It seems like, with Instagram, there’s always some new way of trying to beat the system.
First, it was all about the follow/unfollow. Basically, you would follow a ton of people every day, and then unfollow them a few days later. The idea is, when you follow someone, they get a notification, and come over and check out your profile, and possibly follow you back. But then you unfollow them, to keep your follower/followee ratio high.
Then came the bots. Bots allow you to automatically do the follow/unfollow thing, but also allow you to like and comment on people’s posts. Engaging with people’s content, we all know, is a great way to get followers. Bots can do it faster and without needing your attention.
Do these methods work? Sure. What’s the problem, then?
First of all, they aren’t authentic. You aren’t authentically engaging with your audience. And I can spot a bot-generated comment a mile away (FYI I do occasionally use a service called Combin to comment on Instagram, but I cherry-pick the images I want to comment on, and I write specific comments for those photos). Additionally, Instagram is not happy if you use them. You’re essentially cheating the system, so I get why, but you have to be very careful about using third party software when interacting with Instagram. They don’t like it, and if they catch you, then can ban your account or even shut you down entirely.
So, yes, these methods work, but I’ve never been a fan of them.
Well, there’s a new method in town, and it’s called Mass Looking.
I discovered this a few weeks back when I posted a question sticker on my Instagram story. I got about 2 actual answers, and all the rest felt like bots. I wondered what was up and tried to do research to find out, but couldn’t find anything. I finally figured it out.
There are programs that use bots to look at Instagram Stories from your account. Basically, you sign up for an account, pay the money, and hand over your login info. You tell the bot what kinds of content you’re interested in looking at, give it some keywords/hashtags, or tell it what account(s) you’d like to scrape followers from. Then, it watches millions of Instagram Stories per day on your behalf. The platforms say they can view up to 10 Million IG Stories per day, but most are only reporting around 3 Million, max. Still, that’s a lot of Instagram Stories.
The concept is this: when you do an instagram story, you often, after the fact, check the analytics on that story to see how many people watched it, and you may even swipe up on the story to see exactly who watched your story. If you see someone you don’t know who watched your story, you may wander over to their profile to check them out, and maybe even follow them (this works especially well if the person doesn’t have a ton of followers).
In addition, these bots allow you to answer question stickers and participate in slider polls.
Which answers my question about all the random answers I got to my question sticker.
There are quite a few of these kinds of tools/platforms out there, including: this, this, this, this and this (and there’s more).
One thing I noticed while researching this article is that many of these sites are written in very bad English, and that many of these platforms are based in Russia. I don’t know about you, but for me, I’m loathe to hand over my IG credentials to someone in Russia???
Obviously, this is a growth hack, but be careful; Instagram does not endorse these methods, and they do not like them, and they are constantly changing the platform to catch people who are using these methods. And think about it: if you go one day from watching, say, 100 Instagram Stories, to watching a million the next, that’s going to cause a red flag on your account.
I would love to hear from you if you’ve tried one of these tools, and what your experience with it has been. Please comment below, or if you want to remain anonymous, email me.
It’s funny that you post this, because I’ve been wondering about the random sticker comments that I’ve been getting. That have NOTHING to do with my question. Thanks for sharing this discovery and insight. As always, very helpful and informative!