Instagram tackling fake traffic

Some good news for brands and agencies using Instagram for influencer marketing.

The platform is doing some housecleaning, taking new steps to eliminate fake traffic and engagement bought from third-party apps.

In a blog post that went up Monday the company said it has built machine learning tools to identify accounts that use third-party apps to buy fake activity. Any accounts using the fake traffic apps will get a private message about the likes, follows and comments being removed.

“These new measures will be ongoing, and accounts that continue to use third-party apps to grow their audience may see their Instagram experience impacted,” the post warns without going into detail.

“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.”

It’s also bad for business.

Aside from the importance of verifiably authentic reach to marketers spending money with influencers (and increasingly “nanoinfluencers”), the social platforms have been under growing pressure to get serious about the scourge of fake content, not just because it messes with marketing campaigns but because it can also, like, you know, spread vicious soul-destroying hatred and undermine democracy.

David Brown

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