Instagram has recently tightened their grip on accounts they consider are performing illicit activities, and after a number of crackdowns, some accounts have been flagged as compromised and subsequently blocked for a short period of time, normally a few days. 😟 By following this guide, you can minimize the risks of this happening to you.
Why is this happening?
We believe that Instagram is flagging users that are seemingly following a bot-like behavior, meaning sending out comments that are very like one another in a short timespan. This pattern is common when it comes to bots and services made with the intention to get your account more likes and followers.
Some Flowbox client accounts have been affected by this and temporarily blocked, and we’ve narrowed it down to Instagram seeing patterns in how customers perform Rights Requesting as attempts to illicitly grow their follower base. Don’t worry though, we’ve got your back! 💯
We have developed a set of recommendations on how to engage with your audience through Flowbox and send out Rights Requests in a way that’s less likely to get you blocked. 🚀
Recommendation #1: Increase the uniqueness of your templates
By creating and using many unique templates that are clearly distinguishable from another, your activities on the Instagram platform will seem more human than if you’re simply sending the same template over and over.
Here are a few ideas on how to increase the uniqueness of your templates:
- Add a greeting phase with the post author’s username. For example, you can start your template with
“Hi %username%, how’s it going?”or
“Dear %username%”, replacing the
“%username%”before sending the message. (Hint: In the future, Flowbox might use this exact system-
%username%—to input the username for you automatically).
- Use a few different key hashtags, and preferably also place them in different parts of the text. For example, having one template with
#yesMyCompany, another with
#MyCompanyGoand yet another with
#sureMyCompanyGowould help increase the uniqueness of your templates.
As for the placement, placing the key hashtag at the start of your template and at the end of another can also be a distinguishing factor between your messages.
- If you’re including a link to your Terms of Service in the message, you can try changing up where this is located inside your templates as well, the same way as described with the key hashtag.
- Create templates in multiple languages if you have an international customer base. Instead of using a single template in English for all your communication, why not create one in Dutch and another in French if you have customers speaking these languages? 🏳
- Last, but definitely not least, use as many templates as possible, or even type your messages manually for each customer. This will be the biggest factor in making your messages as unique as possible, especially if you follow the advice given above. An additional, underrated benefit is that the communication with your customers will seem way more natural and less like it’s from a robot 🤖, meaning they’re more likely to grant your Rights Request. How awesome is that?
Flowbox is also continuously making it easier for you to see which templates you’ve been using more and which ones you’ve used less. 👏
Recommendation #2: Don’t use services that actually generate likes and followers
This cannot be stressed enough: If you’re using a service that buys you likes or automatically follows accounts for you to potentially get these accounts to follow you back, stop. ❌
We at Flowbox believe that having high-quality content on your social media accounts will lead to organic growth of your brand and we highly recommend this approach over trying to grow your follower base quickly through third-party services.
Recommendation #3: Refrain from using services that require your Instagram password
Some third-party services will require your Instagram password from time to time to provide you functionality that isn’t part of the official Instagram API. These services can be slightly tricky to identify, but in general, these services will ask for your Instagram login credentials rather than using the Facebook Business integration, where you sign in with your Facebook account instead.
Some of these services are using the old, official Instagram API (which is being deprecated in favor of the Facebook Business integration), whereas some are actually, in fact, storing your password. Caching login credentials like this compromises the security of your account, something that will very likely lead to Instagram eventually blocking it. 🔨
As a side note, Flowbox is currently moving away completely from the old Instagram API to make sure that this does not affect our customers in any way.
What is Flowbox doing to mitigate these issues?
At Flowbox we’re constantly striving to be as up-to-date as possible with Facebook’s security recommendations and using only the APIs they want us to. We’re also right now making an effort to minimize the risks of your account being flagged as suspicious. 🌟
Here are some of the things we’re working on to help you keep your Instagram account from being marked as an account performing illicit activities:
- We’ll start queueing the Rights Requests you send through the Flowbox platform. What this means is that we’ll introduce a slight delay before the Rights Request will be posted to the post author, to spread the messaging activity out more during the day. We believe this, in combination with using unique messages, leads to a less bot-like pattern.
Of course, we’ll make it visible in the platform whether or not your message is in the queue for sending, an estimated time when it’ll be sent, and if it’s been posted.
- We are removing the integration with the old Instagram API, and will be relying solely upon Facebook’s Business integration in the future.
- Inside the platform, we will make it easier for you both to create more unique templates, as well as visualizing which templates you’ve been using a lot.
Hopefully, this article will have given you an idea of what to do to reduce the risk of your account being flagged by Instagram. If you find anything unclear or have any questions, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us through Intercom. 🙌