When searching for Instagram automation tools, you probably came across a platform called Social Envy. Back in the day, it was one of the most popular organic-growth Instagram tools out there.
The problem is Social Envy has closed its doors. If visit their website, you’ll receive a notice that says, “Social Envy’s website is closed, we are no longer accepting new clients”.
Whether you were a Social Envy user, or you’re looking for a way to automate your Instagram growth, continue reading this article. In this article, we’ll cover Social Envy, its features, and then move on to some recommended alternatives. We’ll also discuss the possible reasons for Social Envy’s collapse.
Many social media marketers relied on Social Envy and were shocked when it closed down. In order to avoid the same situation, it’s important to discover what happened.
Let’s dive in.
What is Social Envy?
Social Envy was a social-media growth tool, mainly for Instagram, but it worked with Twitter and Pinterest too. Unfortunately, the platform only lasted for two years, from 2015 to 2017 before it was shut down.
What Did Social Envy Do?
Social Envy advertised its platform as an organic growth service. Instead of offering the usual Instagram-automation services, they used dedicated account managers. You connect your Instagram account, subscribe to a plan, and the account managers will generate activity on your Instagram profile.
Of course, that’s what they claimed. Whether that was true, we don’t know. It seems like they must have been doing something wrong otherwise they wouldn’t have been shut down as quickly as they were. Whether they actually used account managers or simply claimed to, while using bots, we can’t know for sure.
Nevertheless, the platform did offer several services:
- Target by Location
- Target by Hashtags
- Automate Comments
- Detailed Tracking
You’re probably already familiar with these services, so we won’t get into too much detail.
One good thing about Social Envy is the tool was online based. You didn’t have to download anything or worry about virtual private servers and whatnot.
What Went Wrong?
As we know, Instagram is strongly against any tool that automates engagement. It’s one of their policies, and every automation tool is at risk of being banned from the social media platform.
Nowadays, developers need to work within the guidelines, so their tool survives the test of time. The truth is using any automation tool is a kind of grey-area.
But Social Envy was a bit too aggressive. The tool broke Instagram’s conditions, and as the tool’s popularity grew, eventually, Instagram noticed. As we know, every once in awhile Instagram goes on an anti-spam campaign and starts taking action against fake engagement.
Even on their homepage, they claimed the tool can follow thousands of users a day (see screenshot above).
That’s way too many!
What Happens When an Automation Tool is Busted?
Now, in most cases, Instagram (or the parent company, Facebook) will send a cease and desist letter to the company that violates their business terms.
Most of the time, these small companies don’t want to get involved with those social media giants, so they quietly back down and close their doors. Naturally, not all of these companies go down without a fight. There are lots of lawsuits still going on.
In the case of Social Envy…
Speaking of lawsuits, Facebook filed a lawsuit against the creators of Social Envy, Nollen and Hedges. As it turns out, the duo had created many similar websites under the parent company Social Media Series, all of which had to be shut down. Social Envy was one of them.
The reason Facebook took action was that these guys were continuing to make social media automation bots, despite warnings and letters. They made so many tools that did nothing but generate fake engagement and fake accounts – nothing useful for social media marketers.
Eventually, Facebook found the network of automation tools, and tried to get them all shut down. At the end of the day, the websites were taken down, and the lawsuit was settled with the defendants being banned from Facebook, and having to pay a $500,000 fine. No small sum.
Social Envy Reviews: Was It Any Good?
Now you might be thinking Social Envy was actually a decent tool, and it’s a shame it no longer works. Well, after a bit of research, it’s clear the company didn’t have a good reputation in the first place.
On Trust Pilot, the tool has a 1.7 out 5-star rating with 19 reviews, 95% of which are bad. The complaints range from unauthorized payments to poor customer support.
Most of the people who used the Instagram bot say either it didn’t work at all or it interacted with far too many fake accounts. When asked if anyone used Social Envy, one user on Quora replied with, “I have. I wish I hadn’t.”
The Worst Complaints:
The worst complaints are probably related to unauthorized transactions. There are lots of comments and reviews from unhappy Social Envy users who claim the company randomly charged their credit or debit cards with no warning or explanation, amounts ranging from a few dollars to near thousands.
Interestingly enough, it looks like when Social Envy closed its doors, it still had a lot of users with active memberships.
Members complained that they kept being charged on a weekly basis, even though the website and its service were down. The worst part is the company stopped replying to emails and never offered refunds. Not fun.
Of course, that doesn’t mean the entire platform was a scam. It did deliver some results for some people, but it does look like there were more unsatisfied users than satisfied ones.
On top of that, the company rarely replied to support tickets or emails. Essentially, they went completely dark and offered no explanation for shutting down or charging users.
Social Envy Conclusion
To conclude, on the surface, Social Envy looked like a decent social media growth service. Their services are much like similar tools we reviewed.
But the quality of their service quickly went downhill and it’s no surprise they were busted. They were too aggressive and created a bit too much spam. Not to mention the whole lawsuit situation. Overall, it wasn’t the best tool.
Where can you go from here?
Social Envy Alternatives
Look, I get it. There are lots of social media tasks that are tedious and take up a lot of time, time that could be spent on more productive activities. The truth is you can automate some activity on Instagram. But you have to be smart about it. And you have to use the right tools!
Below are some Social Envy alternatives.
You can find a full list here.
Kenji is an Instagram bot. In fact, it claims to be the best Instagram bot. What makes this bot different from the usual Instagram bots is because it is powered by A.I. It doesn’t use basic scripts like the other bots. Instead, it uses adaptive machine-learning to automate tasks, making it almost impossible to detect.
The best part is it’s budget-friendly. If you have an Instagram account you want to grow on the side, I recommend checking out Kenji. However, make sure to read through their guidelines first. You can get started with a free trial.
Upleap is not really an Instagram bot. It’s more like an Instagram growth service. The way it works is they assign an account manager to your account.
The account manager is basically like a personal social media marketer, except you don’t communicate directly with them. Their job is to automate tasks for you, such as liking content, following users, leaving comments, and whatnot.
Compared to Kenji, it’s a little pricier, but since the activity is generated by a human, the results are usually better. But you don’t need to worry about the price yet. Take it for a 3-day trial run to see if you like it.
These are two of our favorite Instagram growth tools. There are several others, and you can even use a combination of one or more tools to create an extremely powerful marketing campaign.
Here is a list full list of our recommended tools.
Kicksta is a cool Social Envy alternative because instead of offering a range of automation services, they focus on one – auto-liker. They don’t offer followers or other services.
What Kicksta does is like content based on your target selection, which sends out pings to many users in your industry. Most of the time, these users will head back to your profile and interact with you.
Kicksta is great because not only is it effective but also very safe. It’s probably one of the safest automation tools because it doesn’t do anything besides auto-like content. And mass-liking content is not against Instagram’s rules.
Worth checking out.
Final Word on Instagram Tools
Before we wrap it up, there are a couple of things you need to know about using Instagram automation tools.
For one, I wouldn’t recommend them for business accounts, unless you’re 100% the service works as advertised. Be careful about trying new tools, there are a lot of scams out there. Read more about Instagram bots here.
Secondly, I know it’s easy to get addicted to Instagram’s growth. When you see new followers, you want to keep getting as many as possible. But you need to be careful. Having tons of fake followers will do nothing useful for your business, besides making it appear that your account is popular.
If you really want to be successful, then you need to learn how to build a legitimate relationship with your fans. You have to put effort into creating high-quality content, replying to comments & direct messages, and interacting with your audience as a human would.
Automation tools can facilitate the process, but they shouldn’t be the main source of your account’s activity. Remember, focus on quality! The results will come.
Thanks for taking the time to read this article.