Digital creators — and users across the greater Instagram ecosphere — may see their engagement wane in coming days. That’s because the platform announced today that it will begin to remove inauthentic likes, follows, and comments that have been furnished by third-party apps. Instagram says that such apps violate its Community Guidelines, and make all accounts less secure.
To be fair, Instagram has auto-detected and removed fake accounts since 2004 — though this marks the first time that it is setting its sights on engagement metrics. Accordingly, the platform has harnessed machine learning tools to identify and purge inauthentic engagement activity, it says.
Any Instagram accounts found to have utilized engagement boosters will receive in-app messages asking them to change their passwords immediately (pictured above), the company explained in a blog post. That’s because third-party apps often require users to share their usernames and passwords, which “introduces bad behavior into the Instagram community, and also makes these accounts less secure.”
“Every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences,” the company said. “It is our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity.”
Instagram’s stated push to ratchet down fake engagement arrives days after it accidentally exposed a small number of user passwords due to a security bug tied to a data-downloading feature introduced in April.