Instagram Sham

My email stream is filled with spam from 3rd party vendors promising the ‘no questions asked’ provision of Social media followers for a fee. You can select how many you want and pay the money; and suddenly you’re a just add water Instagram Influencer ready to hustle.

It is quite astounding how big the Influencer economy has grown in just the last five years. Influencers are now a mainstream part of the marketing mix. But so much of it is founded on snake oil and smoke and mirrors.

And now Instagram itself has recognised this is a major issue, and is clamping down on what it calls “inauthentic activity,” . In other words, users who have built up their following using third-party apps to boost their popularity via likes, follows, and comments will soon start to have their profile stripped of fakery.

“Every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions,” Instagram wrote in its blog post. “It is our responsibility to ensure these experiences arenʼt disrupted by inauthentic activity.”

Amazon did this long ago with fake Reviews on itʼs products. The practice even gained its own colloquialism “Astro-turfing”.

The Instagram platform has already started removing activity via machine learning tools that help to identify the targeted accounts. Account holders will then be notified that any inauthentic account activity has been removed and asked to change their password.

“This type of behaviour is bad for the community,” the Instagram post reads, adding that third-party
apps that generate fake likes, follows, and comments violate the serviceʼs community
guidelines and terms of use.

Will Instagram influencers soon be found to be a sham? Or will Instagram be able to weed out the fakes and restore integrity and confidence to this category.