How Bots Help Instagram Users Get More ‘Followers’

Bots have been used on social networks for years now — they are a way of growing one’s community without much effort and getting more attention than by doing everything manually. However, it’s not organic, and thus social media companies have tried to shut them down for a while.

Instagram bots are designed to help you perform such actions as liking, commenting, and following other accounts on Instagram through automation. These are actions most Instagram users do on a daily basis, but they can take up a big chunk of your time.

With the help of Instagram bots, you can plug in parameters, like specific hashtags or accounts to target, and the bot does all the work for you. Some of the most popular bots for Instagram or automation services are Mass Planner, FollowLiker, and the recently shut down Instagress.

“Racking up followers and likes on photos gives a sheen of legitimacy to small businesses or aspiring social-media influencers,” reads a new New York Times report. “If 10,000 people are following them, someone quickly scanning through Instagram might think, ‘Maybe I should start paying attention to them, too.’ And popular accounts also tend to attract advertisers.”

 The use of automation and “bot farms” has always been a murky issue for Instagram — though it announced plans to purge the platform of fake accounts in December 2014, a Wall Street Journal report a year later cited researchers who said that the effort barely made a dent.

Services like the recently shut down Instagress don’t create fake accounts, but they automatically comment on and “like” other people’s Instagram photos, artificially driving up engagement and making accounts appear more popular and valuable.

“People use this stuff because it makes your life a little easier short term because your audience is growing,”said Alex Taub, the co-founder of SocialRank, which helps marketers find and analyze followers on Twitter and Instagram. “But your audience is probably growing by bots, and it’s probably bots talking to bots.”

Despite Instagram cracking down on these services, new ones keep popping up to replace the ones shut down. Living life by the way of ‘likes’–is that a life worth living?