A major bot platform, Instagress, shut their digital doors earlier today. By request of Instagram.
If you’ve ever noticed a spike in likes when using hashtags, or getting very generic and awkward the emoji-laden comments in your posts, you can thank platforms like Instagress.
Professionals familiar with the bot platform are already celebrating. But should they be?
Facebook, Instagram’s father, is notorious for bolstering vanity metrics and reporting inaccurate and inflated numbers. Especially with video views.
If you take YouTube out of the picture, Instagram dominates the major social media platforms in terms of his engagement, holding 92% of the engagements across the board (L2inc).
Comments and Likes are also engagements.
"Instagram users “like” 4.2 billion posts per day." (Source)
What we don’t know is what percentage of these engagements are thanks to automation systems like Instagress. The question now would be on how Instagram is going to keep up with previous reports on engagement. Or are their "video views" already dominating? (they probably are.)
That said, these bots do like and comment, but don't actually View videos. Both Facebook and Instagram are very strong in prioritizing video. So maybe it is probably a smart move on their end.
But still, to those social media managers cheering at the demise of this major bot platform...what are you going to tell your clients if you experience a significant decrease in likes per post?
Ironically, I've seen a 5x increase of my engagement the past week or so thanks to using hashtags*. And 2 of my clients have experienced viral posts. This trend remains as of writing - I've already tested on several accounts.
*Using business/marketing tags. When testing "birding" hashtags on my sister's account (she likes birds), I saw no noticeable increase.
The loss of Instagress will not end automated engagement based on hashtags and who you follow. But the end of all bots could really suck.
**Update (4/25) It appears Instagress was shut down due to their brand name and using "insta':
There plenty of other automation platforms out there. And botters are just going to migrate to a different one.
"Botters gonna bot". - Justin Wu
Keep in mind, any of these bot platforms are a violation of Instagram's Terms Of Service. So it's interesting that Instagram waited so long to have Instagress taken down.
I still think Instagram is the greatest social platform to focus most the efforts on (I'll write about this in another post). But will the bot naysayers still be cheering if they end up getting a fraction of likes on their posts if Instagram decides to crush other bot platforms?
Fortunately, bots will be around for a while. Regardless of whether they violate Terms of Service.
If you're curious if you've been engaged by bots on your Instagram account, look at some past videos. Did you get a disproportionate amount of likes over views? ➡️ Bots. You'd also be able to tell by any mindless generic comments you've experienced.