At the beginning of June, Instagram drastically reduced the number of available limits on user actions. Primarily, this affected a number of users who were regularly and actively using the follow/unfollow function, as they started to get the action blocked error message. They had trouble following and unfollowing both on Instagram and via third-party applications all June. In July, it became known that liking and commenting action limits were also significantly lowered.

We now have reliable information based on our analytics that the overall number of daily action limits has been reduced by Instagram by about half. We have adapted Combin to the new limits with the release of version 2.0.5. Our development team continues to investigate the situation, collect analytics and analyze the data sent by Combin users, and will continue to adapt the application to new Instagram changes.

What’s next?

Most likely, the changes were a planned Instagram automation crackdown, and the era of thoughtless activity automation is over. We have always focused on the need for careful selection of Instagram content and accounts for engagement, and with the latest Instagram changes, the value of each user action is growing — it becomes particularly important to spend the available actions wisely. Because of that, we recommend Combin users utilizing the Advanced Filters and Analysis feature more often, and instead of running simple hashtag searches, making the queries more complex. Use the application’s search functionality to create multiple query searches, combined searches (hashtag+location), select locations of interest on the interactive map, search for potential followers among your Instagram competitors’ following, followers, likers, and commenters; target accounts that engaged with specific posts. We will continue to develop Combin so that it helps getting the most precise results, and add other useful features, some of which you will soon be able to try in version 2.1, which we are currently working on.

The changes of the last two months are a reason for users to rethink their following growth strategies. It’s highly unlikely that thousands of actions will ever be allowed to be automated every day again, so it is necessary to shift the focus to other ways of getting new audience. It doesn’t mean that activity automation is now impossible, but that it’s performed in smaller batches and at a slower pace than before. Carefully select the posts and accounts to engage with, assign several small action tasks per day for automation, and get on with other account growth-oriented activities.

Focus on improving the quality of your content, making it unique in your niche, and useful to your target audience. Keep a strict publication schedule, make new posts regularly and try to publish Stories daily — this way, you will always be in the limelight. View Stories of other accounts, leave likes on comments, and try to respond more quickly to comments and messages you’ve received. Combin team will be developing the application in accordance with the new needs of users, and with Instagram platform changes.