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.
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.
This means that small business owners who use automation (a bot) to grow their audience, as I do, have to be extra careful about the software we use and how we use it in order to keep our account safe.
What Features To Look For When Choosing An Instagram Automation Software That Will Keep Your Account Safe:
Since I make a living from my Instagram accounts, choosing a bot that is both effective and will keep my accounts from being flagged is essential to my businesses (and paying rent). For that reason, I’ve spent a lot of time testing a bunch of the automators 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 by identifying the IP address of an account that is going over their activity limits and flagging all other accounts associated with that IP address. If your automation service provider isn’t buying and setting you up with a unique VPN when you sign up, they are likely to set you up under a shared IP address. This will put you at risk because if one of the other accounts under that address is flagged, your account is likely to be flagged too. Don’t take that risk and make sure the bot service you choose is giving you your own unique VPN.
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.
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 make a living from my Instagram accounts and I’m continually testing new services, so make sure to check back for updates if you’re no longer happy with your current Instagram automation service. The last update was done May 30th, 2019)
1. The Most Effective:
Software: Social Captain.
Price: Starts at $39 p/month.
Has automated activity speeds: Yes, they have that and a whole bunch more, including data on the conversion rates on each of your targets, AI-optimization, personalized improvement recommendations, growth estimations, and a bunch more. These are the most advanced in the field, as of now. I’ve also written a guide on how to automate an effective bot that isn’t spammy in case you’re interested in learning more.
Has free VPN purchase and setup: Yep. They set you up with one when you sign up.
Why it’s effective and safe: Social Captain is the best value automator that I’ve found so far because they give you data and functionality that none of the other comparable services offer, as of now. Similar to the now-defunct Instagress (which you might be familiar with), they show you the conversions each of your targets are driving, which allows you to constantly optimize and get better results. They also offer AI-Optimization, which is a first in the business. When the AI-Optimization module is enabled, the platform will learn from your account’s past actions, conversions and existing followers, and automatically optimize future activity, to maximize your conversions and more precisely target your desired audience. This can make a BIG difference in results and will generally make it easier for users who aren’t great at identifying targets. Not only that, but they also offer a desktop app for Windows, IOS, and Linus, a fast-responding customer service team, and an overall simple and engaging UX.
Runners Up: The second best comparable bot providers are Ingramer and Combin. They don’t offer all of the data and functionality of Social Captain but they are effective and simple to use and will get the job done. Other long-running bot services at this price level are Boostgram, and Gramista but they are falling behind in terms of the product features in comparison to Social Captain or Combin.
2. The One That’s More Likely To Get You The Best Results 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 VPN purchase and setup: Yes, they set you up with your own unique VPN 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.
3. The Most Versatile:
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: Instazood, which starts at $9.99 p/month. They don’t offer a unique VPN set up and their UX is relatively harder to use but they are the biggest Instagram automation company which means that they have a reliable team that constantly updates the site and decent customer service. If you’re on a budget and know how to automate it yourself, it’ll get the job done but don’t expect much else.
4. The Cheapest (with a free option and likely the safest):
Software: Instoo. I get a lot of questions about the best free Instagram bot, and although this one has a paid premium version (which is great), it also has a free option that’ll get the job done.
Price: $4.99 USD
Has automated activity speeds: Yes.
Has free VPN purchase and setup: Nope, but you don’t need one since they function as a Chrome extension.
Why it’s effective and safe: Instoo is unique in that it works as a Chrome extension. The reason why that’s safer than how most automation services function is that a Chrome extension doesn’t require you giving up your password to a 3rd party service, who don’t always necessarily store them securely. Chrome extensions use your home IP address and unique browser signature, so they always look exactly like a normal user. Non-Chrome browser bots have to constantly evolve an emulate this browser ID, and use tricks like residential proxies to hide. They also have usage limits and tend to get less “challenge requests” vs non-Chrome browsers.
Runners Up: There are no comparable services at this price yet.
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.
Oh and don’t worry, you won’t get flagged or put your account at risk if you automate your bot mindfully (the automated activity speed mentioned does that). Instagram has so many problems with big bot farms and people doing this at scale that they don’t really target small, casual bot users which you’re likely to be. I would know…I’ve had dozens of accounts on bots for years and none of them has ever had problems. In fact, no one I know (and I know a lot of people that use Instagram bots) that uses a bot mindfully has ever had a problem.
That being said, if you get a “we’re removing inauthentic activity” 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, 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 or majorly impacted 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 🙂