with their IG @.


8. CONSEQUENCES FOR BREAKING THE RULES

I realized that over the time I get connected to you and it’s hard for me to ban people. Although to have an organized and functional group, it’s important to follow the rules.

-Warning: If you break the rules for the first time.

-2 week timeout: if it happens for the second time.

-3 week timeout: if it happens for the third time.

-BAN: if it happens for the fourth time.

Check the warning list here to see if your name is in there. Important: I can see the editing history, so make sure to not modify anything in there without my consent. That would lead to a ban.

You should repair the things that are repairable (Saying done, Commenting, liking pictures, following others, etc.) before joining a new round, otherwise, it’s a ban.


9. BAN

If I get banned that means that I will never be able to join the group again?

People are banned when they don’t follow the rules and don’t work to repair. Those who are banned will be added to a “banned list” and won’t be able to join the group ever again. See below for the only exception.

Can I join the group again if I get removed from the group for using all my warnings opportunities?

You will be able to join the group again by paying a $20 fee to the admin, and you will start again in the group with no past penalties accumulated.

Why should I pay a fee to join the group again? Didn’t you say that it’s free?

Although I gain comments + likes (something that you all gain too) from this group, I don’t gain anything else from this. If being part of this group can be difficult sometimes, being the admin is EVEN MORE DIFFICULT.

Even on times that I’m not joining a round or leading it, I keep an eye on here to make sure that things work smoothly. I also took the time to add each of you, reply to many of the questions that come up, and keep this working great. I’m happy for doing it, but when people don’t follow the rules it takes much more of my time, and as a way to make things work I need to be the bad cop otherwise this group would turn into a madhouse — and even though it’s hard when the rules are against us, I’m sure everyone enjoys an organized and functional group.

This will also help you to be more aware of the rules and not breaking them, which will be great not only for me but for all the others that are part of this group.

The group will always be free unless you get banned for breaking too many rules.


10. PERKS

Round Leaders:

If you are a constant round leader, meaning that you have a set day every week that you will be leading a round, you will get these perks:

  • You may interact late to the accounts once a week (not cumulative). If you interact late more than once a week, you will be breaking the rules.
  • You may drop your link early once/week
  • Round leaders do not have to interact (i.e. like and comment) with the other accounts if they drop their link on the day they lead. They do have to interact any other day of the week.
  • Round leaders may drop 2 links any day of the week if they wish.

However, round leaders do still get warnings and timeouts the same as other members.

Admins:

Running this group can be a lot of work and requires a lot of attention. Therefore, we get the nicest perks.

  • PLEASE NOTE: You must follow all the admins (listed at the top of this page) as soon as you join the pod, but we are not required to follow anyone back. If you notice an admin is not following you back, do not call them out for it, as they are not required to. Since this is clearly here in the rules page, you will get a warning if you do this.
  • We can join rounds but we do not have to interact with the other posts, though the other participants must still interact with us.
  • We can drop our links early for rounds and post “done” late if we need to.
  • We can drop 2 links if we wish.
  • We don’t get warnings.

Why won’t you guys be punished?

I (Samandra) started this group by inviting people, which took a lot of time: adding people, creating the rules, coordinating it all.

Later, I added Lucy, Cece Jillie, and Teane as co-admins to share the workload. Although we have people to lead the rounds, we keep an eye in the group even when we don’t join rounds. Meaning that anyone who wants to take a month break from their phones would be able to mute this group and not receive notifications, but we are constantly checking the group to make sure that things are working smoothly.

We don’t earn anything from this, apart from the same things that each of you also earns: comments and likes. So I think it’s fair that since we have to be constantly in here, we get extra perks.

Are you accepting new co-admins?

Not at the moment. I will announce if I am looking for a new one.

I’m an admin. What should I do if on a certain week, I can’t be attentive in the group on one of my days?

Please ask another admin in advance to trade days for that week! If you fail to do this, then as a punishment, you’ll need to cover another randomly selected day the next week.


11. ROUND LEADERS

You will be required to check in the day that you lead if others have followed the rules. You will have to check the amount of link drops, and the corresponding “dones”, and the time that the “done” was posted. If you think that I should set a warning to any of these cases, please message the Round Leaders group to report by sending a screenshot, the name of the person, and which rule was broken. If everyone did rounds correctly, still please let the Round Leader group know that everyone was on time.

You will be required to post the day before, or no later than 9:30am MST on the day of your rounds, the time that you’re planning to lead rounds. Post the time in the rounds group so that it is easy to find (things get lost easily in the chat group). If you end up changing the time, please inform people as soon as you can so they can plan the time to post. People rely on this group to make their posts, so please be considerate and keep us informed.

As for early droppers, please be sure to copy and paste their links back into the rounds group after rounds begin, to be sure that they are included in rounds.

Please also inform the group as soon as possible if you are unable to lead your rounds on a given week. That is totally fine if you’re unable once in a while, but we need to know so we can find a one-time replacement.

If you don’t post the time that you’re planning to lead, don’t update about time changes, and don’t report to the round leader group, it will be a warning. Two of those, you lose your leading day.

Can I volunteer?

Totally! All 5 days of the work week are spoken for now, but sometimes people can’t do it anymore and we need a new leader. Also, always feel free to lead a round on Saturday!

Can I lead more than a day?

I prefer to have a person per day, but in case there is a need to help you’re welcome to lead an extra day.

Do I earn extra benefits for leading an extra day?

No.

What if I’m unable to lead on my designated day?

Post on the chat group asking someone to sub for you, OR ask to trade days that week in the round leader group. If you don’t give notice, you will get a warning. You don’t need to personally message me about it, posting on the chats group should be enough.

What if I just disappear and don’t give notice that I won’t be able to lead?

You will lose your set day, and you will get a warning.

Do I need to lead rounds on National holidays (New Years, Christmas, other that’s important to you)?

No, but please let people know if you decide to not lead on a certain holiday.