Top Instagram bots are very, very similar.
Top Instagram bots share features, so choosing the best for you is about time commitment. Some are easier to use than others, so they have a steeper learning curve. Is it worth putting your time into? Not really, you have better things to deal with I assume. Automation tools for Instagram all share a baseline list of features and are priced similarly. I don't recommend everyone to use Instagram bots, since automated activity is monitored much more closely for different niches and different industries. The most popular affiliate niches are a great example of this - fitness, health, vapes and anything marijuana-related are risky to automate activity. It could bring your business to the next level or absolutely destroy everything you've worked for. Your call.
Article Updated 5/4/2017 because Instagress was shut down
RIP Instagress 4/20/2017
For a long time, I considered Instagress the best Instagram bot / automation service on the market. The most reasonable price point, targeting options and amazing customer support. Unfortunately for Instagress, Instagram updated their ToS so that 3rd party services using their API weren't allowed to use "Insta", "Gram", or "IG" in their product name. Before this, you were allowed to use at most 1 of them, so the name Instagress was fine. Many major publications are misreporting that Instagram is shutting down automation tools but this isn't the case. I wrote an article on my growth consultancy, STB Collaborations' blog about the death of Instagress you should check out if you have the time.
People are in a panic now looking for alternatives, so this article will give you a few options. I personally haven't had enough time with these options so for the time being, you'll have to make your own judgment. I'll be periodically updating this article to reflect my experience and insight on Instagram automation. For now, let's review services I've used and ones that others have recommended that I'll try out later on.
The 4 basic features of any top Instagram bot are the following: liking, commenting, following and unfollowing. Actually, when you think about it, these are the only 4 actions you can take when interacting with someone on Instagram. Period. Automating these activities comes down to a few settings, but the premise is this: You set hashtags you want to interact with and the bot does it for you. This goes back a couple decades, but I'll say it: Computers aren't smart. They think very literally. They'll only ever do what you tell them to do. This means that researching which hashtags to focus on is crucial to success. One wrong step and your account will be suspended or banned.
Hashtag research is the single most important part of using top Instagram bots.
If you're going after a hashtag that shitty marketers and spammers are using, you won't get far. You need to go into a hashtag search and go through photos for hours on end before deciding to add it to your automation targeting. If 95% of the content matches the hashtag, you're golden. I've ran into this problem myself going after regional hashtags like #Bangkok and #Shanghai. Marketers ruin everything and hashtags are no different. Tons of spam accounts and people are frankly are quite vain were using these hashtags to attract likes from people like me who use bots to automate activity. They're useless to me. They aren't in my target demographic, so my following became diluted by these people. That's the result of poor hashtag research. You end up following and liking content that's irrelevant to you and sooner than you think, your followers are irrelevant to you as well.
What Instagress did so well was that they were always developing new ways for marketers to target the audience they want. They added geotagging as a filter option, meaning you could go after users who have been to a specific location. They added advanced filters, so you can choose exactly who you're going for. They added simultaneous follow and unfollow cycles, something no other Instagram automation service offered at the time.
Let me put things into perspective for you on just how targeted they allow you to go. In February, I was traveling the southern islands of Thailand. Using Instagress, I was able to automatically leave comments on photos people took within the last 2 weeks on a specific area of an island in Thailand, using hashtags that I specified (so that I was only going after backpackers) and within a certain follower range (500-2000 followers). What was I commenting? I was asking these people for restaurant and hostel recommendations. Boom. 80% reply rate. You can't beat that level of targeting.
My number one choice of Instagram bots has been suffering server overload from a massive number of signups since Instagress and MassPlanner were shut down. They’ve asked to be removed from this article, but send me a PM on Twitter and I’ll fill you in.
I don't have anything against Archie.co, since as far as top Instagram bots go, I put it as my number two pick. It's like Instagress, but you can't be as aggressive with your interactions. It used to be my go-to and it gets the job done, but it's lacking in areas that Instagress absolutely excels in. That's to be expected though since Archie offers automaton for Twitter and Soundcloud as well. I've heard that it's the best at Soundcloud automation hands-down, but that's a platform I've never really touched. I'm a much better writer than I am at doing audio. Archie also requires quite a bit less finesse than Instagress to use effectively, which is great for less experienced marketers. This also means that it can't achieve quite as much, so there's your tradeoff.
RIP MassPlanner 5/13/2017
MassPlanner was by far the most powerful Instagram automation on the market. It was for advanced users who really want to take automation to its limits. Highly recommended if you’re managing multiple accounts. MassPlanner was the standard among affiliate marketers. They do automation for pretty much every social network and they do it fucking well. It costs more, but it’s worth it if you’re taking your business seriously and have the skill to manage automation well.
I’m not sure of the exact details of MassPlanner’s shutdown, but it’s still unclear if Instagram is truly taking a stand against automation or not. My theory for MassPlanner is that they had their own API, allowing others to create their own bots based off theirs. From a legal perspective, this is a form of monetizing Instagram’s API, so suspect that’s why they were shut down. Instagress was shut down for copyright issues, so we can do nothing for now but wait to see what happens to other alternative services.
Stay away the fuck away from any Instagram bot that has “Insta” or “gram” in its name.
They’re at full risk of suffering the same fate as Instagress and searching for a new service can be a pain. Don’t risk losing your valuable time.
What’s been your experience with Instagram bots? Are you using something else altogether? Let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear about services I haven’t tried out.
Instagram Bots I Have Yet to Try
I don't have much at all to say about these at all, but I've received plenty of emails from people telling me to check them out. InstaJool is so cheap it sounds too good to be true. I've heard good things about Instazood and they offered me a free trial that I never acted on. I'll go through them all at some point, but for now, here's just a list with monthly pricing:
- Instazood - $9.99
- RoboLike - $7.77
- InstaJool - $2.99
- Gramista - $39.99
- InstaEasy - $47
- InstaMacro - $59.99
My advice is to completely avoid any Instagram bot with "Insta" or "gram" in their name because it's a direct ToS violation when using the Instagram API. They can be shut down at any point, just like what happened to Instagress.