Instagram has started taking action against accounts that use apps and websites to gain inauthentic followers, comments, or likes.
Warnings are popping up on accounts that use these services, reading: “We’re removing inauthentic likes and follows. It looks like you may have shared your username and password with an app offering followers or likes […] Change your password to stop them accessing your account.”
The move is part of a wider initiative by parent company Facebook to rid itself of fake users, which have had an impact on communities and have even been impacting elections in the US. “We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use [third-party apps for boosting followers] and remove the inauthentic activity,” said the company in a statement.
The service also wants to be become more authentic, after many well-known celebrities and “influencers” have been outed for paying for followers. Brands use these follower counts as a way of gauging how much promoting power and influence rising social media stars have, so it’s important for Instagram to retain its legitimacy as, without it, both brands and users will quickly leave the platform.