An Instagram bot (or growth service, as some people call it) automates your account’s interactions (follows/likes/comments/DMs) so you can appear on many more people’s activity feeds. This increases the number of times your username is seen, which in turn, increases your profile visits, followers, and website clicks.
(This video explains the typical process in which an Instagram bot helps grow an account.)
An account with great content and the correct automation targets and guidelines will generate interactions that are likely to be perceived as organic and translate into profile visits, which will not be flagged by Instagram (you can learn how to do that here).
On the other hand, an account with uninspiring content that has badly automated targets and guidelines will interact with people who will find the activity inorganic and consider it a “spammy bot”. We’ve all received these annoying automated interactions and know how they generate an unpleasant user experience.
It’s because of the proliferation of these badly automated bots that Instagram closed down a bunch of well-known automation services in 2017, as well as recently announced its efforts to reduce inauthentic activity on the app. Long story short, they are cracking down on accounts who use bots that are perceived as spammy by the community, as well as accounts who buy followers, likes, and comments at scale.
How Does Instagram Crack Down on “Bots”?
Currently (this section of the article is constantly updated — the last update was on September 25th, 2019), Instagram cracking down on bots by using three techniques.
1. They send you a push notification telling you that they are removing “inauthentic” Likes and Follows they identified were generated by a third party app.They send you a push notification saying that your account information is compromised because you shared it with a third party.
2. They send you a notification to encourage users to change their passwords, which will disconnect them from the third party services so the interaction automation stops — not because their information is actually compromised.
3. They send you a push notification telling you that you’re using a service that helps you get likes and followers and they block your account from interacting for a specific time period. In this case, it’s usually because you’re using an automation service that isn’t safe (more on that below) or because you’re automating your likes in a spammy way (read this article about how to automate an Instagram bot that isn’t spammy to learn how to do automate in a way that is unlikely to be noticed). If this happens to you, don’t panic, stop trying to interact, and either change your automation provider or program your interactions at a much slower rate. The block will go away in the time specified in the notification (usually one week) and you’ll be able to continue interacting.
(The truth is that the likelihood of your information being compromised through a third-party Instagram app, like a bot, is the same as it being compromised through in any other app (they are both types of businesses whose long term survival depends on keeping your information safe). Also, Instagram doesn’t take any other action other than sending you the notification and sometimes removing those)
Because you are always at risk of getting these notifications when you’re automating interactions it is best to always be safe and use the safest service out there, and believe me, there are definitely some bot services out there that are much safer and more professional than others.
What Features To Look For When Choosing An Instagram Automation Software That Will Keep Your Account Safe:
I’ve spent a lot of time testing a bunch of the automation out there, and from experience, there are a few essential features you need to look for when choosing a safe bot. Here are the most important ones:
Automated activity speeds: Instagram has limits for the number of times an account can perform an activity (follow, like, comment, DM) within an hour before being flagged as spammy (for example, 200 follows in an hour). If you don’t know what those limits are, and you’re personally automating the activity speeds of your bot, you’re putting your account at risk. Instagram keeps those limits secret from the general public, but the teams behind the best automation software see it as part of their jobs to figure out what Instagram’s activity limits are and make sure their customers don’t go over them (if their customers are flagged as spammy, they lose customers and money). That’s why you should always use a software that has inbuilt activity speeds which are regulated for you automatically to make sure your account doesn’t go over Instagram’s limits. The automation providers who don’t have this functionality aren’t going through the trouble of putting in the work to keep your account safe from being flagged and I wouldn’t recommend using them.
Free VPN purchase and set up for your account: Another way Instagram flags spammy or inauthentic accounts is through their the IP addresses. Instagram prevents some accounts from making actions (likes, follows) because automation services log in your account in using an IP address and location different than yours. If you keep using your account frequently from your phone while also having an automation service do interactions from a different IP, Instagram is much more likely to flag you. If your automation service provider doesn't offer a unique proxy when you sign up, you are much more likely to be flagged by Instagram. Don’t take that risk and make sure the bot service you choose is offers a proxy.
If you’ve never heard about a proxy (or VPN), here’s a guide to understanding how they work. It seems complicated, but it’s not. If you’re looking for a good proxy, Luminati has an Instagram-specific proxy that gets the best results for most people, as of now.
A reliable and committed team that cares about good customer service: It’s actually not that hard to start a new Instagram automation software company if you know what you’re doing. That’s why there’s a bunch of new ones popping up and going under all the time. You don’t want to put your information at risk by choosing a new automation software that is likely to stop working 2 months into use. So to make sure you’re in good hands, I’d recommend you chose software providers that have a long and proven track record, as well as a responsive and helpful customer service team.
If the software provider you’re considering doesn’t offer personalized customer service, it's unlikely they will help you troubleshoot any issues that are bound to happen down the line…
The Most Effective and Safest Instagram Bot Services:
Now that you know what are the features you should be looking for, below are the automation software services I’ve tested that not only have the features mentioned above but will also likely generate the fastest growth:
(Btw, I change this portion of the article frequently because Instagram changes all the time and this influences which services are the most effective. Currently, Instagram has implemented new changes that most automation providers have not been able to adapt to. This means that most bot providers might malfunction or simply not provide results. If your current bot provider isn’t working for you, make sure to check back here for updates on the latest automation software I’m trying. Also, if you try a bot provider and it doesn’t work, I’d recommend that you continue trying new ones until you find one that works for you. Different bot providers will work for different accounts. The last update was September 25th, 2019)
1. The Most Effective If You Don’t Know How To Set Up A Bot:
Software: Social Sensei.
Price: Starts at $45 p/month.
Has automated activity speeds: Yes, they manage every single step of the automation process for you, and that includes making sure your account is running on the most effective activity speeds that will keep it safe from being flagged.
Has free proxy purchase and setup: Yes, they set you up with your own unique proxy when you sign up.
Why it’s effective and safe: The founders of Social Sensei know that learning how to automate an Instagram bot effectively is hard and time-consuming for the average Instagram user. For that reason, they assign you a dedicated Instagram expert that manages every single step of the process for you, so you don’t have to. To get started, all you need is a list of the hashtags and accounts that you want to set as your automation targets and they’ll literally manage everything else. The results you get will still depend on how good your Instagram content and automation targets are, but in most cases, I’ve seen average accounts get anywhere between 500–1000 new followers p/month with Social Sensei (most people can’t achieve that growth if they don’t know how to properly automate a bot).
Runners Up: Upleap is another Instagram growth company that manages every step of the process for you through a personalized (human) manager. If you’ve tried Social Sensei and think it isn’t right for you, Upleap is your next best bet.
2. The Most Reliable:
Price: Starts at $10.00 p/month.
Has automated activity speeds: Yes, their "Limits" (interaction speed settings) are regulated to give you the highest likelihood of having the best results while not going over Instagram’s interaction limits. Make sure to not change your Limit numbers.
Has free proxy purchase and setup: They offer one that costs $.75, which is worth the price.
Why it’s effective and safe: I'm currently recommending Instamber despite them not offering a VPN or set up because, as of now, they've made the biggest strides in adapting to the latest Instagram algorithm changes so their service actually works. This tends to keep your account safer than other services that haven't adapted and their interaction services are more likely to be stopped by Instagram. They also offer a new feature in which you can automate the process of viewing stories, which greatly increases your reach and results as well as features that enable you to schedule and automate posts and respond to DMs directly through their dashboard. Doing all of these actions from their service will help keep your account safe because it'll appear as if you're using only one IP, not going back and forth between two (your phone's IP and their IP) and Instagram tends to flag accounts who are interacting heavily between more than one IP. Btw, if you want to get the best results while keeping your account safe with them, you can read how I automate a bot on Instamber by following my guide at the bottom of this article.
Runners Up: Other long-running bot services with similar reliability are Instazood, Boostgram, Bigbangram, and Gramista.
3. The Most Effective If You Want To Set Up The Bot Yourself:
Price: Starts at $39 p/month.
Has automated activity speeds: Yes, they have that and a whole bunch more, detailed statistics, real human behavior replication systems (meaning, their software can replicate the rate and form of how users usually interact on Instagram), advanced filtering, and a bunch more.
Has free VPN purchase and setup: Yep. They set you up with one when you sign up.
Why it’s effective and safe: In early June of 2019, Instagram made a lot of changes when it comes to automation controls and most services have struggled to adjust. The service that has made the right adjustments and is the most effective, as of now, is Ingramer. Although they don’t have as many of the features as once-very-popular Social Captain, they have the second best features in the industry (Social Captain has the best features but their customer service is unresponsive so I can no longer recommend them) and most importantly, a reliable customer service team that helps their users. In the context of the other recommendations in this article, Ingramer is the most effective do-it-yourself automation service because they have the best features and technology in comparison to other similar but basic services like Instazood (if you don’t know how to automate yourself then use Social Sensei).
Runners Up: The second best comparable bot provider is Instavast or Combin. They don’t offer all of the data and functionality of Ingramer but they are effective and simple to use and will get the job done.
4. The Most Versatile and Cheapest:
Price: 4.99 Euro p/month ($6USD)
Has automated activity speeds: Yes, they also offer a content scheduler, DM automation, analytics which makes them the most versatile out of all of the services I recommend and is great value for this price.
Has free VPN purchase and setup: Nope, you have to set up your own here. That is to be expected for a service of this price.
Why it’s effective and safe: The reason I recommend Instagrambotfollower.com despite it not having a unique VPN set up is that it’s the overall second cheapest in the market and all other services that offer such a wide array of features currently don’t offer a VPN either AND all other options are also more expensive. The only downside to this service is that they don’t have customer service but that’s not surprising at this price level. If you’re experienced with automation, it won’t shouldn’t be a problem.
Runners Up: If you like Instagrambotfollowe’s functionality but don’t like not having customer service available try Insta Captain. They have better functionality when it comes to targeting as well as customer service but also a higher price.
Those are my top picks, for now, but I’ll continue to update the list if/when I test new bot services that I consider are worthy of your time and money.
Also, if this is the first time you’re using an Instagram bot, I’d recommend picking whichever seems like the right fit from the list above and testing it to see if it actually works for you. If it doesn’t, don’t be afraid to try another one. Finding the right bot and knowing how to automate it effectively usually takes a few months, but once you find your groove, you’ll see that an Instagram bot actually does work.
If you get a “we’re removing inauthentic activity” or “your account information is compromised” notification, don’t panic, Instagram changes their thresholds from time to time and sometimes it takes a few days for the services to catch up — just stop your activity for a day or two, then change your activity speed settings to “low”, and start again. If you’ve made those corrections but you keep getting the notification, just contact their customer service to ask them when they’ll resolve the problem. No accounts have ever been shut down from getting this notification (Instagram wants you to use them).
PS — if you want to dive deeper into other, more sustainable, strategies to grow your Instagram business, read these articles on how to grow your Instagram, how the Instagram algorithm works, how to build an Instagram repost account that makes money, how to make money on Instagram, how to find the best Instagram hashtags, how to create effective Instagram story ads, why your Instagram account isn’t growing, how to create effective Instagram sponsored posts, how to check if you’re shadowbanned, how to monetize your Medium article, how to automate your Instagram posts, how to increase your Instagram engagement rate, how to find the best times to post, as well as how to find the most valuable Instagram influencers, how to measure what an influencer is worth, how to reach out to influencers, and how to measure your influencer marketing ROI. Hope they help :)
PS 2 — this article, like all other articles about this topic that you’ll find on google, contains affiliate links to the services I recommend. That being said, I have personally evaluated all of the companies I include in my article as well as constantly revisit them and change my recommendations accordingly. In the industry of Instagram automation, the effectiveness of these companies changes depending on their ability to adapt to Instagram’s changes. Because Instagram changes all the time, which companies are effective and which are not, change all the time. That is why I constantly edit my article as well as clarify the dates of the latest edits so you can keep checking on my latest recommendations.