Instagram automation in 2020 can be a tricky subject. There are so many different voices all trying to tell telling you different things. Some say Instagram automation is dead. Others say it still works great, you just need to know what you’re doing, and play it safe.
Well, I tried Jarvee out for myself on a brand new account (started in April 2020). For those that don’t know, Jarvee is a Windows-based social media automation software. It is capable of automation and botting activity on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Tumblr and Youtube.
Please note – this an impartial review, I was not paid to create this. I do not use any Jarvee affiliate links in this article.
Complete guide to setting up your Jarvee for safe automation
Prefer to watch rather than read? I’ve created this YouTube video which takes you safe settings for Jarvee as I walk you through the software. Be sure to give me a follow as I begin my YouTube journey!
In this article, I will only deal with using Jarvee for Instagram botting (following, unfollowing and liking), as that is all I have used it for. I will share my safe settings that worked well for me without causing too many API errors or action blocks.
The account I used for this experiment was my cat Instagram account, @fridaycute. Obviously, that’s not my actual business (though I was interested in growing it for business purposes at the time I started the account… it’s a long story). Please note:
- You’ll need to have an Instagram business account to get started with Jarvee.
- Your Instagram account should ideally be a minimum of 3 weeks old. (younger accounts have extremely low limits, just a handful of actions per hour!)
- Make sure you have recent, compelling content already posted on your profile. I suggest a minimum of 20 posts before using Jarvee. Never start with a blank profile.
- You will need to post your best, most amazing content throughout this process. Post every day at least once (and use stories too, continually) over the entire time you’re using Jarvee. Create a bank of content so you don’t get stuck, and stop posting.
- Optimize your bio before you begin, and add story highlights. This is an easy way of making your account look legit and cared for, and encourage users to stick around.
- If your account looks neglected or uninteresting, no amount of botting will ever get anyone to follow and engage. There’s no shortcut to creating content that converts. That you are posting appealing content, is a given.
I’m in the camp that – I want to save time. I use scheduling software already, so I don’t need to be physically present on my phone or computer when I’m posting to socials. So really, given that engaging on social media is another mindless task that takes us away from what’s really important, why not automate this too? I’d never used Instagram bots before, so I gave it a go!
What is Instagram automation?
An Instagram bot aka growth service, automates your account’s interactions. This is so that more users become aware of your account. A bot will follow/ like/ comment/ DM or view other users’ stories, among other actions. Doing so increases the number of times your username is seen, meaning increased engagement and reciprocal activity.
A slightly different kind of automation is scheduling. This isn’t what we’re referring to here. Botting can be seen as spammy, so I always advise keeping your settings as human as possible. This means introducing randomness, and keeping your actions spread out over the day. You also need to make sure you’re not exceeding a certain number of actions per hour.
Instagram action limit per hour in 2020
To stay safe on Instagram in 2020, don’t exceed a maximum of 60 actions per hour. Remember, that includes liking, commending, DMing, following and unfollowing. You may choose to increase if you really want, but that will bring risk to your account. It’s also a good idea to put your main account bot to sleep overnight, to make it look more human. Your scraper however can run 24/7.
Why use Instagram bots or automation?
These days, when you’re trying to grow an Instagram account, it’s usually for the purpose of making money. Whether you create a meme account that makes money through shout-outs, or become an influencer who sponsors products, or an affiliate marketer who gets a cut of every sale, you’ll need an engaged following.
I write some articles on my blog specifically for my fellow small business owners, so I will address our needs specifically. The truth is, engaging on Instagram takes a lot of time out of our day. Too much. Using a bot is simply a way of interacting with our target audience or others in our niche.
As a smart business owner, I’ve realized though the mistakes I’ve made that I need to value my time. I outsource the work I can, and spend my time on the things only I can do in my business. The high-level stuff, not the menial work. Spending time on Instagram was for me a menial task, masquerading as a high-level one.
I have a history of getting rather obsessed with building my business’ Instagram page. In the past, I became addicted to using it for validation. It took me 5 years, but I built my follower count up to 5,000. I never used a bot for that account. Instead, I built my following by spending hours each day ‘liking’ the posts of others, for years.
Jarvee gives you back your time as a business owner
There’s only so much time we have in the day as small business owners. There are only so many things to which it’s worth giving our attention. So, create great content. Take the time to engage with the fans, supporters and potential customers on your page. Always reply to comments. And throw a few targeted, genuine comments out there each day.
But don’t spend all your time mindlessly engaging with other accounts. Do not get into the habit of opening the app as a reflex action. Engaging on IG is definitely a task to outsource. But fortunately you don’t need a dedicated social media manager. Use Jarvee for $30/ month and spend your time creating content that converts (or at the very least, engages!)
When you have a decent-sized following (usually between 1k – 2k), stop using Jarvee and trust that customers will find you.
The Jarvee settings that worked for me in 2020
So, here are the settings that I used for my brand new IG account, created in April 2020. I used Jarvee for about 2 months and received some short action blocks that cleared when they were tested again about 10-15 minutes later.
I have zero experience managing multiple Instagram accounts or using the tool as a social media manager. What I am is a small business owner that operates a local business, trying to help other small business owners doing SEO and social media themselves.
I make no promises that any of these settings will work for you. Instagram treats each account differently, depending on age, level of trust, content you post, your other linked accounts, and many other factors. It’s likely that as the platform evolves, a stricter approach to detecting and blocking automation will emerge.
Note: I am not affiliated with Jarvee in any way, and I do not receive any kickbacks or commissions for creating this post. All opinions are my own.
How do I use Jarvee on Instagram?
In the example below, you’ll see the settings I use for my cat account which is ‘@fridaycute‘, and the scraper account which is labeled ‘scraper – @curatemywedding‘. To avoid getting lost, be sure to look carefully on the top left of the screenshots shown, to see which account is being used.
For more information about what a scraper account is, please check out this comprehensive video below.
A lot of these will make sense when you get Jarvee set up and start experimenting. You’ll learn as you go. They offer a free 5-day trial currently. Try out these settings, test it out and keep an eye on any errors. Jarvee isn’t so much ‘set it and forget it’, not until you really know what you’re doing. You’ll almost definitely need to tweak your settings as you go along. Always start low and then increase as you see fit.
1. Set up save follow/ unfollow/ like limits
Tools > Follow settings for main account:
- Follow settings are wait between 12 and 22 minutes before each new operation.
- Follow between 5 – 15 users per operation with a delay between 60 – 150 seconds between each follow.
- I added some random times between 6.35am – 11.24pm to simulate a real user. I randomized with a small margin each day.
- Wait between 5 – 10 minutes after executing 6 – 20 operations
- Run every day of the week.
- Follow 6 – 100 per day with NO increase.
- Follow 1 – 25 per hour with NO increase.
Scroll down on that tab, to ‘User Filters’. This part is mostly down to personal preference, but I select/ check a few additional items here, (this is still under Tools > Follow > Settings)
- User has a profile image.
- User has followers between 10 – 2,000.
- Do not follow accounts with more than 3 digits in username.
- User has at least 50 likes on last 12 posts.
I’m not 100% sure this is possible if you’re using the scraper account technique (keep reading to find out more) – you’re not adding the follow sources directly under the main account, but just in case! A few more general ones, under After Follow Actions:
- Suspend when temporary blocked between 10 – 60 minutes.
- Enable suspend on second block between 360 – 720 minutes.
- Like user’s latest posts.
- Like before follow on 50% of posts.
Tools > Unfollow settings for main account:
- Unfollow items a minimum of 1 – 4 days after the application followed them.
- Wait between 15 – 23 minutes before each new operation.
- Unfollow between 5 – 10 items per run with a delay between 63 – 300 seconds between each unfollow
- Execute between typical waking hours
- Add a random sleep time, wait between 12 – 36 minutes after executing 2 – 10 operations.
- Run every day of the week.
- Unfollow 20 – 50 per day (I could increase this to the same as the ‘follow’ – just be careful, you don’t want to do more than 30 actions per hour.
- Unfollow 0 – 20 per hour, no increases.
Scroll down on that tab, to ‘User Filters’. Again, personal preference, I select the following (this is still under Tools > Follow > Settings)
- Unfollow all users followed by Jarvee.
- Do not unfollow commenters that commented on the last 12 posts
- Do not unfollower users that you saved their posts (a quick way of earmarking that you don’t want the bot to unfollow a user you like!)
- Do not unfollow close friends.
- Use whitelist – auto-extract users followed outside Jarvee every 120 minutes.
- You can automatically ‘import all followings’ which adds every user that you already followed prior to using Jarvee, to your whitelist. You can also manually add users if you’re worried about Jarvee unfollowing users you don’t want unfollowed. Screenshot below:
Tools > Like settings for main account:
- Wait between 30 – 60 minutes before each new operation.
- Like between 2 – 10 posts per operation with a delay between 20 – 60 seconds between each like.
- Execute between normal waking hours, varying it a little between tools.
- Like 30 – 70 posts per day.
- Like 5 – 17 posts per hour.
Same advanced settings here for Like settings – scroll down to the ‘User Filters’. Let’s set them up. Remember, you can customize these as you wish and play around with them. Most are pretty self-explanatory.
We are trying to minimize the likelihood of engaging with spam or anything inappropriate. Our like budget will only go so far, so we want to make sure our actions are being received by a real person whose account is small enough they’ll actually notice.
- Skip non-English users (totally optional).
- User has profile image.
- User has a number of followers / following in a specific range 0 – 1000 followers, 0 – 2000 followings.
- User is not following this account.
- Do not like accounts with more than 3 digits in their username.
- Posted within the last 30 days.
- Choose a random post from most recent user’s posts.
- Do not like if post caption is empty.
Tools > Story Viewer settings for main account:
- Wait between 14 – 26 minutes before each new operation.
- View between 3 – 10 stories per operation with a delay ebtween 20 – 150 seconds between each story batch view.
- Add a random sleep time between 10 – 45 minutes after executing 5 – 20 operations.
- View 20 – 80 stories per day.
- Limit maximum number of stories per user to 1 – 5.
- View stories with the embedded browser instead of API.
For the user filters, this one is very simple:
- Skip Non English users.
- User has a profile image.
- User has a number of followers below 1,000.
2. Set up your scraper account
Now you’ll need to setup your scraper account. This is simply an Instagram account you own that you don’t really care about if it gets blocked. You’ll be ‘scraping’ thousands of accounts with this one.
The scraper account will be connected using the API, and the account you actually care about will only be using the embedded browser (so less chance of getting an action block on the important one). This is a really clever feature.
To do this, simply add the account you’ll be using as your scraper to your Jarvee account.
Correct configuration of API/ embedded browser settings
First of all, we’ll turn off all the settings within the main account that use the API. See below:
Then conversely, on the scraper account, we want to use the API so will turn on/ off the settings that will allow it to do so.
Set up your scraper account to extract users
Very importantly, you’ll need to set the scraper up to feed the main account. Otherwise, you’ll simply be carrying out the actions on the scraper (and you’ll quickly get blocked due to the large number of API calls you’d be making). See the screenshot below for the important box you’ll need to check – send to extracted users under Tools > Follow > Send to extracted users.
I am not sure if this is necessary too, but there’s no harm in doing the action below: Tools > Follow > Extracted users > Automatically send scraped results to other accounts, then check Send to Follow Sources. See below.
One more setting that’s helpful for your scraper account is below, under Social Profiles > Scrape Tools: Continue scraping users after restart from where it left off.
Not a huge thing here, but you may also want to use these settings here for the Social Profiles > Settings > Advanced settings. This just safeguards against blocks, and allows enough time before it attempts anything that might look spammy.
You will want to delay all tools after an account is just logged in, I believe these were all default settings, but you may want to double check they are checked as they should be and that the numbers look right to you.
3. Add sources for the scraper account
OK! Now it’s time to tell our scraper which targets we would like to go after. There is no tool that specifically ‘scrapes’, so don’t look for one. The lingo to add a target is still ‘follow’, though the scraper account does not actually follow anyone! By ‘follow’ in this case, it simply means ‘add to extracted users’ of the main account.
I like to use a couple of ways to target people.
Follow users by hashtag search
Pretty straightforward, you are following all users that posted using specific hashtags. You can limit to how recently they posted. I noticed that sometimes this did not populate properly, so you might want to check back to see the ‘Number of posts’ column is correct.
You can also target users that interacted with the hashtagged posts and also followers of users who posted with that hashtag. It depends how targeted you want to be – I wouldn’t recommend checking either of these options.
Follow followers of target accounts
Enter the target accounts and Jarvee will scrape all the users that follow them. Find users that are as similar as possible to your own content, as it’s more likely those people will also enjoy your posts. You could also target users around your geographical area for a more geo-targeted approach.
Follow users that interacted with posts on target accounts
This is a great one because it’s pretty targeted. And you know that the users are the types to leave comments/ likes. In the screenshot below you’ll see my settings for targeting people who either liked, or liked & commented, on posts that are similar to my own.
4. Set up main account to follow specific users
With the targets now being fed by the scraper account, you will set up the main account to follow them. You will do this under Tools > Follow > Follow Sources > Follow specific users. As you can see, this list has almost 10,000 users to get through.
Advanced tip: Doing it this way around will be safest as it will minimize API calls from the account you care about (lessen the risk of a long action block). But you will not be able to see detailed info on each follow source’s followback ratio. You would follow some accounts directly using the main account (follow sources tab) to get delicious data under the ratio column. Jarvee will auto-assign selection rank based on number of followers too. You’ll get something that looks like this below, if you’re a data geek like me.
Remove poor quality sources – settings
If you’re confident with this more advanced stuff (and totally skip this if you’re not really feeling it) you can then choose to ‘remove poor quality sources’. The settings I use are below.
- Remove source if follow back ratio is lower than 0.08 after 100 follows and 1 day
- Remove source if follow back ratio is lower than 0.15 after 250 follows and 1 day
- Remove source if follow back ratio is lower than 0.2 after 300 follows and 2 days
5. Add your targets for Like and Story Viewer
So, we have pretty much everything set up now. We even have our settings already set, but we haven’t told Jarvee what it should go out and like.
For this, I keep it pretty simple. Under Tools > Like > Sources, I use ‘Like Posts by Hashtag search’, like so:
I picked relevant hashtags – some with millions of posts and smaller hashtags too, to see what would do best. I also choose
- Like latest feed posts
- Like posts of my own story viewers
You can add whatever inputs you feel would work best. Remember, you’ve already set the limits so it won’t do any more than that. It’ll also ‘remove poor quality sources‘ if you’ve set that up.
Story Viewer targets
Next, Story Viewer targets. Here are my settings:
- View stories by hashtag search.
- View stories of own followings.
- View stories of followers/ followings of other accounts – use the target account lists you already had, and choose ‘followers’, not ‘followings’.
- View stories of users followed by Jarvee.
And that’s it! This is really all you’ll need to know if you’re looking to get started with Jarvee in 2020. One final bit of troubleshooting info though:
How to open Jarvee when the program won’t start
The most common issue I have with Jarvee is that sometimes the program will not open. You’re trying to open it by clicking on the icon or desktop shortcut, even trying to to ‘run as administrator’ but nothing happens!
Here’s how to solve it. Right click with your mouse on Jarvee icon and press Open file location. (Hint: it’s usually Users > your username > AppData > Roaming > Jarvee.
From there, you’ll delete the Jarvee.exe.Config file.
After that, locate the Updater app. (Either double-click or run)
Wait for it to update the files. Now, launch Jarvee again. It should be back to normal now and opening up just fine.
I have noticed this problem occurring with greater frequency recently – my PC starting up also seems to be adversely affected by having Jarvee running on startup with is the default setting. I’ve turned this setting off – just remember that if you want to use Jarvee, the program must be open and your PC switched on!
And there you have it! The complete guide to safe Instagram growth-hacking using Jarvee bot. This tool has been surprisingly rewarding to use, and I’ve been impressed with how fast I’ve grown to over 1k. It goes to show that bots don’t have to mean spammy, unnatural actions. When you automate your actions, you’re simply tapping a potential customer on the shoulder – someone who you know would be interested in what you offer.
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As small business owners, a good bot can save us so much time. It’s definitely worth investing in that, if Instagram is part of your social media marketing strategy.
What have your experiences been with Jarvee? Has it worked for you? If you’ve had experience using these settings, please let me know if they’ve been successful or if you’ve got a block or ban!