Instagram on Monday, Nov 19th announced that it will start removing “inauthentic” likes, fake followers and comments from accounts that use third-party apps as a way to inflate their popularity.
Anyone who has a public Instagram account has probably had the experience of an account they’ve never heard of liking a few of their photos or posting a vague comment, such as “Nice one!” as a way to attract new followers.
In a new blog post, Instagram says that it wishes for its users to have “real experiences and genuine interactions” and inauthentic activity like third-party apps that artificially grow engagement isn’t part of that experience.
Instagram is using new algorithms that will help identify these accounts and remove the fake activities including Likes, Follows, and Comments. They have already started alerting accounts that use these third-party services by requesting that they change their passwords to cease these apps’ access to their accounts.
Giving third-party apps your Instagram information could also be risky and your information could be compromised. Even if you weren’t aware that a third-party app still had access to your Instagram account, you’ll still be notified to change your password.
The post said, “Since the early days of Instagram, we have auto-detected and removed fake accounts to protect our community. Today’s update is just another step in keeping Instagram a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways. We’ll have more updates in the coming weeks on additional measures we’re taking to tackle inauthentic activity on Instagram.”
The action comes at a time when engagement on Instagram is shifting to its stories feature. But it also comes at a time when Facebook is under pressure to clean up inauthentic activity, secure its platforms and create more meaningful engagements.
The photo-sharing app was purchased by Facebook for $1 billion in 2012. It now has more than 1 billion monthly active users.