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I Went Viral on Instagram, but Sometimes I Wish I Didn't

My Viral Video Experience and Regret

By KristinaPublished 2 years ago 4 min read
Top Story - August 2022
I Went Viral on Instagram, but Sometimes I Wish I Didn't
Photo by Adem AY on Unsplash

I remember pressing the share button for my first Instagram Reel; it was July 18th, 2021, and I was nervous because I had never filmed a painting video before.

With Instagram changing its platform to match TikTok, the algorithm began favoring videos instead of photos. So, I became stuck; I wanted to keep sharing pictures of my art because I felt recording would take away the beauty and joy of the process.

However, I wanted to reach out and create a larger community of people who enjoyed seeing my art and behind the scenes.

Unfortunately, I knew only sharing photos would limit my growth on social media.

Before I Went Viral

By dusan jovic on Unsplash

After I posted my first reel, I started to enjoy posting my painting process. Although I had no clue what I was doing, I liked being able to reach a larger audience and engage more with other artists.

For months, I continued posting reels and only posted photos once in a while. I began understanding why videos were so popular; people raved about how they gained more followers and engagement when they started posting them.

But I did not notice a big difference in my growth; my account was stagnant. Even though I was making new artist friends and interacting more with my followers, my account was not growing. I kept questioning whether I was doing something wrong.

So, I learned more about hashtags, video editing, and filming techniques, but nothing seemed to change.

I even tried different art styles and used trending sounds on Instagram to boost my videos, but once again, my account was not growing.

Eventually, I became frustrated and started creating inspiring and motivating reels that did not align with the purpose of my account; this is when I went viral.

The Viral Instagram Reel

I posted my viral Instagram Reel on October 12th, 2021; it was a cold, rainy autumn day. I was starting to develop a posting schedule for myself, but I did not have anything planned. So, instead of painting some colorful fall landscapes or spooky Halloween art, I created a short reel with a sweet, motivational sound that served more as a reminder.

The sound stated,

"I'm going to make a beautiful life for myself. I deserve it."

I began filming short clips around my house and outside to create an aesthetic-looking video; this process took about 5 minutes. Afterward, I sat on my couch, warmed up, and edited the video. Again, this process only took me another 5 to 10 minutes. Once I added an autumn-colored filter and caption, I posted the video.

I know what you are thinking; it does not sound like an extravagant process. Because, in reality, it was not an over-the-top process at all. My viral Instagram Reel took me 15 minutes to create and a minute to post. However, I should clarify that the video did not go viral overnight. Instead, the likes, comments, and views grew over a month after posting.

Currently, my video stands at 3.8 million views with over 200,000 likes and 100 comments.

The Mistakes I Made

By Towfiqu barbhuiya on Unsplash

Weeks after I posted my video, my phone was constantly lighting up; every time I went on Instagram, the view count grew higher and higher. For a moment, the excitement of going viral flowed throughout my body. But this feeling soon changed to nervousness and regret.

The first mistake I made was not crediting myself. Moreover, I never put my username in the video as a watermark for myself. So, as my reel went viral, I received messages from friends and family showing me other users saving and reposting my video as their own; I found 3 Instagram accounts that stole my video. Although the users kindly removed my video from their page, the thought of people stealing my content lurks in my head.

The second and largest mistake was posting the video without clips of myself painting or making art. Specifically, my viral video never showed anything that had to do with my account. I am a painter and a poet, but I did not show that; I did not show my talents. My viral video and its sounds served as a reminder or affirmation.

So, from what I assume, thousands of people followed me, expecting more content similar to the video. Except, I quickly learned that it had nothing to do with my account and that I posted that video with zero purposes. Soon, my followers realized this as well.

My account went from a stagnant 500 followers to 3,000 over a month. Today, I have lost hundreds, and at first, I was upset. But I realized this could be a good thing.

My Final Regret

By Brett Jordan on Unsplash

Although I am appreciative of this opportunity, I slightly regret going viral. Mainly, I regret not making my video align more with what I usually post. As a painter and poet, I publish colorful, creative, and heartfelt art and poetry. But my viral video did not match my account and usual content; this resulted in thousands of followers who may have expected these types of videos all the time.

I wish I could have gone viral for my poetry or paintings.

I wish the millions of people who saw my viral video saw my creativity and talent.

I wish my video went viral for the right reasons.

While I still have moments of regret, I am grateful for this entire experience. Going viral on Instagram catapulted my account to grow and transform into what it is today.

I know many people wish to go viral on social media because there are many benefits to being noticed, especially as an artist or writer.

But please take my advice: create every video or post with a purpose and goal.

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About the Creator


Hello! I'm Kristina or @quietvisualmind. I'm a published poet, writer, and self-taught artist. I also hold a BA in English with an Emphasis in Professional Writing. Welcome to my mind!

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Comments (13)

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  • Kayleigh Fraser ✨11 months ago

    This was super interesting. For me my viral Instagram video resulted in my being pushed by Sri Lankan authorities, having my passport seized and losing everything in my life for what’s been almost a full year now. It always could be worse!!!

  • Chika Okekeabout a year ago


  • Chua Yuan Hengabout a year ago

    Great inspiration and motivation for us all to work harder.

  • Hearted and subscribed❤️

  • Kamran Mehmood 2 years ago

    Inspiring yet amazing to know the viral with mixed regret journey Hope you will not repeat these mistakes and hope you will again keep the momentum of virals

  • Thanks for sharing. I have had my platform with IG for a while with my current business. I'm starting over due to me not crediting myself properly as well. Lesson learned, I know this time will be much better. The advice is very helpful.

  • Lu Na Ba2 years ago

    Thank you for sharing, great write up!

  • This comment has been deleted

  • Kendra Marya2 years ago

    Thanks for sharing what you learned. I think I would have easily made the same mistake.

  • Kali Mailhot2 years ago

    Being flexible is an aspect of strong creativity. In no time something will happen that represents you, I’m sure. Remember the drive that brought you to your viral video and remain fearless.

  • Lady Bt2 years ago

    I think lightning can strike twice, despite what they say! You're a creative and you are still a being that creates! You learn from failures, yes, but also it was an experience that you valued at the time and that others still do! Perhaps it's just preparing you on what to change for the future :)

  • Maervel2 years ago

    But you still went viral, congratulations!! I wish you many many more followers. YouTube is an awesome place for artists as well and you can do a twist by adding one of your recited poems as a voice over to the painting video. That would be really nice. All the best Kristina.

  • animetipz2 years ago

    Personally I have never gone viral. The thought terrifies me. But it sounds like you’ve learned from this experience and are ready to grow from it. Thank you for so much sharing your experience so we can also learn♥️ I hope one of your art pieces goes viral next

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