The safest and most effective bot services and everything else you need to know about interaction automation on Instagram in 2020.
As we all know, Instagram interaction automation companies, i.e. ?bots?, have been a contentious topic for many years within the social media community.
These are not the election-altering Russian bots we?re talking about (you can learn more about those here); these are ?like? and ?comment? automation services that millions of Instagram-based businesses and users employ in order increase the number of people who discover, follow, engage, and buy from their accounts.
Although they usually get a bad rap within the Instagram eco-system, the truth is that, for most Instagram small business owners (like me), automating interactions is the only cost-effective option we have to significantly increment the visibility of our accounts without having to pay Facebook a lot of money to ?promote? our posts and get zero-to-no results from them.
So, in the spirit of open information to all of those Instagram accounts who are curious about interaction automation, here?s an in-depth look at the state of Instagram bots in 2020.
What Are Instagram Bots and How Do They Work?
If you?re still not clear about what they are and how they work, check out this short video I made that will hopefully clear that up for you:
Another way to increase the visibility your account gets is by understanding the activities that increase your Instagram?s reach, how to increase your Instagram engagement, how to use Instagram hashtags, how the Instagram algorithm works, how to write an Instagram bio, how to create a visually appealing Instagram grid, how to create effective Instagram story ads, how to check if you?re shadowbanned, and how to monetize your Instagram.
Do Instagram Bots Still Work in 2020?
Now that you know how they work, are they still effective in 2020? The short answer is: YES!
There are still plenty of reliable software companies (more on which companies are the best below) that will enable your Instagram account to automate the activity of interacting (like, comment, DM, or Follow) with others users in order to get more eyes to discover your username, tap through it to see your account and possibly follow you or tap through your link in bio, if you?ve automated correctly and have great content.
A bot works when people who you are a right match with discover your username through an automated like in their activity feed, tap through and see that they like your content enough to follow you. Btw, here?s an article about the best Instagram content scheduling and post automation tools. Using them will help your posting process a lot more efficient ??
How Effective Are Instagram Bots in 2020?
Although there are still plenty of effective interaction automation companies, in an effort to reduce their proliferation (because they are against the platform?s terms and conditions and because they can cause a bad user experience when executed incorrectly ? i.e. ?spammy bots?), Instagram is making changes in the platform that are making it harder for the average account to not only use this software but also interact with other accounts at fast paces (even without automation software).
All of these efforts (detailed below) have caused bots to be, in general, less effective than they used to be in comparison to before Instagram implemented more of these changes in mid-2019.
So, on average, you should expect it to be harder to find safe and effective automation software companies as well as to generate fast growth quickly.
Realistic expectations about what bots can do = happier bot users.
What Is Instagram Doing to Combat Bots in 2020?
Here are the measures that Instagram is taking to combat bots so far:
- Shutting down the ?biggest? automation companies: This one actually started in 2017 when Instagram sent a cease and desist to the largest automation company on the internet at the time, Mass Planner. Since then, Instagram has continually shut down (threatened to sue) whichever automation companies tend to be widely used by Instagram users.
- Customizing daily interaction limits according to each individual account?s time and history on the platform: Since how much engagement, follows and traffic you generate from interacting with others depends on the total number of accounts you can interact with in an hour/day, Instagram is limiting the effectiveness of the activity by enforcing smaller and less predictable interaction limits per day that vary according to that account?s time and history on the platform. In other words, Instagram now, on average, allows fewer interactions per hour and makes it harder for anyone to know what the limit of the total number of interactions per hour is, so people who automate are more vulnerable to violate it and be identified. In general, the younger your account is or the less consistently you?ve interacted with others in the past, the smaller and more variable your particular interaction thresholds are likely to be. If you try to interact past your limit, you?re not allowed to continue interacting on the platform for a few hours. If you continue to hit those limits, you run the risk of having your account blocked from doing anything for up to 15 days (more on this one below).
7?13 follows per hour or 100?150 follows per day, 300?400 likes per day (of followed accounts), 2?5comments per hour or 20?30 comments per day, up to 10 DMs per hour under strict considerations, are not uncommon threshold limits for most users. This data was gathered from this article by social pros. Accounts that repeatedly cross these thresholds are also known to be Instagram shadowbanned.
- Sending users push notifications regarding their automation software use: Another way Instagram is cutting down on bot use is by sending push notifications to users who have been identified as using automation services (usually because they are consistently going over their hourly thresholds, as detailed in the previous point). These push notifications usually come in two forms: 1) They inform the user that they?re removing the inauthentic likes/follows they?ve generated through automation or 2) they notify the user that their account was compromised. In both cases, they are asked to change their profile, which effectively automatically disconnects them from the software (Instagram can?t technically disconnect you themselves) and discourages further use. Also in both cases, there is no permanent negative impact on your account, and you can still use the software, although I?d recommend tweaking your interaction speeds to a slower rate. It has happened to me several times and I?ve still been able to automate interactions once I went back and slowed my interaction settings.
(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)
- Blocking Instagram accounts from doing anything on the platform for up to one week: For repeat and flagrant offenders, Instagram sends you a push notification telling you that you?re using a service that helps you get likes and followers and that your account has been blocked from interacting and posting on the platform for a specific time period (as of now, the longest known period is one week). In this case, it?s usually because you?re using an automation service that isn?t safe or because you?re automating your likes in a spammy way (read about how you can automate a bot safely below). 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.
Is Your Account in Danger of Being Shut Down for Using Bots?
If you use an automation service and you?re constantly going over your hourly interaction thresholds because you don?t know what they are or you don?t know how to automate a bot, you are in danger of getting one or all of the types of notifications mentioned above, but your Instagram account WON?T get shut down permanently for using a bot. Usually, they lead to not being able to interact for the rest of the day, or in the worst-case scenario, not being able to interact or post for up to a week.
So, in order to reduce the likelihood of putting your account at risk, it?s very important that you use automation services that have automated interaction speeds (so you don?t have to worry about figuring out what the current thresholds are), provide a VPN, and have reliable customer service. These are the characteristics of the automation companies that are most likely to keep your account safe.
You can read more about these characteristics in my other article about the best Instagram bots.
What Are the Most Effective and Safest Instagram Bots in 2020?
These are my recommendations for the best Instagram bots in 2020, based on their automation effectiveness and overall safety for the user (by the way, I constantly update this list whenever I find new services or old ones stop being effective or safe so make sure to check back if your current automation provider stops working. The latest update was in August 2020):
- The most reliable, best value and safest: Although they took a break in 2019 to re-work their system and adapt to the new Instagram changes, Ingramer is still the way to go when it comes to reliability and value. On top of their effective interaction automation feature, they have a bunch of new functions like a stories viewer (which can also generate a lot of growth, as liking automation can), post automation, DM manager, hashtag generator, profile analyzer, and content downloader, all included in their $57 per month price tag. Given their still very responsive customer service, ease of use, great grouping of features, and established track record of keeping accounts safe, they are the best value & safest automation service in the market out there right now if you?re looking for more than just automation.
- The most effective, right now: Starting at $49 per month, Nitreo is the most interaction automation service that is most likely to get you results, right now. They?re getting good results by, first, being new and less likely to be identified as a service provider by Instagram, and second, because they actually have developed an advanced set of tools that seem to be ahead of everyone in the market right now, and third, because they automate the activity of follow/unfollow (take not of this because it?s something that not everyone would like to implement in their accounts). They have typical features like being able to see how each of your account and hashtag targets are performing but, on top of that, they allow you to give specific interaction frequencies and guidelines per target, which greatly increases the accuracy of accounts you?ll be reaching (this is something that no other service out there provides right now). They also have a 48 hour ?warm up? period that helps keep your account safe by slowly ramping up engagement frequency to reduce the likelihood that Instagram will identify the automation in your account?s interactions. It seems to be working so far and, apart from that, they have detailed and intuitive analytics, which is a plus, and a good customer service team that is essential these days since issues are inevitable. If you?ve been waiting for a new service that is providing better results, on average, vs everyone else, try this one out.
- The cheapest option: Right now, the most effective low-cost automation service on the market is Instamber. They start at $15 per month and although they are new, they?ve made the biggest strides in adapting to the latest Instagram algorithm changes so their service actually works and your account doesn?t get flagged, as of now. They also have a story viewer, which allows you to see other people?s stories at scale (a lot of potential growth in that) and, for Android users, they have an even safer and darn effective feature called Social Bridge (you can learn how to use it in this guide). It is an individual app that identifies your usage patterns, uses your IP for your activities and deletes the sensitivities of bot access to your account to create very-low-risk interaction based on your defined promotions. If you?re looking for a low-cost automation service that works, Instamber is a safe bet.
If you try Instamber and but don?t like it, check out Insta Captain which is an effective new company out there or Instazood and Boostgram which have been around for a while but seem to be losing steam recently.
- The future: StoryVoter. Like and comment automation will inevitably continue to get more regulated and harder to achieve results through. That?s why I think that StoryVoter is the future. They start at ?19 p/moth and they are a mass Instagram story viewing and voting software. In a nutshell, they allow you our account to view and interacting with hundreds of stories and story elements (like polls and countdowns) so your username can be discovered through the who?s viewed your story and activity section of the profiles you automate viewing with. It works on the same principles of account and hashtag targets as regular like and comment bots but it?s a type of interaction that Instagram isn?t monitoring and regulating just yet, which results in great conversion per interaction. It even has higher conversions than regular like and comment interaction so if you haven?t found a traditional bot that has worked for you, definitely try this one out.
- If all you want is followers: Social Sensei is your safest option if all you want is new followers regardless of who they are or where they come from. Their services start at $200 for 5k followers and going up to $999 for 20k followers, which isn?t cheap, but this is actually a much safer option vs just buying fake bot followers because they are (mostly) followers who are real people. How do they do it? They pay international accounts with big audience to include your account in a promotion that requires them to follow you in exchange to enter. Since these are international ?influencer? accounts tagging you, most followers you?ll get will be international, and they likely won?t convert into any real value, but if a larger count of followers is all you want, this the best option that?ll keep your account safe. PSA: Please don?t buy followers if you charge for paid partnerships based on your followers number. Honestly, you?re just scamming people and that?s not cool.
How Can You Automate a Bot Safely?
Identifying the right automation service is only half the battle. Making sure your automation is safe and effective ultimately depends on how well you know how to automate your bot. Here are the principles that I recommend you follow, in order, to give yourself the best chance at success, no matter the bot company that you use:
- Don?t automate comments, follows, or DMs: In an effort to grow as fast as possible, many people who use automation program their bot to comments, follow and unfollow, and DM other accounts. In theory, this creates more opportunities to be discovered, but in practice, it creates a really annoying and crappy experience for the people who receive these interactions and this greatly lowers the likelihood that any of your interactions will result in followers (e.i. you?re wasting all of your interactions if they are not generating results). These type of interactions are the reason people think bots are spammy, so please don?t automate comments, follows, or DMs. The way to automate an effective Instagram bot that isn?t spammy is by only sticking to ?like? automation. Why? In comparison to comments or follows, likes are a subtle nudge that only shows up on people?s activity feed. Most of us don?t tend to have ill-will against a ?like? from a person we don?t know, and in fact, we?re usually pretty happy or at least indifferent to an extra like in one of our posts (Instagram is also highly incentivized to be more lenient with like automation since it increases engagement rates on the app and all they want is for people to use the app more)! And unless you?re someone who has thousands of followers, most of us still check our activity feed to see who liked our posts and discover new Instagram account this way.
- Pick automation targets that are highly relevant to your content: Another essential element of automating effective interactions is knowing how to pick the right targets. All automation software asks you to give them ?targets?. These are Instagram accounts, hashtags, or locations whose followers and/or taggers you would like your bot to interact with. The key to selecting targets that will generate a higher percentage of follows per interaction is identifying the accounts, hashtags, and locations that people who are the most likely to find your content valuable already follow or tag. The better you get at understanding who are the exact people who find your content valuable and who they already follow or tag, the more likely each of your interactions is to turn into a follow or a click in your link in bio.
- Make sure your content is providing more value than the content of your automation targets: Not only is it important to know which are the target accounts, hashtags, and locations that the people who are most likely to find your content very valuable already follow or tag, it?s also important to make sure that your content is actually perceived as more valuable than the targets you select. What exactly does that mean? Let?s say you are an account that sells ceramic bowls and the targets you select are the most prominent ceramic bowl accounts on Instagram. Unless your ceramic bowls and the way you create content for them is actually perceived as more valuable than the ceramic bowls and content that your targets create, the people you interact with aren?t likely to follow you. In a world where every follow has value, why would they follow an account that has lower quality content than the one they already follow? It?s important to be objective about the quality of your content and only select targets that have a lower quality of content than you have, or your interactions aren?t likely to convert.
Btw, have you every asked yourself if your Instagram is actually even worth growing? If not, you should. It might help save you a whole bunch of time and energy. It?s not worth it for everyone?
- Select slow or automated interaction speeds: This one is simple but essential. The likelihood of your account being blocked due to automation interaction depends on the number of times you go over the hourly interaction threshold Instagram has designated for your account. Since you won?t ever know exactly what that threshold is, it?s super important that you always start your automation journey by selecting low or automated interaction speeds because this will reduce the likelihood of going over your thresholds. After the first month, you can start increasing the pace of interactions since Instagram is likely to see this as organic, but at the beginning, make sure to start slow.
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 likes in a day). 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.
- Know that a bot won’t solve your growth problems: Automating likes or any other interactions is NOT going to make an account that doesn?t grow, grow. Unless you already have great content that people are organically finding and following you for, automating interactions won’t have much of an impact. What automation does is increase the number of people who discover your account. If your account?s content isn?t something people find valuable enough to follow before automation, increasing the number of people that find your account won?t make you grow faster, either. All you?ll be doing is showing more people how much they don?t want to follow your account and this will likely ensure most of those people consider you a spammy bot account. Make sure your content is awesome and grows organically first, then add interactions to multiply your organic growth, not the other way around.
Yes! There are Instagram interaction automation companies that can still help you generate great growth results in 2020. Right now, Instagram is combating interaction automation by shutting down the biggest automation companies, customizing daily interaction limits according to each individual account?s time and history on the platform, sending users push notifications regarding their automation software use, and blocking repeat offenders from Instagram use for up to a week.
Because of these tactics, it?s harder for the average user to find safe bot companies as well as harder to get fast growth results, in comparison to the growth you could generate through automation before Instagram?s clampdown in 2019. The bot companies that are most likely to generate good results and keep your account safe right now are Ingramer, Instamber, Ektor.io, and Social Sensei. The automation best practices in the current environment are picking automation targets that are highly relevant to your content, making sure your content provides more value than the content of your automation targets, select slow or automated interaction speeds, and know that a bot won’t solve your growth problems.
I hope this is helpful for you and I wish you the best of luck in your automation journey ahead!
Btw, if you want to learn about other strategies that will help you grow quickly on Instagram, read these articles on the best Instagram bots, how to automate in Instagram bot that isn?t spammy, why you?re losing followers and how to fix it, how to automate your Instagram posts, as well as how to find the most valuable influencers on Instagram, how to measure what an influencer is worth, how to reach out to influencers, everything you need to know about TikTok Bots, and how to measure your influencer marketing ROI.