Photo from Stock That Rocks
These days, it seems like everyone is looking for ways to make it big on Instagram. After all, who doesn’t want more followers?
When you search ‘how to grow your Instagram following’ on Google, and I think we can all admit we’ve done it, you most likely stumble upon several different automation services, also known as ‘Instagram bots.’ The internet is filled with testimonials of users who claim that these bots have given them thousands of followers, loads of comments, and oodles of likes.
So, what are these so called ‘bots?’ Are they too good to be true? Keep reading to learn all about what they are, the pros and cons of using ‘em, and what to watch out for:
First Things First, What’s an Instagram Bot?
Before we jump in and make a judgment about bots and automation services, let’s get a clear understanding of what they are.
In a nutshell, Instagram bots are designed to grow your Instagram account by doing the work for you. Depending on the service you use, these bots will engage on your behalf by liking photos based on username, particular locations or hashtags you choose, following accounts, and leaving comments that you pre-set within the service. For example, you might set your comments to be something generic that can apply to any photo, such as ‘nice,’ ‘great feed’ or ‘love the pic.’ The main goal of these services is for the photos and/or accounts you interact with to follow you back and engage with your own content.
Think of it this way: if your use a bot that auto-likes 100 photos per hour and only 25% of these people follow you back, you gain 25 followers each hour and 5,000 a day.
Sounds great, right? Essentially, Instagram bots can engage for you while you sleep. But is this too good to be true? Just like anything, there are potential drawbacks.
Things to Watch Out For
At the end of the day, Instagram bots are…bots! They’re not real accounts. So, it’s highly likely that the followers you gain are not genuinely interested in your content (sigh). Plus, when bots are commenting and engaging for you, other accounts will likely catch on that it’s not really you! Generic comments like “great” or “cool pic” are a key indicator of an Instagram bot at work. Overall, this has the potential to hurt your brand’s reputation. Also, as some services out there follow and unfollow accounts on your behalf, this can fill your feed with unnecessary clutter and keep you from seeing photos you actually want to see.
Another thing to be aware of is that bots aren’t condoned by Instagram. In fact, they’re highly discouraged–when using bots, you run the risk of having your account shut down by Instagram. The famous photo sharing platform was created to be all about building relationships and staying in touch with others, and the more accounts that use bots, the less social it becomes! With all of this being said, if you’re deciding to move forward and use an Instagram bot, just keep these risks in mind!
We’re not here to tell you whether or not you should use an Instagram bot. However, we are here to tell you all there is to know on the topic! No one knows your brand like you, so you’re the most qualified to make the call as to whether or not you should use one. So, for educational purposes, here’s a quick rundown of three commonly used automation services:
One of of the most popular automation services out there, Instagress is designed to mimic your natural behavior by engaging for you. One of the perks of this tool is that you control when it runs, so you can either just do it while you’re sleeping or run it 24/7. It even offers a feature where you can target users based on gender! Targeting features like this are a plus for many businesses!
Instagress claims to connect you with real, authentic accounts rather than spam accounts. In sum, it aims to build brand loyalty, make you new friends, and maintain a healthy and active account. So how exactly does it work? Once you log in with your Instagram, you’ll be directed to the settings manager, where you’ll create your own preset based on your interests and goals for your account. You’ll then set your tags, the time you want the bot to run, and the rest is done for you! Instagress will like, comment, follow, and unfollow on your behalf. The service can be stopped at any time, and you can always reconfigure your settings in your dashboard!
So how much does Instagress cost? For starters, you can give the service a try with their free 3-day trial. If you’re satisfied after your free trial, here’s what you’ll be looking at pricewise:
3 days for $1.99 ($0.66 per day)
10 days for $4.99 ($0.50 per day)
30 days for $9.99 ($0.33 per day)
90 days for $24.99 ($0.28 per day)
180 days for $44.99 ($0.25 per day)
360 days for $79.99 ($0.22 per day)
In addition to these pricing options, Instagress also offers other ways to save, such as with their custom time package, quantity discount or cumulative discount:
Another popular automation service is Robolike! This like bot works for both Instagram and Twitter, and it claims to give you real followers in just hours. Simply set your tags (they recommend choosing ones relevant to your profile or target audience), set your time, and watch your following grow!
A key thing to keep in mind is that Robolike is strictly an autoliker…it won’t autocomment or autofollow like other services out there. This is because Robolike believes autocommenting and autofollowing can make your account look spammy, and autolikng can bring just as much if not more growth! Robolike also prides itself on its simple, easy-to-use design as opposed to other bots out there. While it may not have as many bells and whistles, it claims to be just as effective. According to Robolike, here are some of the main benefits:
Target your set hashtags
Filters your content
Brings you up to 80 likes within an hour
Helps you manage multiple accounts
Can run for 24 hours
Likes 60 photos and tweets per hour
Another important thing to mention is that Robolike is big on transparency. When logged into your account, you can see the photos the bot is liking on your behalf! Robolike also has a built-in content filter that ensures you’re liking relevant photos and avoiding inappropriate ones that can harm your reputation. Phew!
Now, to answer the big question…price! All accounts come with a 3-day free trial, and if you have more than 10 accounts, you qualify for a bulk plan at a discounted rate. As for monthly plans, here’s the breakdown:
Alright, let’s talk about another popular bot on the market: Likestagram! Like many other services out there, Likestagram generates attention to your Instagram profile by automating the liking process. The bot claims to work wonders for musicians, photographers, fashion bloggers, small businesses, and health and fitness experts.
Likestagram has three different types of features: liking features, user friendly features, and safety features. Here’s what they entail!
- Liking by tag- like photos based on the tags you set
- Liking by Instagram account- target users who have already shown interest in specific profiles
- Liking by location- target users based on specific locations you enter
- Liking the newsfeed- stay in touch by liking photos of your followers
User Friendly Features
- Web-based service- Likestagram is cloud-based, so your device doesn’t have to be on for the service to continue running
- Multiple accounts- add unlimited accounts to the liking process, and adjust the preferences for each account
- Time management (coming soon)- set start and stop times for liking
- Different languages- target users across the globe
- Comprehensive algorithms- Likestagram’s algorithm mimics human behavior, so it generates likes at random times
- SSL certificates- Likestagram protects your information with secured SSL certificates
- Worldwide services- servers are updated to ensure you always have an online server
Now that we’ve gone over Likestagram’s features, let’s talk price. When signing up for this service, you can choose between 3 different pricing plans: basic, premium, and professional. The basic plan is $9.99 for 25,000 likes, the premium plan is $34.99 for 125,000 likes, and the professional plan is $49.99 for 250,000 likes. So, set your goal for likes and pick your price accordingly!
Even if you do decide to use a bot, just know that nothing beats good old-fashioned engaging. While a bot may come in handy while you’re off the clock, we strongly suggest making the effort to set aside time to engage on your own. While automation services can do a lot, they definitely have their limitations. For example, a bot can’t send and respond to DM’s, reply to comments on your own photos, or leave comments that are specific to the photos you’re engaging with. So, this being said, make sure you’re not relying on one too heavily!
If you do decide to use a bot, we strongly recommend only using it to like photos. Having a bot comment, follow, and unfollow can make your account look spammy, and in our opinion, it just isn’t worth it! By only using automation services to like photos, you’ll get the attention you’re looking for without filling a cool platform like Instagram with fake comments and activity. Instagram is all about engaging with other users, so remember to make this a priority and have fun with it!
The first step to becoming an Instagram all-star is to have a strategy in place! If you want to learn all about how to develop the perfect Insta strategy, sign up for our first ever online class, Branding Your Instagram and Perfecting Your Grid! You’ll be rocking your grid in no time!