But, like anything else, there are some elements of swaps that spark disagreements, like privacy vs. participation. I've seen the question discussed many times: should you sign up for a IG-based swap if you have a private account?
I have read through many lengthy comment threads on IG of participants lamenting their ghosty partners and it seems to be a polarizing argument. Private swappers appreciate their privacy and don't want to give it up for a swap, simple enough.
But why would private accounts be a bad thing for swaps?
For starters, if you are participating in a secret swap, you won't be able to view your partner's photos if they have a private account. That throws "stalking" out the window, making it harder to get a clear idea of your partner's style. If you want to view their photos, you must send a Follow Request that they will have to manually approve. Consequently, there is a greater chance your partner will deduce your identity, ruining the "secret" element of surprise.
Second, any swap-related photos a private user tags with the swap hashtag (like #KittyMiniQuiltSwap), will NOT appear under the hashtag feed unless you already have been approved to follow that user. That means if your partner snaps a photo of the lovely package you made for them and tags it with the swap hashtag, only their followers will be able to see it. Anyone who wants to browse the hashtag will never see your pretty swap items or their thankful comments. This may sound a little silly, but I would feel a bit sad that all the hard work I put into a swap package would only be seen by a small group of approved followers beyond my control. I want the joy to be spread far and wide!
I'm not going to pretend to be impartial on this subject, because I do feel that IG-based swaps are social by nature. It's called social media for a reason! Keeping your account private during a swap seems like going to a cocktail party with a bag on your head. However, I'm not saying people who want privacy should be excluded from swaps. I do think we both need to meet in the middle to make swaps enjoyable for everyone.
The easiest solution I think would be for private swappers to create a second, public account to use for swaps. Using a separate account would enable private swappers to maintain their personal privacy while selectively sharing swap-related photos. I think this would be the most simple, inclusive solution.
But what if private users do not adopt the second account approach? Well, if it is an important issue to the swap hosts, they could choose to designate their swap as a "social swap" or a "non-social swap." Social swaps would indicate that participants are expected to be public and active IG users in order to maximize the sense of community. Non-social swaps would release participants from these expectations, meaning you can share as much or as little as you like.
I personally would only want to host social swaps in the future, because I know how "meh" it can feel to be sewing a project for a virtual stranger. It's just not as fun for me, and I don't want other's to go through that if they want a more active, friendly environment.
I want to hear your opinions and thoughts on this subject! If you have a private account, how would you feel about making a public swap account? Have you ever been paired with a private partner? Do you have any other solutions to the issue? I want to know!