You might be wondering how all those so-called influencers, and even some of your friends who behave like celebrities from time to time, got all those followers on Instagram? Well, you might be able to separate the wheat from the chaff very soon. The Facebook owned social media network has embarked on a purge to clean the network. The company has announced that it will systematically eliminate fake followers, likes, and comments that users may have purchased through third-party apps and platforms. That could be bad news for a lot of Instagram users, who often tend to wield their “influence” by shoving the “follower count” numbers in the faces of whoever they meet.
“Accounts we identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that we have removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments given by their account to others. We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password,” says Instagram in an official statement. Instagram has always attempted to detect and remove fake accounts on the platform, but the latest move is to reduce inauthentic or artificial activity on the platform on a much wider scale. Influencers as well as brands who cultivate this whole culture of “influencing” by paying social media users for paid brand sponsorships, must be a worried lot.
But this had to happen, since Instagram had morphed into a platform where some brands get into partnerships with certain users to hawk products and services, thereby making your timeline more of a shopping website than something where you might want to engage with friends and genuinely good content.
Should you be worried? though
Not one bit, if your interactions on Instagram have been authentic and not artificially boosted in any way. If you haven’t used any third party apps or services to buy followers, buy likes on any particular post(s) or generate comments for any post(s) you made, you will not be impacted by the change. A lot of users tend to splurge money on third-party apps to buy followers, likes, comments and views, to boost popularity of their profile and potentially show off to their followers about the influence they have on the social network. There are third-party platforms such as Archie, InstarocketProX and Boostio which charge between $10 to $45 per month to boost engagement on a user’s profile.
That is set to end.
Instagram will rely on artificially intelligent algorithms to detect posts and profiles that have boosted engagement or follower counts. If Instagram removes any likes, followers or comments from your profile, you will get an in-app message alerting you about the action.
Facebook owned Instagram is also taking this measure to make the platform more secure as a whole. For instance, many third-party apps require you to share your account ID and password once you are ready to pay a fees to buy artificial engagement for your profile. Instagram correctly believes that this is a huge security risk for the data on the social network.
In the past quarter, Facebook has identified and deleted as many as 754 million fake accounts, which were also involved in spreading misinformation, fake news, threats and more.