Earlier, Instagram announced that it would be cracking down on fake comments, likes and followers, an attempt to clean up a way users have been gaming their algorithm.
As many know, Instagram’s algorithm uses a combination of the number of followers an account has plus the engagement that account gets via likes and comments on their posts to determine who actually sees the posts. As a result, an entire industry grew around building apps to “work the system”. A user would purchase a service from a third party that would provide followers, likes, and comments on that user’s posts. Thus, this user would appear to the algorithm to be “successful” and more actual followers would be shown the posts.
But Instagram says it has implemented moderation tools that will help target which accounts use these services. Those fake followers, comments, and likes will be automatically removed. Those accounts identified as using these third-party services to boost their popularity will be notified within Instagram that the purchased likes, comments, and followers have been removed. Those users will also be prompted to change their password as a security measure in case the service compromised their account security.