Instagress Shut Down
Instagress has shut down. Supporters of the “Instagram Rapture” are surely somewhere toasting. Unfortunately for those individuals, online marketers will continue to do what they do best – market as efficiently as possible for as little money as possible.
So, Instagress may have seen its last day, but platform automation is going nowhere.
The recent shut down wasn’t the first and likely won’t be the last. It’s one of many in an ongoing crackdown against platform automation. People are going to people, however, so while some have moved on to comment pods and other methods or gaming the algorithm, the next Instagress will soon pop up.
Automation, fake accounts, and Instagress
In 2014, Instagram began its purge of fake accounts. This was met with applause by some and silent disdain by others. The assumption was that ridding Instagram of bots would return the platform to having users get their following through purely organic means.
While millions of bots were removed, services like Instagress persisted since they operate in the same way normal users do. Rather than creating drone accounts to boost follower numbers, Instagress likes and comments for an account to drive real engagement.
By automating functions that are part-and-parcel of the platform, Instagress manages to put efficacy and the ability to grow accounts easily in a discrete and resource saving package. Many are unaware that it isn’t just Instagram famous individuals using these services, many big brands are as well.
Why it is exactly that people use bots
There are a good many Instagram users that believe they can generate a major following through organic interaction. The monthly user base for Instagram is 800 million strong and counting. Consider the sheer competition each user has when vying for eyes on their content.
The platform operates on the principle of reciprocation. It’s almost etiquette at this point to like and comment in response. Imagine the time you’d spend managing the task of responding to a following of 10k. Assuming 10% of your following consistently engages every post that’s approximately 1k responses per content upload.
Most simply aren’t willing to dedicate their lives to the hours that would take every day. The time lost would only scale upwards with the following. Some companies hire entire teams to interact with followers and would be followers. Budding influencers and those with smaller business choose to throw the old model away outright.
People used Instagress and other Instagram bots because it was efficient and saved time. It allowed people to focus more on their business and content creation. The service shutting down opened a void the laws of economics won’t allow to stay empty. As long as people can monetize their accounts through advertising and sponsorship, the incentive to market will remain.
How the pros used Instagress
Have you ever noticed that some people seem to be everywhere on Instagram? Every time you see a photo that’s in their industry they’ve liked or commented on it. Have you ever wondered how that is? The answer is good market research.
Instagress didn’t only free people to create better content and focus on better business. The people who were in-the-know took some of that time and rolled it into researching what was trending within their niche. Instagress found content based on hashtags. Knowing what hashtags are most popular are how you create the biggest impact on that 800 million.
Since Instagress closed, many more tools have come to take it’s place.
They are legion.
You can oppress one person or company but not an idea, and when a hell of a lot of people have heard of that idea, the legion is not something easily dismissed.
Best Instagress Alternative
Instagress’ shutdown left many businesses, influencers and fledgeling influencers alike needing an alternative, replacement form of automation.
But, the show must go on.
Fortunately, markets don’t collapse on command and there are other services to fill the void.
If you’re looking for a service that functions similarly to Instagress – it exists, but if you looking for something a bit different that’s out there too.
These are the best Instagress alternatives right now:
|1||Hashtags For Likes||Click Here|
|2||Stellation Media||Click Here|
|3||Follow Adder||Click Here|
If you’re personally feeling the loss of Instagress look no further than Follow Adder. It covers the liking, following and commenting just like your previous service but has a few tweaks that make it exceptional in its own right.
The key factor that sets Follow Adder apart from its competitors is that it’s made to run exclusively on Instagram. For those looking to branch into automation for other platforms, it may seem lacking, but this specialization means the developers were able to pour all their resources into making FollowAdder everything it needs to be and none of what it doesn’t.
What separates this bot from the competition is its activity tempo. Automation enables an account to engage at a pace and consistency that regular people can’t, but going too much faster than this sets off alarms.
Instagram is constantly looking for abnormal activity and at some point, things can begin to look ridiculous. Follow Adder seems to have found the balance between rational behavior and social media addict as far as appearances.
Other than that it functions as you’d expect, but a little bit better. Follow Adder has strong listing capabilities. Remember the whole “locate accounts to engage with via hashtags” thing? Follow Adder does that well but isn’t limited to hashtags exclusively.
Let’s say you decide to start a travelling page and want to locate users that use “#instagood” for their hashtag. That will get great exposure but that pool is too great to assume you’ll get legitimate engagement. So, we’ll cut it down to “#brazil” for now.
That hashtag gets you a decent bit of engagement and you notice that many of those accounts follow @randomtraveler’s page. Follow Adder gives you the option to target not only accounts using that hashtag, but all of that popular account’s followers.
Add to that the ability to auto like back (which is huge considering that Instagram operates on the principle of reciprocity), auto-share content and a beast of a tracker and you have yourself a recipe for success.
The features I just mentioned may not seem like much, but give and take on social media is so real. People have an actual dopamine response to social media so any activity of yours that acknowledges others is likely to get a response.
The auto-share and auto-like respectively are especially big in that regard.
If you’re the type to create content nonstop or just want to put on cruise control Follow Adder allows you to schedule your content uploads well in advanced. The service also enables you to automatically respond to a like with a like on however many uploads you want.
Follow Adder’s approach to automation has it picking up right where Instagress left off. If Instagress was all you wanted Follow Adder has you covered now.
There are 5 tiers of options when purchasing a plan with Follow Adder. Each of these plans includes ALL of the platforms features as well as free support and software upgrades. What makes them different is the number of Instagram accounts they’ll provide services for.
Unless you plan to expand or open multiple businesses, the Starter options with the management of a single account for $49.99 is all you’ll need. Premium, Professional, Agent and Publicist go for $75, $115, $188 and $425 respectively.
These prices are for six months of access to the service.
Agora Pulse isn’t an automation service so much as an almost universal moderation hub. If you use any combination of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Google + or LinkedIn Agora Pulse’s software helps you manage them all from one place.
This management software makes initial setup and account implementation a breeze while offering flexibility and high-quality customer support.
The software comes with tools to assist in tracking critical data so you’ll gain a better picture of where you’re at. This information is vital when crafting your strategy and it’s easily one of my favorite features.
Agora Pulse is worth your consideration if you aren’t up for logging into multiple platforms, having multiple tabs open and tracking data through different avenues.
In a nutshell, Agora Pulse provides you a single, unified graphic user interface for all of the above mentioned social media options. As a management platform, it also provides a sweeping range of tools, be they apps, content automation and analytics that make management easier than it would be otherwise.
Every like, comment, tweet and follow is tracked. The messages in any respect of your account’s inboxes are available to you. Whether you been followed, unfollowed or tagged is displayed. You literally won’t miss a thing, from anything on this platform.
If you’re worried about the difficulties of managing so much content and information on one platform, don’t be. The dashboard makes everything clear with big notifications for each platform you’re managing on.
Add to all of this powerful analytical capabilities to show the effectiveness of your social media strategy (or where you need to improve) and you have yourself a quality package. The reports are even customizable and exported to PowerPoint as quite the professional finishing touch.
If your strategy mandates you use multiple platforms or you’re running a social media marketing agency Agora Pulse may be the software for you.
Agora Pulse has 4 pricing tiers. Regardless of which tier you purchase you get unlimited scheduled posts, a mobile app to monitor on the go and automated moderation among other things. There’s a ton of value no matter the tier.
The deciding factor in which you get (if it’s anything above the first tier) should be the size of your agency and amount of work you have.
The “Small” tier is honestly the only one I’d suggest for a single person working on their accounts. It’s $49 per month and comes with management for 3 social media profiles (FB, Tw, IG, G+, LI or YT) with the option to add-on for $15.
It’s accessible by only 1 user with additional users costing an extra $39 per month. This tier has your social inbox, monitoring, publishing and 2 months of data retention for analytics. It also gives the option to compare your performance with that of competitors.
The downside is its lack of ads monitoring and a team workflow options, but the latter is simply because you work alone in this tier.
All of the tiers above Small offer a greater number of profiles and members, the inbox, monitoring and publishing is “advanced synced” and your data retention is greatly extended. Ads monitoring and team workflow are added to make life easier as well.
The prices for these are $99 per month for 10 profiles, $199 per month for 25 profiles and $299 per month for 40 profiles respectively. The cost to add users remains the same.
Agora Pulse is potentially an agency’s best tool for organization and time saving if they’re determined to manually growth hack.
While manually moderating accounts on multiple profiles across platforms is “the right” way to do social media there’s an option for those that prefer automation as well. FollowingLike is a software that automates network marketing on Facebook, Instagram, Google+, LinkedIn, Reddit, Tumblr and Pinterest as you’d expect from a service like Follow Adder.
It likes, follows, unfollows, comments, pins, unpins etc. Other than that, it functions like a cross between previously mentioned services.
FollowingLike’s major features are management across multiple accounts on the above mentioned social networks, automation through task scheduling for content posting, likes etc. and proxy management to assist in guarding your account from becoming banned.
That last feature is huge considering the amount of opposition to automation. FollowingLike also doesn’t use API based connections which translates to your accounts being safer.
Other much appreciate features are content spinning which slightly changes your content to upload on your various profiles and scraping (not actually scraping) which gathers content across your RSS and feeds that can be spun later.
FollowingLike allows you to strategize, set it and forget it so long as you return to moderate and schedule new content. If you manage multiple business and multiple accounts but don’t want to have to touch them AT ALL this software is great for time management.
Honestly, their pricing is a bit convoluted, but I’ll do my best to simplify. The “one account” and “five account” options are sold as one time fees exclusively. Beyond that there is an “unlimited accounts” option. This is split into 4 tiers.
These tiers are split by how you pay them with their price options being offered as a one time, per month, per year and what I assume is a trial cost of $7 for 3 days followed by a per year fee.
The one-time fee is most expensive with the per month being the lowest. It’s pretty obvious those options are for people looking to do a trial run on the service.
Each social media platform has a respective price depending on how many accounts you want with one account being a one time fee of $79, five accounts being $113 and unlimited being $194. That one time fee applies exclusively to the social media platform you chose.
If you want to add another platform you pay another one time fee, per year fee or per month fee respectively. An “Ultimate Edition” is available in the “Unlimited Accounts” tiers and is a good buy if you plan to use 5 or more social media platforms.
This service, in an effort to avoid the automation purge has done a fantastic job of minimizing their online presence. They’ve instead chosen to be found by word of mouth sources such as this one.
They provide an automation service like Follow Adder’s, but they specifically work hard at avoiding “anomaly detection.”
Instagram is always looking for irregular activity in accounts. Sighting of irregular activity usually mean foul play and the assumption can get an account banned from the platform.
Their aim is for their bot to never get banned by acting as “real” as possible. As additional features they provide image scraping and hashtag generation. Their online community is also a great source of information on how to better run your page.
InstaQ offers a monthly subscription and life-time license option. The monthly is $27 and the life-time is 134 but at the time of typing there’s a sale for $87.
I’d recommend Follow Adder over InstaQ, as development of this bot seems to have halted.
InstaZood is an Instagram exclusive automation bot, not too dissimilar to Follow Adder. It’s marketed as such and quite a few people have recommended it for fledgeling accounts looking to get a strong start on social media.
It features many of the listing features that enable it to target demographics for likes, unlikes, follows etc. Where it falls short is in its automation pacing and customer service.
As mentioned before we no longer recommend InstaZood. Their function got a trial account banned due to their over-aggressiveness and they failed one of my clients.
InstaZood offers 3 packages as well as a like and view purchasing service respectively.
Their prices are: $9.99 for 1 month of Instagram bot service which provides auto follow, like, comment, unfollow and scheduled posts. $9.99 for 1 month of comment tracker service which deletes and replies to comments while marking relevant ones as important and a $14.99 per month direct message service that sends 80-120 messages a day to followers and non followers as well on schedule.
Finally, they charge $1 per 100 Instagram likes and $0.50 per 100 video views.
It’s pretty obvious. I wouldn’t suggest their service.
My final picks are Follow Adder for Instagram Botting, Agora Pulse for Organic Management and InstaZood for Worst Company overall.
Hopefully this was helpful!
Refresher on why automation is so loved/hated
The crusade against account automation started when people realized that a legitimate follower base can be gained with minimal effort.
If we leave out the apathetic, two philosophical camps exist when it comes to marketing on social media. There are the organic marketers that “do the right thing” and believe in exclusively networking manually and those that would rather automate their networking processes.
For the average person “doing the right thing”, there are three options: meet or know someone famous that shares your content on their platform, create content in hopes or it “going viral” or slowly build your account through strategic, consistent and high-quality uploads.
Since famous friends and viral ideas are a rare commodity and occurrence respectively that leaves most with the third option.
A proper brand strategy and quality content uploads are a must for accounts that intend to last, but the social networking aspect is where many fall behind. Most simply don’t have the time or manpower to keep up with the networking demands while working on content and their business.
Picture this: you manage an account that’s funny and informative, you’re follower base has steadily climbed to 5 thousand after a few years. Approximately 10% of any account’s users will respond to posts typically, so that means on any given upload 500 people will actively engage you.
That’s a lot of people and even if you’re only engaging 10% of that 500 on posts it’s time-consuming. Now consider that while you’re supposed to be doing that you’re also reaching out to other pages and engaging on related content across the platform. Now imagine how much your social workload will increase as you continue to gain popularity.
Then, add that you’re still supposed to be shooting videos, taking pictures, recording soundbites AND working on your business (travelling to meetings, shipping merchandise etc.)
Situations like that are why many have entire teams for social media account management. For those that don’t want to lose time or extra money to that aspect of the platform, there’s automation.
Regardless of industry, automation has had a positive impact for business owners. Removing repetitive, low skill tasks from your days to-do-list is a no-brainer and services like Instagress empower users to focus exclusively on their businesses and content creation by liking, following, unfollowing and commenting based on their used a preset criteria.
With a good bot and well-researched criteria, your account can cast a net much bigger than organically possible in a dramatically shorter span of time. If people fall in love with your content this all results in greater organic engagement and a bigger following.
It’s the efficacy of botting services that leads people who did it “right” or individuals who followed an account that uses a bot to feel cheated. This is why finding the right Instagress alternative is important and why the crusade against them will continue.
Automation is the eternal boon of marketers
The beauty of Instagram lies in its simplicity. Content is uploaded as an image or short video. Its format forces entities to pack information into concise and entertaining bits for consumption. This simplicity makes the platform ideal for literally all markets.
If you can find a way to make what you do interesting, it has a place on Instagram. There is money is being able to do this well and reach the masses. That’s the key issue.
If Instagram truly didn’t want people gaming the system for profit, they would take out the option of profit. Since that’s never going to happen, neither will the end of system gaming or automation.
So, this round goes to those that believe in organic engagement, but the war will continue as many Instagress alternatives continue to pop up.