Instagram Takes Out Fake ‘Likes’ Tied To 3rd-Party Apps

Beginning Monday, November 26, Instagram is going to start removing inauthentic engagement with accounts that use third-party apps to grow their follower count and engagement on the platform, which is a practice that violates the app’s community guidelines and terms of use.

Even though Instagram influencers are an important part of brand-consumer relationships on the app, it can be hard for advertisers and brands to figure out who is the real influencer.  Those accounts who’s goal is to gain paid relationships with brands and post nothing but sponsored posts will utilize third party apps to build up fake likes, follows and comments.  This is how they try becoming influencers.

Instagram is taking action against this sort of abuse by removing any and all inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps used to boost the account’s popularity.  Unilever CMO Keith Weed is recruiting one of the most vocal champions of transparency in advertising to show support for its efforts.

“Unilever has made clear commitments to clean up influencer marketing and rebuild trust in the digital ecosystem. Dishonest practices like buying fake followers or fake engagement from bots pollute the entire system. We should all be encouraged by these steps from Instagram to identify and address this type of activity,” said Weed, “Instagram is one of the most popular social networks worldwide, and I very much support it taking action and removing inauthentic activity from its platform. It’s another positive step on the journey to build trust back into our digital ecosystems and wider society.”

Leading the marketing efforts for Unilever’s multiple brands, including brands like Dove, Lipton Soup, Axe Body Spray, Noxema and Vaseline, Weed has long advocated for digital platforms to do more in terms of brand safety. Also, Weed was also one of the initial folks threatening to pull advertising from programmatic platforms that couldn’t guarantee ads would not be shown alongside extremist content.

In April, the CMO said his company would no longer work with social media influencers who paid for followers.

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