Instagram Bots: The Pros, Cons and Risks

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In today‘s social media landscape, Instagram remains one of the most influential platforms for brands looking to reach and engage their audience. But with over 1 billion monthly active users and over 200 million daily users on Instagram, standing out and growing your following can feel like an impossible task.

This is why more and more brands and influencers are turning to Instagram bots – automated tools that interact with Instagram on your behalf to perform actions like liking, commenting, following, unfollowing, etc. But are Instagram bots right for your brand? Let‘s take an in-depth look at everything you need to know.

What are Instagram Bots?

Instagram bots are third-party automated services that tap into the Instagram API to programmatically perform various actions on your behalf to help grow your account. According to research by Influencer Marketing Hub, over 47% of marketers are already using some form of automation for Instagram.

Typically accessed via desktop software or mobile apps, some of the key things an Instagram bot can help you do include:

  • Auto-like and comment on posts based on hashtags, captions or other criteria
  • Follow, unfollow or block users automatically
  • Send direct messages to target users
  • Repost media
  • Schedule Instagram posts in advance
  • Gain analytics and insights on followers and engagement

Some popular bot tools used by marketers include InstagramBot, Jarvee, SocialSteeze and FollowLiker. They promise to save you time, grow your followers fast and increase engagement – but how well do they actually work?

The Pros of Using Instagram Bots

There are some advantages that Instagram bots can offer:

Saves Time on Repetitive Tasks

The #1 reason social media marketers turn to Instagram bots is to automate repetitive, time-consuming tasks. Manually liking posts, commenting, following potential followers and removing unwanted followers can take hours each day.

Bots allow you to save hours per week on these mundane activities and focus your effort on higher value tasks like creating engaging content and interacting with real followers.

Grows Your Followers Faster

Features like auto-following, auto-liking and auto-commenting on relevant posts allows you to cast a much wider net in terms of potential followers. While open follow/unfollow methods are frowned upon now, many sophisticated bots allow you to gain targeted followers rapidly based on niche hashtags, locations, follower counts and more.

According to influencer marketing platform HypeAuditor, bots can help you gain up to 1000+ more followers per month versus manual efforts alone.

Automated Engagement

Instagram bots allow you to set up rules to automatically engage relevant posts that include your target keywords, hashtags, mentions etc. This saves you time while keeping your brand top of mind for your audience and potential followers.

Gain Data and Insights

Many Instagram automation tools provide user-friendly dashboards and reports to help you analyze performance and fine-tune your strategy. You can track key metrics like follower growth, engagement rates, top posts and more. Some even offer competitor analysis.

The Cons of Using Instagram Bots

However, there are also some significant downsides to using Instagram bots that you need to watch out for:

Violates Instagram‘s Terms

Automating likes, comments, follows and other activities on Instagram goes against their Terms of Service. This means your account risks being suspended, banned or disabled if Instagram‘s systems detect bot activity.

Artificial Engagement

The likes, comments and followers generated by bots are essentially fake and meaningless. These artificial vanity metrics won‘t actually drive sales or benefit your business. Authentic engagement is crucial.

Poorer Feed Quality

Bots don‘t have human judgment – they simply follow rigid rules and keywords. This often leads to poor post curation, with your feed getting flooded with irrelevant content just because it matched certain hashtags.

Security & Hacking Risks

To function, some Instagram automation tools ask for access to your login credentials, leaving your account vulnerable to hacking or compromised security.

Hurts Audience Relationships

Over-automation leads to less authentic connections with your real human followers. Random automated comments can even damage relationships if not relevant or sensitive to the post content.

The Ugly Truth About Instagram Bots

Beyond the disadvantages above, leveraging Instagram bots also comes with significant risks that every marketer needs to be aware of:

Account Suspension or Ban

As third-party bots violate Instagram‘s ToS, the platform employs sophisticated technology to detect and shut them down. Users of bots risk having their accounts permanently suspended or banned.

In 2017, Instagram banned hundreds of thousands of accounts using bots and fake engagement services like Instagress.

Deletion of Likes, Followers and Engagement

If Instagram identifies artificial engagement from bots, they may outright delete the likes, comments, followers etc. gained through such services. This can deflate your perceived popularity and growth.


One sneaky tactic Instagram uses is shadowbanning – secretly restricting posts from bot-using accounts so they have limited visibility and reach. You may not even realize you‘ve been shadowbanned.

Hacking and Security Issues

By providing your Instagram login details to a third-party service, you‘re opening yourself up to potential hacking, stolen data or misuse if the bot platform lacks rigorous security standards.

Safer Alternatives to Grow Your Instagram

Rather than risk your account‘s reputation and reach with Instagram bots, focus your efforts on more authentic, sustainable growth strategies:

Create Exceptional Content

High quality, relevant and engaging content tailored to your audience is key. Consistently delight followers rather than robotically auto-engaging.

Optimize Hashtags

Research the optimal mix of popular and niche hashtags to expand your reach and get discovered by more of your target audience.

Engage Followers

Reply to comments, answer questions in DMs, jump on live broadcasts – build real bonds with the followers you have.

Leverage Influencers

Partner with influencers in your industry to tap into their engaged following and get authentic exposure.

Run Instagram Ads

Take advantage of Instagram‘s highly targeted advertising capabilities to get your content in front of potential new followers.

Use IG Management Tools

Social media management platforms like Hootsuite can help schedule posts and analyze performance without artificial engagement risks.

The Verdict: Should You Use Instagram Bots?

While Instagram bots offer the appeal of automation and quick growth on paper, the long list of disadvantages makes them a risky bet for most brands. Focus on delighting real humans instead.

Unless you have an expendable account you don‘t mind losing, it‘s smarter to grow your Instagram presence through creative, audience-focused marketing strategies tailored to Instagram‘s latest algorithms.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.