How to automate Instagram activity without getting banned

Automating Instagram activity with specialized bots, applications, and cloud services is a widely used method to increase the engagement rate and followers count. However, automation has never been a fully secure way to promote an Instagram account since it’s prohibited by the platform. The reason is obvious, it’s in the interest of Instagram that users buy advertisements rather than use third-party services and bring no profit off of it to Instagram.

Instagram introduces various changes every year to make it more difficult to automate activity. But none of the previous updates can be compared in severity and magnitude with the Instagram changes of the summer 2019. They included the hourly and daily activity limits reduction by more than half, and an apparent addition to the number of scenarios that are considered spam-like.

That's why it's so important to follow all known safety rules when automating Instagram activity, regardless of whether you are using Combin Growth or some other service. Check the list of recommendations below and make sure that you adhere to them when automating your Instagram activity.

Important! Following all of the given recommendations doesn’t guarantee 100% safety. Instagram does not disclose specific rules and action limits, so the full list of reasons for an account ban and other types of punishment, is not known. Combin team has taken the below information from personal experience and Combin user reports, as well as from studying and gathering publicly shared information on the topic by other Instagram automation users.

Don’t leave your Instagram profile without information

It may seem obvious, but this simple thing is what compromises some accounts before they even get the chance to establish on the platform. Make sure to upload a profile picture, add a description in bio, and publish a few posts. It’s best when there is a real photo of yourself or your company as it makes the profile look authentic. Don’t go out there automating Instagram activity of an empty account — it’s a sure way to get a quick ban.

Confirm your phone number and email address

Again, a small basic thing that saves from a lot of trouble. The email and phone number confirmation is a sure sign for Instagram whether it’s a real person or bot running the account. Be sure to confirm both email and phone number as many instances shown that Instagram takes action against active Instagram accounts with an email confirmation but with no phone number attached to the profile.

Don’t automate activity of a freshly created Instagram account

In case you just created a new account, it’s really a bad idea to rush to automate your activity or even follow, like and comment a lot manually right from the get-go. This is a typical behavior of spam accounts and there is no way Instagram will let it slide.

Imagine how active you’d be on the platform if you didn’t know about the automation method and weren’t keeping the goal to get as much attention as possible. It most probably would be just a dozen of follows and likes, a couple of comments if any. Maintain a modest amount of hourly and daily actions throughout your first two months on Instagram, gradually increasing the amount of follows, likes and comments.

Keep a consistent Instagram posts publishing schedule

Being active in interaction with others on the platform and sporadically (or never) posting something of your own to the account is not good in Instagram’s book. Though it’s not as bad as blatant mass-following on a day-old account, it’s still rises suspicion, plus significantly reduces the reach and engagement rate. You don’t have to post every day or even every other day, the most important thing is consistency. Once you established a convenient regular posting schedule, try your best to maintain it. You can try Combin Scheduler to get the publishing consistency question out of the way for good.

Use proxy when automatic activity of multiple accounts

If you’ve started tapping into Instagram marketing before 2019, you are likely to remember it was possible to manage up to 5 Instagram accounts safely from one IP address. Well, not anymore. Since the platform was updated in 2019, automating activity of even just two Instagram accounts from one IP has become dangerous.

The platform allegedly started to record an IP address from which an account logged in, and then assign it to the account — in case more logins detected from the same IP or an account has logged in from an unusual IP address, Instagram considers it suspicious. Repeated authorization attempts and overall activity of multiple different accounts from the same address leads to ban.

Combin Growth, as well as many other Instagram automation tools, offers the possibility to simulate connection from different places using an in-app proxy setup. It allows changing IP for all accounts at the same time, as well as set different proxy for each account. Learn where to find proxy to protect your Instagram accounts from blocking.

Learn your unique activity limits and stay below them

Mass activity is as effective for Instagram audience growth as it is destructive for an account when managed carelessly. Before you even start automating the activity, it’s better to determine your limits. Count how many follows, likes and comments you do in a day manually, consider this information when starting to use any automation tool. Start slow, set less actions that you’d usually do, then gradually start increasing the number each couple of days. Monitor how many actions are allowed and stay below them at all times. Sudden peaks of activity lead to serious repercussions.

Approach mass-commenting carefully

Of all types of activity, commenting is by far the most sensitive when it comes to automation and safety. The bottom line here is to tailor all comments to each account and situation specifically, otherwise an out-of-place comment may be noticed and reported by the receiver even faster than by the Instagram algorithm. Don’t comment with a transparent intention of promotion and avoid one-word or all-emoji comments like fire. See our dedicated article on safe Instagram mass-commenting for more information.

Avoid any spam-like behavior

Automation is not the sole reason why your Instagram account could be banned. There have been plenty of cases when users manage to ace activity automation, but the account suddenly goes belly up because of automation-unrelated actions. It could be an empty profile, sketchy comments, as mentioned before, or the absence of authentic content like in cases when brands only repost other Instagram users’ publications. The list could be long and we can’t know all the cases and behaviors considered spam-like by Instagram. A rule of thumb is to revise your intended action with a question ‘Does it look natural?’ before you apply it. Remember, it’s your account, content and audience that’s at stake, approach the automation and overall activity on Instagram with caution.