Instagram bans are like Facebook blackouts or Google blacklists: no matter what the company says your time-out is, it’s considerably longer.
Day 1 was Sunday, when I noticed that the likes I made via Ink 361 didn’t stick. I went back to Iconosquare (Statigram) and this message flashed up:
The wisdom online is that this is a 24-hour ban and I should be back to normal. It’s Tuesday, and I’m still barred from liking unless I go to Instagram itself.
I’ve been reading that the like limit is around 120 photos and videos per hour, and I haven’t come close to that. I don’t even see 120 photos per hour through following 500-odd people. Other posts at the above-linked page suggest you need 50 seconds between each like. Rot.
Instagram really needs to come clean about this, as none of this computes. Some thoughts I’ve had over the last few days follow.
1. Instagram recommends accounts you might like. If you follow them, inevitably you will like the things on them. Of course I’ll like more media as a result. Yet if you do this, you’ll get banned. Where is the logic behind this?
2. Instagram penalizes you for being quick with apps or being quick on your cellphone. Makes no sense: the fact I’m skilful doesn’t mean I’m a bot. I’ve also behaved in exactly the same way since November 2012, but I may follow more accounts that pique my interest because of (1).
3. If you don’t want us liking stuff, then recommend to us some accounts we might hate.
4. I’m not sure how to change the way I like things. I either like things or I don’t. Be more specific.
5. I don’t use a bot. You guys do. You host thousands of them, and they spam us all the time. The ones I see and report have media going back three weeks to six months, so clearly you ignore the reports netizens make.
6. Further to (5), Instagram can’t tell the difference between legitimate users and bots.
7. I report a lot of bots, including bot-likers. Maybe you guys are sick of those who report bots, because those bots are keeping your share price where it is, as I suspect you claim them as legitimate users.
8. Just admit that you guys don’t like these external websites using your API and we’ll be fine. Admit it. You’ve already forced the sites that use ‘Insta’ and ‘gram’ in their names to change, yet you don’t have a monopoly on either prefix or suffix. Just another typical US site with too many lawyers.
I have sent feedback to Instagram but I doubt I’ll hear back. Of course, if I don’t, I shan’t know which of the above is at play here.
As with most websites, I’m just an average user. Yet it shows that following the rules is bound to get you on the bad side of these guys. I hardly think that’s the message their friends in Wall Street want to hear, that Facebook and Instagram are overrun with bots while legitimate users get blocked.
PS.: I found this page dealing with Instagram limits. I know for a fact I was nowhere near these.—JY
P.PS.: The ban was lifted on Saturday, May 9, i.e. six days later.—JY