Artificial Intelligence and automation have been the major buzzwords for the past three years or so, and various automation tools are now more affordable and accessible than ever, allowing more people to use it on a daily basis.
The Instagram bot is one of such automation tools. With a bot, it is now faster and easier to build an audience on Instagram.
However, is the Instagram bot actually legit? Will I be banned for using it? What actually are the benefits of using an Instagram bot?
Here, we will attempt to answer those questions (and others), but let’s start with some background information about Instagram bots.
What Is An Instagram Bot?
An Instagram bot, or to use the proper technical term, Instagram automation, is a software that is connected to your Instagram account that is able to automatically perform a specific task (or tasks), for example:
- Automatically post your content based on a schedule (advanced bots can also schedule itself based on the available data through machine learning)
- Automatically like and comment on specific posts (both photos and videos) based on specific preferences
- Automatically follow (and unfollow) Instagram accounts
The main idea is that you give permission to the Instagram automation/bot to access Instagram’s API through your account, so the bot now effectively “takes over” your account to automatically perform the tasks according to your specific programming/order.
Why Use Instagram Bots?
It’s pretty obvious that the Instagram bots, as automation software, can act faster and more accurately than humans, so it can save your precious time from doing repetitive and boring tasks you usually do on Instagram.
However, the real question is whether an Instagram chatbot development can actually produce better results. Instagram is not only a one-way communication channel but two-way interactions are also very important. So, how effective is a bot in replacing authentic human interactions?
Before we answer those, let us first discuss why Instagram bots emerged in the first place.
It’s no secret that Instagram is now a very prominent and important social media platform, and simply put, more followers and more engagements on Instagram equal more money opportunities. Brands want to get more people to buy their products/services, and influencers want to grow more influence.
The thing is, when we follow people on Instagram, give them likes, or comments, some of these people might return the favour and engage back with your account. However, giving likes to thousands of accounts daily can be a very time-consuming and tiring process and this is why people start using Instagram automation or bots to automate some of these repetitive tasks.
The answer to the previous question, however, is no, Instagram bots can’t fully replace human interactions and won’t necessarily produce better results. In fact, various research and studies have suggested that human interactions tend to produce significantly better results.
How Do Instagram Bots Interact?
Instagram bots and automation, in general, are actually a type of AI (Artificial Intelligence) implementation, and as the name suggests, it is technically a “robot”.
AI trends and technologies have rapidly advanced in the past half-decade or so, especially with the major advancements and implementations of machine learning and deep learning. Some very advanced AIs today can indeed replace human interactions very effectively, but they are extremely expensive.
Most Instagram Bots available in the market, however, is nowhere near that level, and can’t properly replicate human actions and interactions that are very important in Instagram and any other social platforms such as:
- Knowing which people to follow/unfollow based on real-time trends
- Effectively using hashtags in posts
- Liking posts that are outside the set preferences (for example when a specific meme is suddenly trending)
- Commenting interactively according to the context of the conversation
Instagram bots are especially worse at comments, and robotic-sounding comments are the most common way of detecting bots. Yes, there are ways to set up and automate a really advanced chatbot messenger that can even generate humanlike comments, but in most cases, it’s going to be really expensive and/or time-consuming to build.
Are Instagram Bots Legal?
The short answer is no. Using any forms of automation, including an Instagram bot, is against Instagram’s community guidelines.
In the past, Instagram took a relatively passive stance on Instagram automation and even fake followers. However, Instagram nowadays is more active in penalizing and even permanently banning bot-based accounts. Since 2018, Instagram has effectively banned a lot of bot accounts.
As a result of this “purge”, Instagram has also shut down popular Instagram bots by blocking their access to the Instagram API. In the past, there have been popular names for Instagram bots like InstaPlus, Mass Planner, Instagress, and others. Nowadays, they’ve all gone.
Also, some (not all) accounts that are known to have used these bots have been permanently deleted.
So Should I Use an Instagram Bot?
We’ll strictly answer no, here due to two simple reasons:
First, as we have established, using an Instagram bot or any other form of automation means violating Instagram’s official policy. The risk is simply not worth it, as you can get permanently deleted or blocked by Instagram, effectively ruining your hard work.
Second, Instagram bots have never been that effective in the first place. Various experiments and studies have suggested that human interactions do perform better both in the short-term and long-term basis.
In short, the benefit simply doesn’t justify the risk.
How Can You Build Engaged, Authentic Audience Without Bots
Since a python chatbot can’t be an effective solution in growing your Instagram followers and engagement, how can we rapidly grow Instagram influence?
In general, the answer is to have a real person work for a couple of hours (probably three) per day to:
- Post actually relevant and valuable content. This is still the most important factor in growing followers and engagement
- Reply to all comments according to the context of the conversation
- Liking posts
- Add relevant and insightful comments
- Connect with followers (i.e. asking relevant questions, Q&A sessions, giveaways, etc.)
- Researching and staying up-to-date to the newest trends and hashtags
- Building relationships with relevant influencers in your niche
An Instagram bot development is not a viable solution in growing your Instagram following and engagement. Its usage is against Instagram community guidelines and can get your account permanently deleted.
The secret in growing your Instagram account is to actually publish relevant, attractive, and valuable content for your target audience. Human interactions—at least at the moment—are still performing significantly better than any forms of automation in social media platforms.
How much do Instagram bots cost?
On average, an Instagram bot costs around $25 to $50 a month. The pricing of the bots depends on the features it provides.
Should I use an Instagram bot?
No. The usage of a bot is against the policy of Instagram. The company has been penalizing and permanently banning the accounts which use bots.
How to get Instagram bot followers?
There are various bots like SocialCaptain, Instavast, Bigbangram and Ingrammer, among various others. However, it’s not advisable to use bots in Instagram as it’s a direct violation of the company’s policy.
How do you program a bot?
A bot can be programmed and deployed by following these three steps.
- Setup your bot
- Test your bot
- Deploy your bot
How Do Instagram Bots Interact?
Instagram bots are designed to like, comment, follow accounts and to attract more followers, programmed to do these certain tasks. However, usage of these bots can lead to a permanent ban as it’s against the rules of the organization.