Instagram bots. They’re either torn down as one of the community’s worst inventions, or hailed as the holy grail of engagement tools.
In this article, we’re breaking down the the pros and cons of using Instagram bots; including past controversies, and how they successfully boost your profile growth – when used the right way.
What is an Instagram Bot?
An Instagram bot is a third-party app or program that automates your interactions on the platform for you. These commonly involve likes; though plenty also include follows, comments, direct messages, or a combination of all four.
For the busier Instagrammers among us, using a bot saves on a significant amount of time and energy. Those working to grow a business on the platform can leave a bot to do all the “menial” marketing tasks as they focus on the more creative and analytical aspects of their brand.
Bots also do well to boost your engagement. Sending out numerous interactions in a short span of time is an easy way of getting your name out to those in your community. As you gain visibility in your field, you increase your chances of gaining profile visits – and thus, post engagements and new followers.
The Dilemma of Instagram Bots
Though the software has its perks, it’s unfortunately left a long history of “bad behavior” on the platform.
This is because bots are just that – bots. They lack the authentic human emotion you need to form genuine connections with others on the platform. As a result, automated comments or messages often come out wonky and irrelevant at best – or insulting and spammy, at worst.
Avid Instagram users have experienced these bot-like interactions one way or another. The often empty, inauthentic one-word comments that say “Nice job!” followed by an obnoxious string of emojis. Or comments that appear well-thought out, though merely promote the original user’s account.
These automated messages may offer that short-term boost in engagement, though use them irresponsibly enough, and you may just damage your overall brand reputation.
What Happens When You’re Caught Using Instagram Bots?
Instagram has gotten stricter on the use of bots and “growth services” since late 2018. Users who’ve garnered a “following” off of fake accounts, clutter the platform with spammy comments or carry out mass follow-unfollows found themselves in hot water as the app took disciplinary action.
Any likes, comments, or followers deemed “inauthentic” were immediately removed from these users’ profiles, with a warning to change their password and stop using such software. Anyone who continued to violate their terms were warned of possible change in their overall Instagram experience. This included limited access to certain features.
If you get caught using a problematic bot, Instagram will send you a push notification to say they are removing any fake likes or follows on your account. They also alert the fact that your information may be compromised since you shared it an unrecognized third-party app.
They then advise you to change your password to cut ties with such services.
If your bot, however, is not generating inauthentic likes or follows; and is simply automating your interactions at an unusually fast rate, Instagram will temporarily block further actions from your account.
How to Use Instagram Bots… Safely
Despite these downsides, bots are still an incredibly useful tool for growing your engagement. The trick is to use them appropriately, in a “safe”, acceptable manner that doesn’t promote shady behaviour.
In general, Instagram frowns upon spammy or “fake” interactions. Thankfully, there are bot services that avoid this prohibited behavior, while still offering the growth you’re after.
Many steer clear of delivering automated comments or messages, exclusively sticking with ‘likes’, instead. At the same time, many such services allow their users to set limits on their interactions, or have them delivered at a slower rate. This ensures you aren’t exceeding the set number of likes, follows, and unfollows users are allowed per day. (Instagram has left this data enigmatic, though multiple studies have emerged with their own research on what these numbers may be.)
By being discreet with your Instagram bots, you have a slim-to-no chance of “getting caught” and penalized by Instagram.
The Best Instagram Bots
So what are the best Instagram bots available? There are fortunately plenty of affordable options to choose from, though we’ve listed some of our top picks below.
Kenji is an Instagram like bot that automates all of your ‘like’ interactions for you.
Using cutting-edge AI technology, the software engages with high-quality profiles related to your field, increasing your platform exposure. It takes only a few minutes to set up, and you’re treated to your very own dashboard where you can adjust your bot settings and monitor account progress.
Kenji can be left to carry out its tasks in the background as you tend to your other responsibilities on the platform. It picks up new, potential followers at great speed; and is sure to grow your account with little effort and in no time at all.
How Kenji Boosts Your Engagement
As mentioned, Kenji focuses on liking other people’s posts to get your name on their radar.
This works through hashtag targeting. Upon signing up, you’ll be asked to specify the hashtags that best represent your niche, and Kenji will begin ‘liking’ posts under these tags. Your username will pop up in the notifications of hundreds of users – and those curious will tap through to visit your profile. If they like what they see, they may just leave a follow.
Kenji doesn’t just interact with any profile, however. The software ensures that only real, active users are engaged with, avoiding fake accounts that may get yours in trouble. The service also doesn’t auto-comment, auto-follow, or auto-direct message on your behalf, simply sticking to flattering, non-intrusive likes.
On top of hashtag targeting, you can also direct this Instagram like bot towards specific locations. You can even identify competitor accounts, and Kenji will engage with their followers’ content.
New users can get started with Kenji on 3-day free trial, no credit card required.
Just like Kenji, Robolike is another Instagram like bot that’s well-loved and trusted by many.
The service works in a largely similar fashion to that of Kenji’s, auto-liking posts based on the hashtags you set. To ensure safety of your account, their process also includes setting a specific run time. This keeps your interactions from going overboard and violating platform guidelines.
According to their website, the service delivers around 60-90 likes per hour. You can also view all likes made on your behalf and add content filters to keep your targeting focused.
Robolike also offers a “bulk account” feature that allows you to run their program on more than 10 accounts.
How Robolike Boosts Your Engagement
Robolike’s software has the exact same goal as Kenji: – to raise your platform exposure. By sending out a mass amount of likes, your name pops up on more people’s notification feeds – leading to more views and potential follows!
A significant downside is the service’s lack of location or competitor targeting. Kenji offers this, allowing users to cover more ground; though the Robolike website simply mentions hashtag targeting as its sole metric.
Nevertheless, this is another long-running Instagram like bot that’s sure to bring results. New users can also get started with a credit card-free, 3-day trial.
SocialCaptain is another popular automation tool on the rise. The service uses an AI-powered Instagram bot to deliver instant likes, comments, follows, and unfollows. It also claims to grow accounts up to 150x faster than its predecessor, SocialSteeze – a once popular growth service that shut down in early 2019.
Compared to Robolike and Kenji, SocialCaptain isn’t exclusively an Instagram like bot. As mentioned, they also automate follow and comment activity on your behalf. The platform has recently released an auto-direct message function, though the feature is still in its beta stages.
New users will be given a user-friendly dashboard to tinker with their automation settings. This includes selecting the types of interactions they’d like to include. To track their progress, real-time analytics and reports are also provided
How SocialCaptain Boosts Your Engagement
The interactions made on your behalf achieve the same effect as that of Kenji and Robolike. You’ll gain the attention of those in your field, boosting your chances of more views, follows, or content likes.
The upside to their service is the specificity in its targeting. Users are not only able to set specific hashtags, but locations and even usernames as well.
Then, there’s auto-commenting and auto-following. As mentioned previously, bot-powered messages will have you treading on thin ice – both with Instagram and your potential audience. SocialCaptain allows you to create generic comments to auto-post on people’s profiles; though it’s hard to not have these come across as spammy and insincere. As we all know, these are two things both Instagram’s team and general users look down upon.
If you can help it, we recommend avoiding the auto-comment feature (and their auto-DM feature, for that matter). Auto-follow activity is another risky tactic; but since your SocialCaptain dashboard allows you to set the amount and speed of your interactions, you should be fine – provided you work within Instagram’s limits.
Those who wish to try out SocialCaptain can do so for a free, 24-hour trial.
Finally, we have Combin. Just like SocialCaptain, Combin provides an all-in-one automation tool that likes, comments, and follows on your behalf. However, its advanced targeting and search options offer a competitive edge, with the ability to manage multiple Instagram accounts.
Combin also allows you to view your daily, weekly, and monthly statistics in the app. This includes tracking the amount of follow activity taken on your account and the number of received likes and comments.
Additionally, you can use filter options to determine accounts that haven’t followed you back, removing them from your “Following” list. The tool further lets you to “protect” important profiles from accidentally being auto-unfollowed.
Aside from their Instagram bot functions, Combin also offers a free Instagram scheduler. This feature allows users to plan their feed in advance, with an auto-publishing that posts directly to their feed.
How Combin Boosts Your Engagement
With their highly-specified profile targeting, Combin allows users to truly narrow down on their potential audience. The extra demographic filters they offer include gender, language, and even bio keywords – along with the usual hashtags and location metrics.
Users can also target the followers or those followed by their niche competitors, and even accounts that interacted with specific posts or profiles. The app therefore offers a higher chance of boosting engagement by helping you aim for the most relevant and active users in your niche.
There are also features to help detect low-quality or low-engaging profiles, avoiding them in your automated interactions.
Your dashboard allows you to adjust your settings as needed; limiting your actions to a set amount and speed. As with the previous apps, this ensures the safety of your account by working with Instagram’s parameters.
As mentioned, Combin also provides auto-follow activity and auto-commenting functions. Though their comment feature allows you to create templates for a variety of topics and purposes – we’d still advise using this at your own risk.
As with auto-liking, you can also adjust the speed of your follow activity to avoid pushing the platform’s limits.
Use Instagram Bots Responsibly!
If bots seem like your answer to online growth, then it pays to use your best judgement.
Services flaunting extravagant promises (such as extreme levels of growth or engagement in an unreasonably short span of time) are better off avoided. Unless they’re transparent in their process, they’re likely willing to violate platform guidelines to achieve that quick boost you’re after.
When shopping for a new Instagram bot, customer service should lead your criteria. You’ll want to pay for a product from a company with a long, credible track record. You’ll also want to ensure they provide helpful and responsive support when necessary.
Your next priority should then be automation settings. As discussed, this is a vital feature of a reliable Instagram bot. Users must be able to set limits on their automated activity to avoid Instagram penalties.
To play it extra safe, it may be best to stick to auto-likes; avoiding comments, follows, or messages sent on your behalf. Likes continue to be the most inoffensive and accepted form of activity on the platform, with little chance of causing conflict.
To sum it up, Instagram bots can be a handy tool for many – especially those just starting out on the platform. Plenty offer growth and exposure in half the time of organic activity, and allow you to save your energy for more important, creative tasks. Find the right ones and use them right, and you’re bound to build that following in no time – while staying out of trouble.