Although copying Instagram followers just became harder, you can still build a great group of followers.

Growing a follower base across various social media sites is always a challenge. Unless you are engaging with your followers and writing great content that is interesting to your followers, get retweets, likes, pins and follows is difficult. There are various apps that you can use to find great people to follow, but copying Instagram followers just became harder.

According to the Instagram Developer Documentation, any app that was “before Nov 17, 2015 will continue to function until June 1, 2016. On that date, the app will automatically be moved to Sandbox Mode if it wasn’t approved through the review process.”

I’ve always found getting Instagram followers to be the most difficult of all of my social media networks; however, I have used a targeting app which helps me look at who are some of the most engaged followers of people that I follow.

For example, I post a fair amount of food pictures and I could look at an Instagram handle such as @food, click on a “Copy Followers” button and then start following people that are engaging with this account. Well, effect June 1, 2016, this function is no longer available for any app if it wasn’t approved by Instagram.

Copying Instagram Followers

While Instagram has made many recent app changes, such as a new logo, new layout and increasing videos from 15-seconds to 60-seconds, I haven’t seen many people talk much about this very important change for growing an Instagram follower base.

For any brand or person that is also late to the Instagram game, an important change was made a while ago, because if an account wasn’t following more than 7,500 people, you are technically capped at around 7,500 people that you can follow today. That’s okay, this limiting function helps to cut the number of spam accounts and software that would automatically follow people just to try to get a follow back. That’s a big no-no in the social media world.

Everyone from time-to-time should periodically prune their followers for inactive accounts, as social media is all about being social. I do this periodically on both Twitter and Instagram. If I am using the native Twitter app or Instagram app, there are certain actions that I may be able to do within those apps versus using other apps, such as Crowdfire (which is what I use for finding really cool engaging people to follow).

So if you are using an app to find, follow and unfollow non-active accounts, you should know that both Twitter and Instagram have rate limits on the number of actions you can do over a given time. Heck, I’ve been thrown in Twitter jail two times for hitting the rate limits. Trust me, although the walls are painted a nice shade of blue, Twitter jail doesn’t accept bitcoin for bail.

Per Instagram, here are the rate limits you should be concerned about so you don’t be viewed as a spam account in the eyes of Instagram or perhaps have your account throttled for a while. In a nutshell what this means is that for any Instagram targeted follower app created before November 17, 2015, you are limited to 30 likes, comments and relationships (i.e. following someone) per hour.

If the app was created as a Live app post-November 17, 2015 and approved by Instagram, you can have 60 likes, comments or follows per hour.

Rate Limits

All rate limits on the Instagram Platform are controlled separately for each access token, and on a sliding 1-hour window. Live apps have higher rate limits than apps in Sandbox Mode.

Global Rate Limits

Global rate limits are applied inclusive of all API calls made by an app per access token over the 1-hour sliding window, regardless of the particular endpoint. Rate limits also apply to invalid or malformed requests.

Sandbox500 / hour
Live5000 / hour

Endpoint-Specific Rate Limits

Endpoints used to publish (POST or DELETE) have rate limits that are applied on an per-endpoint basis. Any calls made to these endpoints by your OAuth Client are also counted towards the global rate limits noted above.

Sandbox/media/media-id/likes30 / hour
Sandbox/media/media-id/comments30 / hour
Sandbox/users/user-id/relationships30 / hour
Live/media/media-id/likes60 / hour
Live/media/media-id/comments60 / hour
Live/users/user-id/relationships60 / hour

Even with these changes, I am still a big believer in opening the native Twitter and Instagram apps and looking at lists and followers of accounts that I am interested in engaging with. Although copying followers has just become harder, I have been able to find some great accounts to interact with from time-to-time in a pithy haiku or a rhyme.

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