Fake social media followers and likes are everywhere, it’s an epidemic almost as bad as fake news. The trend has been driven in large part by the rise of influencer marketing, a phenomenon that’s created fertile grounds for apps and websites that will provide fake likes or follows for a price.
Intent on cleaning up its app, Instagram has announced it plans to put an end to third-party apps responsible for boosting likes and followers. In a press release, the company stated: “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. Starting today, we will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.
Beyond just removing the false likes and follows, Instagram wants to emphasize a focus on moments being shared rather than the appearance of popularity.
In addition, Instagram has also announced that it will be sending in-app messages to users who have shared their login details with third-party apps. The message also forces users to revoke the app’s access to their accounts through a password change.
The message reads, “It looks like you may have shared your username and password with an app offering followers or likes. We’re removing activity like new followers from these apps to protect our community from inauthentic activity. Change your password to stop them from accessing your account.”
While Instagram is removing third-party apps, it hasn’t said how it will address businesses that provide fake likes and follows independent of an app. However, in the same press release, it warned, “We’ll have more updates in the coming weeks on additional measures we’re taking to tackle inauthentic activity on Instagram.”
Check out Instagram’s message to users using third-party apps below.