At some point you must have wondered if your favourite celebrities, influencers or even your Instagram famous friend have bought followers. Well, we are all about to find that out! Instagram has started deleting fake bots and accounts on November 19th, 2018. Be patient, it may take some time, as you know there are officially 1 Billion users on the platform. This is the hugest step they have taken to eliminate inauthentic followers, likes and comments. The platform has been created for genuine connections, yet it has turned into a pool of fake super stars wannabes.
It is not an uncommon practice for influencers to buy followers to “boost their engagement”. What that actually does, is tricking brands in losing 100s of millions Dollars a year on influencer marketing. What is more unfortunate is that plenty social media companies, or ‘experts’ out there can be doing the same for your brand – either buying followers or using third-party apps to give you an impression that your social media presence is just doing perfectly fine. It is no wonder that many businesses see social media management as a cost, rather than investment, what it actually is if done correctly!
It is not the first attempt by Instagram to fight bot activity. The most popular service called Instagress was finally shut down last year, but of course that has given an opportunity to others to establish their businesses, offering the same services, as people were desperately searching for alternatives.
If you have been followed and then unfollowed by someone who has a high following/follower ratio, or received an out of place comment, most probably it was a third part app attempting to increase the engagement for that particular account. It must have been set to engage with accounts using certain hashtags, or people located in a particular area, or even individuals following certain accounts. So, even if you have never used a third-party app, you may see your follow count, likes or comments affected because accounts using these services may have been engaging with you.
Instagram said in a statement: "Recently, we've seen accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience," Instagram said in a statement. "Every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It is our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren't disrupted by inauthentic activity."
It is interesting to see how things will turn out, but we are pretty sure that this time Instagram will be successful in their mission. Using machine learning, Instagram aims to identify and remove fake followers, likes and comments. Those using these services receive an in-app message (like the one below) urging them to change their passwords in order to stop 3rd party apps having the access to their accounts.