Instagram Ramps Up Fight Against Fake Follows
As Facebook Inc.’s (NASDAQ: FB) Instagram has become more popular over the years, it has faced a particularly pernicious problem: people using automated apps to increase their likes and follows on the platform. Now, Instagram has announced a new program to remove the activity from these automated apps from people’s accounts. Instagram released a statement saying, “We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use [third-party apps for boosting followers] and remove the inauthentic activity.”
The number of follows a person has on apps like Instagram has become a way of determining their influence, credibility, and earning potential. The amount that social media stars are paid for brand sponsorships is in part based on the size of their audience. Even users with as few as one thousand followers can receive compensation to post sponsored content.
This means that the use of these automated apps can lead to an immediate return on the user’s investment. A whole industry has sprung up around artificially increasing engagement for social media accounts. There are many popular bot apps that specialize in this, including Archie, InstarocketProX, Devumi, and Boostio. These apps generally charge between $10 to $45 per month for their specific services.
The widespread use of fake followers and likes puts Instagram’s legitimacy into question. Removing fraudulent activity is something Instagram will need to continue addressing if it wants to protect its business.