Instagram Spam Bots

Instagram Spam Bots

Ryan Shelley

12 April 2016

To be candid, I can count on one hand the number of clients I have worked with who don’t care for Instagram. Who doesn’t love the visual appeal of the ever changing picture book? But beware Instagram spam – Instaspam.

While I admit at first I was professionally and personally sceptical, I have been won over – for the moment anyway. For those who have taken a while to warm to Instagram, it is often once we arm our clients with the know how, strategy and tools to create engaging content that Instagram becomes their most preferred social media channel.

Unfortunately however, there is a downside: Instagram Spam or Instaspam.

With over 5 million monthly active Australian users, it’s no wonder the Instagram Spam bots are out in force. Even our Australian celebrity profiles are not safe. We love Zoe Foster-Blake’s response to her spam… I think you’re 100% right Zoe, maybe it’s time to test Instagram.

response to spam


Your followers are up and down like a yo-yo

Ever wondered why your Instagram follower numbers jump around? Two steps forward and one step back.

Just like Facebook, Instagram is not without its dummy profiles and click for likes and followers. There are thousands maybe even millions of options to pay $X to receive Y followers, or likes on a post. I cannot recommend avoiding these pay for likes and followers enough. It is a certainty that these services do NOT align with your social media strategy. Whether that be for a specific campaign, brand awareness or introducing a new product. The simple rule of social media applies. If your content is not engaging and genuine, your audience won’t be interested in you and your business.

Many of these Instagram spam bots work on the assumption that if they follow 100 profiles, perhaps 5 or so will follow them back. Like clockwork, after a certain number of days (usually less than 5) their algorithm is written to automatically unfollow you. This avoids them looking like obvious spammers by avoiding having too many followings at any one time.

While our beloved Instragram is often considered the fickle and shallow social media channel – users display their affection by only following the profiles they LOVE and can’t live without. The remaining users like and comment on your posts through following selected #hashtags.

From our experience, the genuine followers do not follow and unfollow you at the drop of a hat. Unless your content disengages, but that’s a post for another time.

My advice, a small genuine group of followers who are interested in you and your business is better than a million followers who have no interested in you at all. There’s no advantage whatsoever to bots following you.

Generic Instagram Spam bot comments on your post 

These are the comments on your posts that don’t quite make sense; are so generic that they could apply to any image on Instagram; or the comments are just plain wrong because the spam algorithm is broken.

Spam comments are produced by algorithms, often triggered by your location or use of specific #hashtags.

A classic example of spam comments gone wrong, is on our sister company Tradie Webs’ profile. Tradie Webs specialise in cost effective websites for tradie service businesses. The spam bot below has detected that Tradie Webs engages with electricians – and the result is rather embarrassing for jonhunt02.

“I’ve been following your account and I wanted to say your electrical work is really high quality. I wish all the contracting companies I invest in were as good as yours!”

instagram spam 2


Another example of generic comment spamming, is icons like clapping hands or thumbs up – followed by self-promotion.

But our all-time favourite of this very small sample, goes to @motivation_miguel. His Instagram Spam bot was so wrong, it inserted “<owner>” rather than the name of the profile he was spamming.


“Awesome profile <owner> …. KEEP IT COOL!”



Of course the return on investment in creating and engaging in a well thought out Instagram strategy is well worth your human capital and/or cash flow. Just be mindful of the good, the bad and the spam!

instagram spam


P.S. Remember that Facebook owns Instagram and nothing between the two companies is secret. They share data between the each platform to better push advertising your way. With the introduction of Facebook reactions, their job of pushing the right advertisements your way just got a whole lot more sophisticated.