There’s a lot of Instagram growth services out there. The vast majority of them promise amazing results, usually more followers, right from the get go. However, do those traditional services actually deliver on those promises and are safe to use? And how do they differ from products, such as Followyst? Let’s dive in.
How do traditional Instagram growth services work?
Traditional services use a combination of headless web browsers and proxies to interact with Instagram’s website. You can think of the “headless web browser” as a traditional web browser without the usual interface you experience, not even the web page content. Instead, a piece of software is used to interpret a machine-friendly representation of the web page content and issue commands (e.g. clicks, virtual scroll etc.). This method has quite a few drawbacks, on which I will elaborate later in the article. Unfortunately, the official, “Instagram way” of accessing and interacting with data is very limited, especially when it comes to performing actions.
The traditional approach requires the use of Internet proxies to circumvent limits imposed by Instagram. In a nutshell, proxies hide Internet address of such a traditional Instagram growth service and make Instagram think “headless web browsers” of the same service have different Internet address (origin). It’s like asking multiple friends in different cities to do something for you according to your instructions.
What are the risks of using traditional services?
The major risks fall into security, safety and availability categories. Firstly, traditional growth services require your Instagram credentials, i.e. username and password, to work. When using them, you’re essentially handing over keys to your brand and business. It boils down to how much you trust such as service. You have to be confident they won’t be misused or misplaced.
Secondly, traditional services are prone to triggering Instagram failsafes, resulting in restrictions being imposed on your Instagram account. The most common restrictions are content/profile interaction blocks and shadow bans. The first type is pretty self-evident: you can browse the content on Instagram freely, but you can’t post, like or comment for a certain period of time (at least a day, often longer). It impacts your Instagram engagement the most, since you can’t interact with your followers or prospective audience.
The “shadow ban”, on the other hand, heavily impacts your reach by hiding your content from other Instagram users. This means your posts won’t appear in potentially all feeds, regardless of how good your content is. What’s worse, the only indication of a “shadow ban” is unusually low engagement rate of your content. There’s no in-app dialog that informs you about being “shadow banned”; you have to identify that yourself.
When you use a traditional growth service, your Instagram account is used in an unnatural way, often in the same moment as you and the service. This an automatic red flag for Instagram’s algorithms, prompting restrictions or “shadow bans”.
On the availability front, traditional Instagram growth services are a bit constrained. Due to the combined use of proxies, unofficial methods of using the Instagram website and its limits, in some cases they don’t function for extended periods of time. It’s hard to find a service that works reliably enough, at least according to our customers.
How does Followyst differ from traditional services?
We've taken a rather novel approach with Followyst. Instead of using proxies and “headless web browsers”, we run Instagram automation directly on your smartphone. Followyst doesn’t require your password, has built-in protection against restrictions and is reportedly very reliable. It sounds like a shameless-plug (it is 😅), but I encourage you to give it a go.