Instagram Cracks Down on Third Party Apps Used to Artificially Grow Audience Numbers

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Instagram announced this week that the company has been seeing accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience numbers.

“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,” Instagram explained in a recent statement. “Starting today, we will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.”

According to the company’s issued statement, Instagram has built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use these services and remove the inauthentic activity.

This type of behavior is bad for the community, and third-party apps that generate inauthentic likes, follows and comments violate our Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. We’re taking a number of steps to limit this kind of unwelcome behavior. Accounts we identify using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them that we have removed the inauthentic likes, follows and comments given by their account to others. We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password. People who use these types of apps share their username and password, and their accounts are sometimes used by third-party apps for inauthentic likes, follows and comments. Not only does this introduce bad behavior into the Instagram community, it also makes these accounts less secure.”

The company also explained that they know some people may have unknowingly shared their login credentials with a third-party app. Users will receive an in-app message and can simply change their password to revoke access to the account.

These new measures will be ongoing, and accounts that continue to use third-party apps to grow their audience may see their Instagram experience impacted.