If you are an avid user of Instagram, then no doubt you’ve come across interactions on your own content that seem fake. Usually, generic comments along the lines of ‘I love your content, keep up the good work! If you get a chance, take a look at our profile’. Or, likes that appear then disappear overnight. Now I’m not saying that people wouldn’t genuinely like your content, but it’s pretty easy to know a fake interaction when you see one…
Last month, Instagram announced it is going to remove fake interactions generated from third-party apps.
So, why do people use these third-party apps in the first place?
In a nutshell, it’s to gain popularity. The way these third-party apps work is a user will sign up to an app (or bot, if you like) using their Instagram login details. Following this, the bots can work in several ways. They will crawl through Instagram and either; comment, like photos, or follow other accounts on the users’ behalf. Some bots are even able to do all three, depending on how much you pay to use them of course. You can use hashtags to identify which types of users these bots will target.
The idea behind the third-party apps is to boost the following of the account you signed up with. Specifically a human following, rather than buying followers and ending up with a following in the form of spam accounts. Now, you’re probably sat there thinking this is a pretty good pitch; pay, do nothing and gain followers. However, Instagram feels differently. They have openly said they are going to remove fake interactions to combat these third-party apps. Here’s a quote from Instagram voicing their opinion…
So, how will Instagram tackle this problem exactly?
Well, let me tell you…
Instagram will use machine learning to identify accounts that have signed up to these third-party apps. Following this, the accounts will receive a message telling them that the fake interactions have been removed and that they have to change their password. To clarify, this is the message users will be shown.
Through making users change their password, it will stop the access that the third-party apps originally had. This will then prevent fake interactions being created in the future. Instagram stated that any accounts that continue to use third-party apps to gain popularity will receive limitations to their account. They haven’t specified exactly what these limitations will be, but most likely it will include limitations such as people being unable to see the content posted from these accounts. I personally feel this is the right decision on Instagram’s part. Not only to maintain the user experience of their social media platform but when users give their username and password to third-party apps, it also makes the platform a lot less secure!
We hope you’ve found this post useful in finding information about fake interactions on Instagram. If nothing else, it’s good to know what to expect if you’ve used these third-party applications in the past!