This November, Instagram made a very important announcement. In an effort to steer the platform clear off inauthentic activities, Instagram will be deleting fake Instagram followers. Instagram wants to provide a completely authentic, genuine experience to its users. In pursuit of this, Instagram has unleashed machine learning tools for identifying accounts that have fake followers.
Many Instagram accounts have been found to be using third-party apps to get fake followers. Such users try to paint a completely different image of their band using the vanity metric of followers. In the age of influencer marketing, users have resorted to getting fake followers to feign popularity. You all know that if you want to bring an influencer on board, despite it being a vanity metric, you will give some weightage to their following.
Similarly, some business accounts were seen to be using third-party automated apps to first follow other accounts and then unfollow them. In the process, such users increase their overall follower growth. But with Instagram’s latest announcements, all such users will be directly affected.
Using AI tools, Instagram first identifies all the accounts using apps for growing followers. Next, Instagram removes all the fake likes, follows and comments that it generated using third-party apps. Such users will then receive an in-app message from Instagram informing them of the removal of all the artificial numbers.
What Are Fake Instagram Followers?
Fake Instagram followers are follows generated using inauthentic means. Many Instagram users were found to be using third-party apps to follow then unfollow other users on the platform. In this process, they were able to increase their follower growth. Once a user makes payment to use a third-party app, the user has to just let the app do the work. The automation app then identifies and selects users based on certain hashtags. It then follows other users on behalf of their client.
Many users may feel obliged to follow back in such cases. Whenever someone follows you on Instagram, you get a notification. Especially when an unknown person or brand follows you on the platform, you will want to know about them. When you head to their profile, you will see the blue ‘follow back’ button, which is pretty much a Call to Action.
This is exactly the principle on which these apps operate. The other user may or may not follow back in return. However, the third party tool functions in such a way that it automatically unfollows the user after some time. The third party app leaves a short time window during which the other user takes the decision to follow back or ignore.
The whole idea behind this is to increase the number of followers on the platform. Having a large number of followers comes with its own perks. Higher the number of followers, better the engagement. Moreover, having a large Instagram following is often associated with being an influencer and many are trying to do just that, using third-party apps.
What is Instagram Doing For Cracking Down Fake Followers?
Instagram has its own machine learning tools for identifying any inauthentic activity on the platform. It is pointing out all the accounts that have employed third-party apps for boosting fake popularity. Instagram will notify all such accounts about the removal of all the inauthentic follows, likes and comments that they have made on others’ accounts.
Instagram has taken this step to secure the platform from any form of inauthentic activity. Many users employing third-party apps for increasing followers have shared their login credentials with the app. The apps may use the account details for inauthentic likes, comments or follows.
Sometimes, you too may have unknowingly shared your login credentials with a third party app. Instagram recommends changing passwords to revoke the access of a third party app to your account.
Instagram has claimed that any account that continues using such apps will have their Instagram experience impacted in the process. This could probably mean limited access to certain features for example.
Instagram will also extend the crackdown on the users to certain businesses as well. Third party automation apps indulging in inauthentic activities may be using Instagram for its business, disguised as social media analytics tools. Such ads and promotions on the platform will also be subjected to Instagram’s community guidelines and standards.
Conclusion – The Impact on Your Business
Unless you have been using inauthentic means for generating more followers on the platform, Instagram’s latest actions will not have much impact. However, the new step by Instagram may have a little impact on the number of your followers on Instagram. Instagram deleting fake followers may bring down your followers by a few numbers. But Instagram will only delete the inauthentic and fake Instagram followers.
At the same time, it may affect the dynamics of influencer marketing to an extent. Inauthentic influencers with fake followers will face a crackdown. While picking influencers, factors other than no. of followers should be given more weightage. Unbox Social offers a social media analytics tool that comes with an influencer tracking feature. Here you can track influencers across social media platforms.
Instagram’s latest efforts will make your job easier. Only those who have big authentic following will be true influencers. Those with fake Instagram followers will no longer have artificial numbers to back their influencer status. This will help you build authentic, lucrative relationships.