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 March, 2020), 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 March, 2020)
1. The Most Reliable and Effective:
Price: Starts at $15.00 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. On top of that, they also offer other features like Influencer search, hashtag searches, account comparisons, a manual interaction tool that helps you be able to still "like" other posts even after you're blocked on Instagram, and a bunch others. This wide array of tools gives you overall great value for your investment.
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: Another viable and comparable option, right now, is Insta Captain. They aren't as robust but price-friendly and effective, as of now. Other long-running bot services that have had issues but might be an option if nothing else has worked for you are Instazood, and Boostgram.
2. The Latest and Safest:
Price: $79 for Basic and 149$ for Premium – One-time-payment. A one time payment for a system that works may end up being cheaper in comparison to all of other services mentioned here, which are recurring payments.
Has automated activity speeds: Yes. Ektor.io allows you to adjust the sleep interval between the actions you want to perform. This setting helps you balances between growth and undetectability.
Has free VPN purchase and setup: It depends, they have a proxy support implemented in backend. You can reach the support team if you want the software to integrate it.
Why it’s effective and safe: Ektor.io has been relatively successful in avoiding Instagram detection and keeping your account safe as well as getting good results because they work differently than all other bot services out there. They are a one-time-payment and download software that works from your computer vs a monthly-membership software that works from the company's computer. They also use A.I. – through facial recognition – to behave like a human and adapt to Instagram’s updates on a daily basis (for example, they emulate the latest version of the Instagram mobile app to bypass Instagram detection), which tend to increase your results per interaction. Their team also good customer support and welcomes feature requests and actually implements so, although they are. a new company, they seem to be headed on the right path.
Runners Up: Another company that recently launched and is so far very effective and keeping accounts safe (plus great costumer service) is Instarabbit. Their system simulates human-like actions through the Instagram web app, which has been efective so far. They also offer a personalized growth service in which you're given an account manager that will help you grow if you haven't been able to generate results on Instagram by yourself.
3. The Best Value:
Price: Starts at $57 p/month.
Has automated activity speeds: Yes, they offer an automated activity speeds functionality.
Has free proxy purchase and setup: Yes, it's incorporated in the software.
Why it’s effective and safe: After being very effective for a long time but being affected by Instagram changes in mid 2019, the Ingramer took some time off to find a solution to Instagram detection. It took them 6 months but they've not returned with an effective automation service, as of now, but more importantly, A BUNCH of new valuable Instagram tools included in their service. They've added new functions like a DM manager, hashtag generator, profile analyzer and content downloader, all included in their $57 p/month price tag. Given their still very responsive customer service, easy of use and wide array of tools, at $57 per month they are the best value automation service in the market out there right now if you're looking for more than just automation.
Runners Up: Right now, there's no service that offers all of these tools are this price but I'm keeping an eye out for alternatives.
4. What To Do When You've Tried Everything, Have a Budget, but Can't Grow Your Account:
Software: Social Sensei.
Price: Starts at $750 /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: They are the most expensive option in this article but they manage everything for you by hand, with a dedicated account manager. Basically, what a fancy agency does, but cheaper and likely more effective in terms of growth. Apart from automation, they do your content strategy, account management, hashtag research, automated posting, and most other account growth needs. It's like hiring an in-house social media manager, but it's manager remotely. If you've tried all growth tactics, have a budget, need to grow your Instagram but can't figure out how to do it...they are a good first option to try before hiring someone.
Runners Up: An agency, although it's likely to be way more expensive and not necessarily provide better results.
That's it! 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 :)
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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.