AI Wildlife Photographer on Instagram
After some time tinkering around, I was in awe about the realism provided with the new model. I was just trying out animals and wondered, if they were even distinguishable from real wildlife photos.
Using ChatGPT and Google Sheets for automation
So I quickly put together a Google Sheet, using a ChatGPT-integration to give me 60 countries in the world famous for their wildlife and then prompted for the 10 most famous animals of each country. This left me with a list of about 600 animals I could post.
ChatGPT generated some short captions and some hashtags and the prompt was just a standard prompt concatenated with the animal and the location. To make it a little more useful, ChatGPT generated a list of the six largest animal conversation organisations. At first, I let it add the Instagram handles to it, but some of them were not existing. ChatGPT just imagined some fitting handles for the NGOs, which I did not want.
Bypassing the issue of Midjourney not providing an API
There was a little problem, though: Midjourney does not offer an API. As of the mid of March, 2023, it is only usable in Discord by prompting its chatbot. So I had to find a way around, which was by spoofing the request sent to Discord including authorization headers, nonces etc. This sounds hard in the beginning, but it worked by copying the original request making sure, headers and cookies were passed the same way. I used Postman to try it out but to scale it, I had to write a little script. Using Laravel and a Google Sheets integration, this worked quite nice. For about 5 hours, it requested the Midjourney bot every 30 seconds and wrote it back to the Sheet.
Automating posting on Instagram
Now, I had to automate posting to Instagram. When using a business account, you can use the Instagram API to create posts. I searched for an automation tool capable of linking Instagram and found it in make.com, formerly Integromat. I could stay within the free plan and connect the sheet with Instagram quite easily. It runs periodically and creates a post every time it finds a row with a given timestamp.
How much money and time did it take?
It took me about two days to set this all up, which is quite a lot for a small project like this. I had to waste some time on getting ChatGPT in Sheets correct, because it annoyingly failed sometimes and had to be updated manually. Additionally, requesting the Midjourney bot and writing a basic script took some time. But for building an Instagram channel containing content for three whole years, this should be fine.
The only expense for this is Midjourney: I had to purchase one month of unlimited requests totaling about 36 USD including taxes. Google Sheets is free and ChatGPT API and make.com were not exceeding the free usage limits.
Conclusion (for now)
First reactions show that even professional wildlife photographers do not see a difference on the first sight. I had not one single comment about it. After three days, the account has reached 182 accounts, and collected 213 likes, 18 comments and two saves with 35 posts. It has 10 followers.
I am excited to monitor the growth of the channel. I will just leave it posting for the next three years and see where it goes. For now, I do not intend to earn money with it. I started without mentioning the images being generated, which I will change after some weeks. However, with a proper notice in place, I actually do not see any problems with monetizing the content. Let's see, how it goes :)