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Instagram - How is this user doing this? Is it a bot?

Discussion in 'Social Networking Sites' started by davexfox, Dec 18, 2012.

  1. davexfox

    davexfox Newbie

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    Hi all, new guy here. I've been lurking for a while and have tried extensively to find an answer - but to no avail, so I thought a topic might help.

    I'm one of those IG users that likes to search for hashtags and like a lot of photos related to them, in this case, niche punk/rock bands. Liking users' photos has certainly helped me get a lot of followers to my account, but even then its slow.

    During my liking sprees I have noticed a specific user, who always seems to 'like' a new photo relating to whichever hashtag (I've noticed at least 15, all are the same band names I search for) within seconds of it being uploaded to IG.

    These tags are not things like 'instagood', 'blonde' or 'cute' that get 50+ uploads per 1-2 seconds, these tags are more niche and at their peak times get maybe 1 upload per 5 seconds. Others are quite uncommon and get about 1 an hour (if that), yet he still manages to 'like' them almost instantly as if he's just sitting there hitting refresh all day.

    Not that it matters but in case anyone wants to do some research, the guy is called 'ihatedaneel'(Search him on Statigram or Webstagram), and I first started noticing his behaviour when he had 4000 followers. I got fed up, left it, then came back a couple of weeks later to see if he was still doing it. 11,000. A week later. 12,000. Today? 13,000 followers and counting. These are genuine followers (with the exception of the minority of spamaccounts that every account attracts, mine does too) that he's getting through his liking campaigns, but they're specific to the same hashtags and they're pinpointing new-uploads only.

    Now, bots aren't new to me, I'm no expert, but what this guy isn't doing is just spam-liking a ton of photos with the same tag, no, what he's doing is somehow liking each photo (that has a different hashtag, from a pre-determined list) as soon as someone has uploaded it. For example, a hypothetical timestamp of events:

    16:59:30 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable1
    16:59:46 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable2
    16:59:49 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable3
    16:59:54 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable4
    16:59:55 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable3
    17:00:00 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable1
    17:00:04 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable2
    17:00:11 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable5
    17:00:16 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable1
    17:00:20 - likes photo with #hashtagvariable3

    As I said, this isn't a spam-like of say, 100 instances of the same 'popular' tag, its definitely certain tags relating to similar bands, but its as if he has got some kind of magical feed that just collectively shows all these different variable tags and is liking them almost automatically.

    If it is a bot, which one is it? I didn't think bots could use timed-refreshes and then be able to figure out which images were new, 'like' just those, and then rolling repeat. Especially not if the 'refresh' rate is every 5 seconds or so, his 'likes' are near-instant

    It doesn't appear to follow a 1-2-3-4-5 pattern, but more of an 'as and when uploaded' / ad-hoc style.

    There is a delay for when he likes a photo (usually 3-6 secs after someone uploads something with a hashtag he looks out for), but I've ruled out the fact that it is him doing it manually, which I will get on to shortly.

    The closest way I have found to replicate it is to use my iPhone, which doesn't have a a like-limit that web browser IG sites do, and just search-refresh-like-repeat. Which works... But there's no way this guy is sitting there doing that. He definitely leaves his phone at some points that I noticed (via other social networking sites) and he certainly doesn't seem like a smartass coder. His liking is also too fast to be human, he's managing multiple hashtags (like some kind of all-seeing IG eye) and is noticing uploads on a lot of different tags (To reiterate my earlier point, these aren't super-popular tags but they do get frequent uploads)

    I have dwelled on the following possibilities but all don't seem to add up:

    Webstagram/Statigram/Ink361/Gramfeed/Other browser based IG feeds all have counter limits as far as I know. I believe Webstagram's is 350 likes allowed per clock-hour, and the other sites are similar too. I have used iMacros in the past to trigger a page refresh and then like a set of 1-10 images, then refresh and loop on 9999 (therefore it nets all new uploads). This works for a bit, then it crashes as the 350 limiter kicks in and cant be bypassed.

    After watching the user in question over the course of a day, the 'like' behaviour appears to be pseudo-automatic, i.e., some kind of bot or program. I followed him on IG and watched his actions and it seems his 'like' spree carried on even when he was clearly out at Starbucks with his buddies, and futhermore when he was tagged in another photo at his band's singing practice. - His account was still mysteriously liking away at new photos of certain tags.

    Sorry this post is so long and rambling, but I am determined to figure out what system/bot/technique he is using to hawk on specific hashtag related uploads, and is able to 'like' those photos AND still have a social life at the same time.

    He seems to be able to do it for hours (as early as 6am) and sometimes goes on as long as 1am the next day. Occasionally there is a break, but it doen't follow a pattern and usually it just goes on for ages.

    Am I missing something? Instadominate wasn't even finalised when this guy started his liking sprees (this has been going on for a while) and I cant find any bots that have the option to search for new tags and then like only the new content, and then repeat. They only let you input a tag, then like a mass-amount, and repeat after user-based input.


    Thanks guys!

    Edit: Oh and yes, I did ask him. Naturally he ignored my question, he's got a good system going on.
     
    Last edited: Dec 18, 2012
  2. PureBlack

    PureBlack Power Member

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    If it's un-human-like, then it is a bot.
     
  3. davexfox

    davexfox Newbie

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    Seems like it yeah, but if it is a bot, which one is it? And which site could it be accessing? He seems to be leaving it running for sometimes 8+ hours a day, it likes on average 6-10 photos per minute. Any normal IG site would block likes after 350 or so. :/ Weird

    I havent found any bots that are smart enough to be programmed to refresh and pinpoint new photos without overlapping old photos or being blocked
     
  4. socialsecurity

    socialsecurity BANNED BANNED

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    i want want to know, which bot it is ?
     
  5. fheaky

    fheaky Regular Member

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    It can be a custom made bot. If you can't find it on the internet that's your best bet.
     
  6. Gramking

    Gramking Registered Member

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    I am currently doing something similar. It is not extremely efficient, but I don't do anything really (bot on a server running 24/7).