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 February 2021), 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. 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.
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 February, 2021.2. The Most Effective, right now:
1. The Most Effective, right now:
Price: Starts at $99.00 p/month with a 3 day free trial. You can use the code GROWTH20 for a 20% discount when you subscribe.
Has automated activity speeds: Yes.
Has free proxy purchase and setup: Yes, their system takes care of implementing the safety of a proxy for you as well.
Why it’s effective and safe: Right now, the most effective bot service in the market is Ektora. They have good customer service, decent analytics, above average targeting features and a unique type of automation software that generates results, right now. They are also so effective because they are new to the market, which means that Instagram hasn’t yet identified their particular automation software practices and therefore hasn’t dimished their affectiveness. If other bots haven't worked for you, try them out with their 3-day free trial to see if it generates the results you're after.
Runners Up: If Ektora doesn't work for you, or if the price is too steep, a comparable, but slightly less effective option is Nitreo that starts at $49 per month (Please note that Nitreo automates the activity of follow/unfollow to get you great results. Keep that in mind when you’re signing up because not everyone wants that for their account.). If you use an android phone, Followyst that starts at around $35 USD is also an option that is currently getting results.
2. The Best Value & Safest:
Price: Starts at $57 p/month (and you can use code "PINLORD" to get 17% off your purchase).
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: The team behind Ingrammer released Inflact as an update to their long running and reliable software. This version is more effective at interacting on Instagram (which has gotten INCREASINGLY hard as time goes by) and still has the great customer service and support we've come to expect from this team.
They also have functions like a stories viewer (which can also generate considerable traffic as stories tend to be more visible on instagram) content scheduler and automator, 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 and long 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.
Runners Up: Right now, there aren't any real replacements for the value and safety that Inflact has been offered for some time now.
3. The Cheapest:
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.
Runners Up: Another viable and comparable option, right now, is Insta Captain starting at $4.99 p/month. They get relatively low ban/action block rates because they sign in the user on the official instagram app and work through the android version, which makes it safe. Other long-running bot services that have had issues but might be an option if nothing else has worked for you are Instagram Bot Follower starting at (4.99 Euro p/month), Instazood, and Boostgram.
4. The One To Try If Your Account Gets Frequent Blocks from Like and Comment Interactions - Mass Story Viewing and Interacting:
Has automated activity speeds: Yes, although because Instagram doesn't regulate story viewing and interacting just yet, it doesn't matter that much.
Has free VPN purchase and setup: Again, this won't apply to story viewing and interacting. It works completely different than traditional like and comment interacting.
Why it’s effective and safe: The are worth trying if you haven’t been able to successfully automate regular interactions like likes and comments. They enable you to automate and scale the process of viewing stories and voting in people’s polls. Like and comment automation will inevitably continue to get more regulated and harder to achieve results through. Starting at €9.00 per month, it’s super cheap and worth it for trying new channels of automation that are less monitored by Instagram (like Story viewing automation.)
Runners Up: The Other mass story viewing service that is effective right now is StoryVoter .
4. The One To Try If All You Want Is More Followers:
Software: Social Sensei.
Has automated activity speeds: No, technically, what you're automating here isn't interactions so you don't need it.
Has free VPN purchase and setup: Again, you won't need it for this type of service.
Why it’s effective and safe: Social Sensei was one of the more established companies in the interaction automation game but they recently stopped offering that tool (because it wasn't very effective). Now, they offer a new service in which they guarantee that you'll get thousands of followers per month by being tagged in a promotion or giveaway from a large account. It's not cheap (starting at $200 for 5k followers and going up to $999 for 20k followers) and you're not getting valuable followers since they are not targeted (most of them will come from south american, european or asian influencers) but it actually works when it comes to getting you new followers. I tried the $200 option and actually got 5k followers in a week although I later lost about 2k of them. It's not perfect, you wont get any value apart from a higher follower number, but if that is all you want, this is a safe option in comparison to buying a bunch of fake bot followers. PS - if you charge for paid partnerships based on your follower number, don't buy followers...you're just scamming people and that's not cool.
Runners Up: If Social Sensei doesn’t work for you to buy followers, you another option is Viral Race. They are cheaper, because the followers they sell aren’t “real”, so I won’t really recommend doing that for your account, but if you’re looking for a safe option to do that, they are reliable in that sense.
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.
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.
By the way, if you want to dive deeper into other strategies and systems to grow your Instagram faster, read these articles on how to grow your Instagram without buying followers. Then, you can tackle the following: how the Instagram algorithm works, how to make money on Instagram, the best Instagram bots, why your Instagram account isn’t growing, how to create effective Instagram story ads, how to create a visually appealing Instagram grid, how to increase your Instagram engagement, how to find the most valuable Instagram influencers, how to measure what an influencer is worth, how to measure your influencer marketing ROI, and how to reach out to influencers.