Since Instagram was born in 2011, there’s been a staggering amount of third party companies trying to ride big daddy’s coattails to get rich and experience massive success.
With the app’s rise to international fame, there’s no denying that Instagram is the premier social media platform in the world today.
Whether you’re a personal brand, a corporate giant, or somewhere in between, Instagram offers you the closest relationship to your target audience outside of sitting down with them for lunch…
And it’s a proven fact that Instagram boasts, by far, the highest engagement rate among the top social media channels as of the time of this writing.
Shortly after the platform made headlines worldwide, Instagram automation tools started to sprout up seemingly out of nowhere.
At first, nobody knew what they were, how they worked, or what they actually did for your Instagram account…
Instagram automation tools?
What the heck is that?
And these first Instagram automation tools were ANYTHING but user friendly.
It’s like you needed a PHD in computer engineering to understand how to set them up and keep them running.
4gram was one of the first Instagram automation tools ever created, but has since vanished into thin air without a trace.
We felt that was odd, especially knowing how big of a presence that 4gram had.
That’s why we decided to create this in-depth 4gram review.
Fast-forwarding nearly 11 years later and you’d be hard pressed to find somebody who DIDN’T know what an automation tool was…
But times have changed, and Instagram tries really hard to halt any efforts for anybody trying to run their accounts on these automation tools.
And it’s a shame because I know for certain that there’s a market for Instagram automation.
Truth be told, I’m a fan of Instagram automation.
I think Instagram automation is a good thing (when used correctly), because it allows you to focus on things that mean more to your audience.
Using Instagram automation allows you to focus on creating better content, creating a content strategy, doing competitor and market research, etc etc.
You get the idea of where I’m going.
Instagram growth services and automation platforms allowed you to shift your focus away from the mundane tasks of following relevant users or liking their content…
Don’t get me wrong, using 4gram or any other Instagram automation company doesn’t mean that you get a free pass when it comes to engaging your audience.
Growing your Instagram (or any other platform for that matter), it requires you to engage with your audience.
If your followers comment on your Instagram posts, then you have an obligation to respond to every single one.
That’s a good way to look at it.
Otherwise, why would people want to follow your brand or business?
It’s a shame that Instagram makes it so difficult for the normal people to run their accounts on Instagram automation tools because of the abuse by some bad apples.
And by abuse, I mean people and businesses were using Instagram automation for spamming people which detracts from the regular Instagram user’s experience.
I know you’ve seen it before…
Comments with single emojis or absolutely irrelevant text… “Awesome” or “great pic”…
We all know that’s spam, and it’s a major reason Instagram doesn’t want automation services like 4gram around.
As we all know, the Instagram community guidelines take spam very seriously and do everything possible to shut down anybody who goes against their terms and conditions.
And if you didn’t know, Instagram growth services, while completely legal in the law’s eyes, are not acceptable by the TOS (terms of service) set out by Instagram.
The main objective for Instagram is to keep their user’s experience satisfactory which in turn keeps those users on their platform.
Keeping those Instagram users on their platform allows advertisers to spend more money.
More advertising dollars spent means more money for Instagram…
Ok, so what actually happened to 4gram?
Did they get shut down or did they decide to close up shop?
We’ll answer all these questions below, so without further ado… let’s GO!
What Is 4gram?
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4gram was one of the pioneers of Instagram automation tools.
The 4gram company was one of the founding fathers of Instagram growth services which birthed the Instagram automation market.
4gram helped you gain followers and likes, AKA engagement, so that you could reach Instagram fame relatively quickly.
Whether your goal was to increase your followers by 10k or get more likes to your posts, you knew that 4gram could help you hit these numbers.
If you’re already familiar with the old school Instagram automation tools like followliker or jarvee then you’ll know that they offered the standard run of the mill automation features from that time like:
- Auto follow/Auto unfollow
- Auto like
- Auto comment
Unlike the above Instagram growth companies, 4gram did not allow you to change any settings and really had a basic control panel.
The top Instagram automation platforms gave you detailed settings on what kind of intervals you wanted depending on what features you were using.
If you were doing auto follow and auto like, maybe your interval was set to two new followers per hour, and six images liked per hour…
4gram really missed the mark here because that was really something standard of Instagram automation tools from those time periods and it worked really, REALLY well.
In essence, it gave you ultimate control on how you wanted to grow your Instagram using the automation tool.
One thing to note is that it was so difficult to understand these settings and intervals, that the normal Instagrammer didn’t set them up very well.
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That led to mediocre growth and also it was a reason that certain Instagram growth companies did so well.
How Does 4gram Work?
Based on the research we gathered, 4gram was the pioneer when it came to Instagram growth services, yes, but in my opinion they didn’t understand how business works which is one of the main culprits behind why they are no longer around.
The goal of 4gram was to help any user with any account grow their Instagram with real followers and likes…
As with all Instagram growth services, that’s always the obvious objective.
But because of their lack of pricing and options (yes they were completely free), it really handicapped their ability to grow as a company.
And because of their lack of resources (revenue), they ultimately developed their platform too slowly and had a hard time with the constant updates coming from Instagram’s side.
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While we’ll go into further detail a little bit later, I wanted to explain how 4gram actually works (or worked).
Because 4gram was free, there was no sign up process.
You only had to put in your username and password to get started.
That worried a lot of people because, even with the Instagram automation market being so new, people didn’t want to give out their password.
The good news about 4gram is that you didn’t have to download any software to get things going.
At the time it was standard to purchase a piece of software and install it on your computer.
It was the only way to grow your Instagram using automation like 4gram.
That really led people away from Instagram services like this.
At the same time, companies started popping up and sold these same services to consumers on a monthly subscription who would submit their user details upon successful checkout.
After the sign up, those companies would input the user login and targeting submissions into the system which was installed on their own computers.
4gram could have gone down this road, but they decided to keep things free.
While not blatantly stating this to the public, we believe that 4gram was an auto-exchange system.
That means that they take their member’s accounts and “exchange” like for like, or follow for follow…
They don’t give exact details in terms of the algorithm behind these exchanges, but we have good reason to believe this is the way it worked.
As we discussed a little earlier, the two standard features that 4gram provided was auto follow and auto like.
Back in these early days of Instagram automation, you could get away with quite a hefty amount of activity from platforms like 4gram…
For example, back when 4gram was active, you could get away with hundreds of follows done through their platform and hundreds of likes as well.
You’d be hanging yourself if you did that with today’s state of Instagram automation.
Instagram cracked down heavily and relies on their algorithm to pinpoint abusive activity such as follows, likes, and comments that don’t match up to real human behavior.
Like I said, 4gram’s main bread and butter is the auto follow functionality.
The idea is straightforward, but I’ll break it down anyways…
Auto follow is a function that 4gram used to go out and follow other users on your behalf.
Typically, Instagram growth services use targeting instructions provided by the user to find relevant profiles to follow automatically.
How 4gram did this is anyone’s guess because they didn’t ask for any targeting information.
That made me worried about what kind of followers would be provided.
Would they be inactive bot followers?
Would the followers actually care about what kind of content you created?
4gram made no attempt to collect any targeting information, so my conclusion would be that while you did gain followers, you’d be gaining the wrong kind of followers which hurts you so much more than helping you.
On top of this, there was a limit to how many followers you could get with 4gram which handicapped your ability to grow to the maximum.
After this limit was reached, you’d be stuck into a waiting period which lasted an unspecified period of time.
Suffice to say, that was a big let down to 4gram users…
In any case, out of all the features used by 4gram, the auto follow feature was by far the most effective.
The next feature that 4gram used was called auto like.
What this did is automatically like other users’ content, such as pictures or videos.
While not as effective as auto follow, 4gram users experienced a good uptake in engagement because of auto like.
Because the Instagram user noticed that somebody liked their content, they typically reciprocated with liking a piece of that person’s content.
Remember that liking somebody’s image is a lot less of a commitment than following a profile you’ve barely seen for the first time.
4gram had the option of allowing you to choose which content you want to receive likes on.
They also allowed you to put in a link to somebody else’s content which could then receive likes.
We never understood this feature, but it was the first of its kind on the market.
But as with the 4gram auto follow feature, their auto likes feature had no idea what kind of users you were trying to attract.
If all you wanted was likes on your content, that meant absolutely nothing to the health of your Instagram then you would have been happy.
On the contrary, if you wanted 4gram to help you get real likes from real users that were relevant to your profile then you would have been severely disappointed.
As we recall, though, 4gram was free which made it hard to complain.
What Happened To 4gram?
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On our journey to figure out what exactly happened to 4gram, we came across tons of people that have tried their automation platform.
Out of these discussions, we found out that 4gram had a huge amount of bugs and issues with the software.
I want to reiterate here that if they had actually charged for their service, they could have provided a better user experience and product to their users.
Obviously 4gram didn’t care much about their users or their user experience.
This in turn made the platform a subpar experience and a tool that couldn’t make the grade.
It also frustrated users because they weren’t getting the kind of followers or engagement that they expected which led to numerous complaints.
It’s not surprising because you can only go so far by giving away a free service.
And in the end, there’s been a lot of Instagram automation companies out there that were junk because of their product being free.
Because of this bad user experience, my guess is that the 4gram users reached out directly to Instagram which in turn led them to being closed down.
This is not a fact and I cannot confirm this, but this is our hypothesis which makes me think they weren’t one of the best Instagram growth tools.
Pricing of 4gram
Remember that 4gram didn’t offer any paid plans on their automation platform.
While they were around they were a completely free service.
Initially, people were happy with 4gram to start out with.
But as time progressed, their trustpilot had negative review after negative review.
I’m sure you’d agree that because 4gram was free to the public, it made Instagram users test the platform which in turn helped 4gram get off the ground.
On the other side of the coin though, because there were no paid plans, the company could only get so far.
Aside from that, they did some shady things when it came to the Instagram terms of service which sealed their fate.
Is 4gram Legit?
No 4gram wasn’t legit.
They started out with good intentions, but the 4gram company made a lot of errors.
When you’re trying to grow your Instagram through the use of Instagram automation tools, you expect to grow your account with relevant followers and engagement.
Can you agree?
Aside from the 4gram website being intuitively slow, the fact that 4gram didn’t ask their users for any kind of targeting instructions should have been a red flag.
How can anybody expect to grow their Instagram with relevant followers without sending 4gram targeting instructions.
I can confirm that 4gram is definitely a scam and it’s good that they’ve been shut down.
4gram: Pros and Cons
- Easy to use
- Not a legit company
- Violated the Instagram Terms of Service
- Limited the amount of followers and likes you could receive
- Was not safe
- No customer support to help
- Bot followers only
Final 4gram Verdict
We now know that 4gram was a scam which led to them getting shut down.
They abused their user’s by taking their accounts and using the auto-exchange system we discussed earlier.
I believe that Facebook and Instagram did the right thing by shutting down 4gram for good.
There’s no place in this business for scam companies.
That being said, if you’re still looking for Instagram growth,