Instagram, what is it for?

I use instagram to post pictures, I like then to be seen both on my personal account at @rocketdoguk and of course the account linked to this site UKgravelCO I assumed anyone who posts on there with an open account, i.e. not private feels the same. They post pictures for everyone to see.

There are some people who are sponsored and I also assumed that the whole point of tagging your sponsors was to give them something back in the way of publicity. This is what i do with the help i get from Rad 8 Sunglasses, Mudhugger and BeerBabe. I try to spread the fact that the products they produce have been tested by me and are worthy of your attention.

When I repost other people’s pictures on UKgravelCo instagram account I always ask permission and up until two days ago this was done with a brief message on the comments of the repost, typically, “is it ok that i’ve reposted this?” Usually the original poster doesn’t comment even though I tag them in so they get an alert to say their pic has been posted by me. occasionally they reply with a smiley face or a thumbs up etc indicating they are fine with it, they and UKgravelCO get a bit of publicity. Once only someone said they weren’t happy for the repost to be published and that’s fine, I then deleted the picture ASAP.

Then after using a message similar to the above on a repost i got the following direct message (i’ve removed the senders tag as they clearly don’t want any publicity)

So, this person only posts pictures that their sponsors have paid for and doesn’t allow sharing of pictures of their sponsors products. that seems a bit of loss of publicity for them. As far as i could tell from their account they are not a world renowned sports person or celebrity. I guess the nearly 1000 (and growing, yay!) followers of UKgravelCO are not the type of riders that this persons sponsors (and yes they are all bike, gravel and outdoor activity related) want to sell products to. I’m sure that’s not right is it? don’t these companies futures rely on selling stuff to us?

UKgravelCO isn’t a business, the T shirts that you can buy do not bring much revenue, in fact if you buy one I get £2.08 and I’ve sold 4. That money will go towards paying for the next batch of stickers which cost around £45, which as you can see is a bit of a shortfall. What I’m trying to get across is that I wasn’t in this case or any time trying to profit from other peoples work in any way. The point is to promote healthy outdoor pursuits using a bicycle.

I’m a little disheartened by the whole episode I’ll be honest. Since the message, unless the picture is hashtagged UKgravelCO or UKgravelcollective i’ve asked in the picute’s comments if i can repost. This does mean a delay and of the 10 or so pictures I’ve wanted to repost for you to see only half have replied, so only 5 have been reposted.

I’d be interested in hearing your views.

One thought on “Instagram, what is it for?

  1. Hey @ukgravelco – thanks for the posts & blog – I like your content.
    I think the way you handle reposts is open & honest. The polite comment you leave does ask explicit permission, and a non reply does offer implicit acceptance. But by asking permission, I guess it does allow for said instagramer to decline – why they would, I do not know! But there’s always one 😉 If you still feel disheartened, maybe contact the persons sponsors to see how they feel about it? I can’t think of a valid reason they’d be happy. It does seem a bit negative, but the issue lies with them, not you. Maybe they had a bad day? Maybe they are generally selfish. I’d be inclined to file them away in a small category of similar individuals & move on. Don’t let the fuggers get you down. BTW, I have a vinyl cutting machine and a heat-press whereby I can print t-shirts. I can confirm the profit margin isn’t good! So much so I just use it vocationally for producing stuff for family/friends.
    Hopefully I’ll bump into you at the Bikepacking event in Stroud next week. You can vent in person if you like – happy to listen 🙂


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