Instagram automation site “Instagress” gets shut down

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tl;dr – It’s not cool to buy followers

In case you haven’t heard about Instagress or similar programs, the idea is this: You link up your Instagram account, set up hashtags, and Instagress will automatically ‘like’ and sometimes even comment for you without having you vet the pictures beforehand. It was one of the easier to use and more affordable of the dozens of websites that create bots to help would-be Instagram influencers rack up followers and engagement.

On the Instagress homepage, users are greeted with the message

Sad news to all of you who fell in love with Instagress:
by request of Instagram we were forced to close our web-service.

The use of automation tools has always been a murky issue for Instagram. Services like Instagress don’t create fake accounts, but they automatically comment on and ‘like’ other people’s Instagram photos, artificially driving up engagement and making accounts appear more popular and valuable. The issue becomes even more complicated when that count is used to get sponsorships and ad deals.

How to promote your Instagram profile (without automated tools like Instagress)

If you want to build a popular brand online there is not going to be a quick fix, You’re going to have to take the time to reach out to users who align with you and who align with your brand. Here are some tips:

  • Be engaging! Don’t expect followers to engage with you if you aren’t engaging with them. Leave comments, like pictures, and say hello! If they are constantly seeing your user name in their alerts, they are likely to return the favour!
  • Search hashtags! Go through your favourite hashtags and leave comments on the best pictures. But leave real comments that are specific to the picture, generic comments aren’t going to get you anywhere!
  • Be active! Beyond engaging with other users, give other users something to engage with! The more active you are posting high quality pictures and using hashtags, the more followers and engagement you’ll gain!

Credit: http://morgantimm.com/the-problem-with-instagress/, Image credit: Instagram Press

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