Buying IG Ads Can Ruin Your Account (My Story)

I have seen multiple threads in the past days talking about and discussing buying IG ads to grow your account and get likes since it’s getting harder and harder with the recent Instagram update.

In my experience, buying IG ads to boost your account reach and grow a following can be detrimental.

Let me explain.

But first beware, if you are a business trying to sell your products or services, IG and Facebook ads are a great and cost-effective way to accomplish that and grow your business. That is not what I mean. I am really talking about using these IG ads to grow your account.

If you decide to buy ads, make sure to not boost your post through IG. This is a total waste of money. They will eat through your money and you will get even worse results than regular IG ads. Use facebook ads to do detailed targeting and have more control and results over your IG ads

But here is the thing about buying IG ads to grow your account:

If you buy ads through instagram to grow your account, they will know that you are paying for your reach, and cut your organic reach a lot. They will do that because they expect you to buy more and more ads because you make them a lot of money.

In the end, it’s gonna be a vicious cycle. You start buying ads to grow your account. You get some results, nice likes, but your next organic posts still do not get any more reach, in fact, they may getting even less reach than before. So you buy more ads and more ads and then you are stuck in a cycle of buying ads because your account doesn’t have any organic growth potential.

Take it from someone who has done exactly that and speaks from experience … me.

Here is my story:

I remember doing this for about a month with multiple posts spending about €100 on ads created through facebook ads manager.

I got about 200k views through out my posts, lots of likes and about 2.5k new followers.

Thing is, these followers really seem to engage less with content you post.

I don’t even know if it is the followers themselves or just IG which cuts your reach and engagement because they know you are paying for your reach through ads and they want you to pay more so they just don’t show your post to your followers in hopes of you buying more ads.

If it helps, I also only targeted worldwide in the audience settings. That means Facebook goes out and mainly shows your post to third world countries because they are the cheapest. That way I could get impressions for €0.0001 or something.

It surely would’ve been better to target US and first world countries only but that would’ve been way more expensive.

I remember a couple ads I had targeting these tier 1 countries and they barely got any followers whereas the worldwide settings really took off.

So far m/s method is a lot better for high-quality engaging followers, but you also need to have the budget. For me, I had a nice set of child accounts going with my own proxies but since the update, I can’t do any actions except through the embedded browser.


  • buying ads cuts your reach because Instagram wants you to pay for more so they limit your organic reach
  • the followers you acquire won’t be super engaged with your account, if they get to see your posts at all, they most likely won’t be to highly valuable
  • if you buy ads, make sure to not boost your post through IG. This is a total waste of money. Use facebook ads to do detailed targeting and have more control and results over your IG ads

And how did you solve this ? Or once you do the mistake it cannot be undone ? Unfortunately i have also done it and now I struggle not knowing what to do. I just wait



I definitely think it is solvable.

Focus on organic growth methods like shout outs, viral content, maybe powerlikes and any means to grow organically.

If you start getting new organic growth, you can push the balance in your favor again.

I have also read that you can turn your account from business to private again for a couple days and that should solve some problems. I have yet to try it but will probably do that soon to try it out after some more research.


Yes I also read that about switching to personal but I hesitate don’t know why. I will also have to do some research first. If you happen to test it before please share your conclusions ! Thanx

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Thanks for you Story I think I’ll stay clear of IG ads

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If you have valuable content, ads work great. if you sell products or services, you can acquire potential customers, by powerlikes you will not win customers


Actually just switched and the only difference is that you don’t have analytics and insights and you can’t run ads anymore. Also no description like “Entrepreneur” or “Actor” under your name. Will report how it is going within the next days when I post again.


“If you have valuable content, ads work great. if you sell products or services, you can acquire potential customers, by powerlikes you will not win customers”

I agree. In my post said if you are a business selling products or services, ads are great. In fact, they also worked for engagement and likes and followers, it’s just that the goal is different. When you try to grow an account to be an influencer, you likely you want organic reach whereas as a business, you have no problem spending on ads

Super. I knew that about the analytics but I hesitated about the “image” of the profile. If you’re a content creator i guess it looks more professional to the companies which collaborate with you to have a Business profile.

Thank you for your story :slight_smile:
You saved me: D

Yeah I know what you mean, that’s why I hesitated about it too at first. We’ll see though. If it truly improves engagement it would be worth it

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I guess you re right … :thinking:

I made that mistake with one of my accounts. expecting organic reach from ads is an error

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I totally agree something similar happened to me too.

I know these feels. Instagram ads are like flushing money down the toilet and then the toilet throwing sh*t back at you in return.


For real. I mean I have no problem with the actual ad results if you do it right, sure it’s expensive but if you got money … but if they then limit your organic reach for new posts it’s useless

I don’t think switching does any difference to the account and Insights/Analytics are really important for businesses/profiles. But please let me know how that goes, best of luck!

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will do. I suspect it actually does make a difference

I totally agree with that. All the accounts I used Ig ads on had their reach cut down, but I havent experimented with fb ads. Does the reach get cut down the same when using fb ads? I mean you can always unlink your fb profile from your ig after using ads unless it leaves some kind of a footprint.

Do you mean using FB ads to advertise your IG on facebook feed for example? If so, I don’t know but probably also not that effective.

If you mean using FB ads manager to create IG ads on IG feed, that is exactly what I did and got my reach cut down. I also unlinked but it was tough recovering from that.

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