Should You Use Filler Images In Your Instagram Feed?

What are filler images on Instagram and should you use them?

What are filler images on Instagram and should you use them?
A filler image I have taken for my feed

I have spent a ridiculous amount of time on Tik Tok during lockdown – I mean lets be honest who hasn’t? My personal favourite has to be Flo trying to fit into her jeans because she is just such a queen. But I saw a Tik Tok video a couple of days ago which kind of inspired this blog post. This is by no means a dishing of that video but it just got me think about the topic of filler images on Instagram. The video basically claimed that if you use filler images you are basically not following the correct methods of being a successful influencer. So I wanted to weigh up whether we should or shouldn’t be using them.

For those who don’t know what a filler image is – its basically a photo that you have taken or have reposted from Pinterest or someone else’s account that will add aesthetic to your feed. I frequently use filler images to add a bit of lifestyle content to my page and to break up all my fashion images. It could be a photo that I have taken on the whim when I have been out somewhere, one which I have planned and shot with my camera, or one that I have reposted from Pinterest. They sit within your feed to tie in an aesthetic.

There is talk to whether filler images are valuable to your Instagram and whether you should use them or not. Some claim that filler images can damage your engagement and insights because they aren’t interactive content. And it’s partially true. Not all filler images will perform the same way as main feed fashion posts might do. But then again this also depends on your demographics.

If your feed is mainly mirror selfie and outfit photos, then posting filler pictures might not perform well as your audience is used to seeing mirror selfies and outfit photos. However if you have a curated and creative feed, with a mix of fashion, filler, lifestyle and creative photography, then filler images might perform better as it will fit more with that creative aesthetic. People might be following you because you have a dark aesthetic and edit to your photos – so if you post a filler image that fits that then it might perform well as its fits in with your theme and what you audience wants to see.

For me, my content is such a variety because I have had chance during lockdown to reevaluate what I want to make. For me, I want to be more creative with my content creation. I want the freedom to be able to take a photo when I am on the go with my phone and post it there and then. But I also want to be able to produce editorial standard pictures and post them. So using filler pictures will help me transition between the both creating an aesthetic.

I am also not worried about my engagement because of that. I have spent a while longing to be able to enjoy creating content without disliking the images a month down the line. And now I am at that stage it has just made me realise how I value being creative on the platform. In turn, this has still paid off and I still work with brands as my main source of income.

And in my opinion, it is totally down to personal preference. I don’t want to sit here and say you should or shouldn’t use them. I spent ages trying to figure out what I wanted to post on Instagram and what value I want to show and what I think might be different to someone else’s idea. In actual fact, I don’t think you will be any less or better off using them. However it depends on what you want to produce. Look at @laurengracelife for example, her feed is a mix of beautiful fashion and filler images. Where as @sallyhildi does mirror selfies of stunning outfits every day. Both are very successful in what they do, yet both create their content differently.

So all in all, if you want to use filler images, don’t be put off using them. Use them to get creative, inspired and produce something that you want to envision. You might not get the likes your selfie did, however it will produce a story in the long run.

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16 responses to “Should You Use Filler Images In Your Instagram Feed?”

  1. glowsteady says:

    I totally agree that it depends on your demographic. And at the end of the day, your feed can be beautifully curated around filler images too. If your filler images are things from your daily life it helps to give a little more insight too, which your audience might love x

  2. loveemblogger says:

    I prefer my images with a filter as it makes all of them look the same. The filter is only a light touch up, but there are some who really change the lighting and colours, making it look a bit funny. When it looks natural, go for it, use a filter, but when it’s wayyy too tanned I’d prefer a blogger/influencer not to use presets

    Em x

    • Emily Clare says:

      I get you! I used to use the same preset (filter) on my images and I decided I wanted a more natural look. Sometimes I will reduce the greens and thats about it!

  3. zoeyolivia says:

    I’d never heard of filler images until now. I don’t use them these days if I’m being honest but I used to screenshot quotes and use them from others accounts, giving them credit of course. x

    Zoey | http://www.zoeyolivia.com

  4. Emily Thorpe says:

    Wow, this is such an interesting discussion that I’ve not really considered (or knew the name of!). I’ll be honest, I used to put so much pressure on myself with Instagram (despite it not being part of my career) and it really ruined my enjoyment of using the app so I promised myself I would just upload whatever the hell I wanted. It makes me sad people not posting what they want because it ruins their ‘aesthetic’ or of fear they won’t get likes.

    Musings & More

    • Emily Clare says:

      Hey Em! I totally get where you are coming from! For me, I was the same sort of. I was posting for the sake of it and I don’t think I was really enjoying what I was posting and was just shooting for the sake of it – sort of became a chore. But for me the fun is creating that aesthetic so it can be seen in so many different ways!

  5. Mica says:

    That is a lovely picture! 🙂 I’m not trying to make a business from Instagram so I just stick with outfit pics – nothing fancy or overly filtered or thought through, just sharing pics 🙂 It’s interesting seeing the care and attention to detail others give to their feeds though 🙂

    Hope that you are having a lovely weekend 🙂

  6. Danielle says:

    I think that it really depends on your feed and the level of engagement with your followers!


  7. Lindsey says:

    Ooh I haven’t really heard of the concept of filler images before (my instagram is poor and desperately needs some work) but sounds really interesting. From this, it seems like if you feel they have a place on your feed, then the chances are that your followers won’t exactly be put off by them if they fit with what you’re trying to do. Really enjoyed this.

  8. Jaya Avendel says:

    I love your thoughts on this, and your fish photo reminds me of the koi in my pond. I do not find myself using filler photos since my feed is all all about poetry, but using other people’s photos is a great way to feature fellow creatives!

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