Instagram influence is worth big money these days, and many users have turned to third-party services to gain fake followers and likes. If you’re one such user, here’s some bad news: Instagram is now wiping out the artificial numbers that you may have paid money to get.
“Recently, we’ve seen accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience,” Instagram says. “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 has built AI tools that can automatically identify fake popularity, and today that AI has been unleashed.
“We will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity,” Instagram says.
If you’ve ever racked up fake popularity, you may receive an in-app message alerting you that your fake numbers have been wiped. If you’ve noticed any sudden drop in follower count or activity this week, this new campaign is probably why.
Instagram is also asking users who have used boosting and botting services to change their password in order to resecure their accounts — 3rd party services you’ve used in the past could be quietly using your account maliciously.
“Since the early days of Instagram, we have auto-detected and removed fake accounts to protect our community,” Instagram says. “Today’s update is just another step in keeping Instagram a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways.”
Instagram says it’s also planning to take “additional measures” to tackle inauthentic activity in the near future.