Instagram is Officially Going After Bots! Here’s What You Need to Know

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Slayers, the #ABotcalypse is nigh. Today, Instagram issued an announcement denouncing the use of third party apps (AKA bots) to generate “inauthentic likes, follows and comments” on the platform, stating that they’ll be proactively working to “limit this kind of unwelcome behavior” starting today.

Yup, it sounds like Instagram is taking a similar route to their evil stepmom, Facebook, in promoting fuzzy, personal, genuine and meaningful interactions.

“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,” said the announcement, which was very unimaginatively named “Reducing Inauthentic Activity on Instagram”.

… I don’t know, I kind of liked the random, irrelevant comments. After all, who doesn’t enjoy being told “GREAT PHOTO!” when you’ve posted a full-on cinematic vlog? Or complimented with “you have great style!” when you gram a black and white tree stump? 

RIP, ego-boosting vanity metrics.


How Will I Be Affected by Instagram’s ABotcalypse?

If you currently use these third party apps, don’t panic. It doesn’t sound like an Insta-ban or anything right away. Rather, here’s what you can expect:

  1. You’ll receive an in-app message that tells you Instagram has removed your inauthentic likes, follows and comments
  2. Instagram will ask you to secure your account by changing your password
  3. You’ll probably see a decline in reach or something because it’s Instagram and they love to make us cry

What if I continue to use these apps?

Well, Instagram’s threat is vague, but ominous. The announcement states “accounts that continue to use third-party apps to grow their audience may see their Instagram experience impacted”. Hmmmm, sounds a bit like shadow banning, doesn’t it?! Throwback to when we were all panicking about that. 🙂 Gosh, we’ve really gone through a lot of crises this year. *plays nostalgic harp*

How will Instagram detect bot behaviour?

And here is my favourite part of this whole thing: Instagram is going to be fighting bots WITH THEIR OWN BOTS.

As the announcement states, “we’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use these services and remove the inauthentic activity”.

Gosh, we really are living in the future. 

The accuracy of Instagram’s machine learning tools is still unknown, but something tells me some evil genius child out there will thwart these anti-bot plans eventually. *shrug*

So, how is Instagram going to change?

Well, it’s a little early to tell how this will change the Instagram landscape, if at all. As the IG team wrote, “today’s update is just another step in keeping Instagram a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways,” which means we will all continue to stage artistic photos of our cereal as normal…

All signs do point to more changes coming though, with the conclusion of the announcement stating they’ll “have more updates in the coming weeks on additional measures [they’re] taking to tackle inauthentic activity on Instagram”.

Anyways, if you want to read the original announcement, it’s right here. 

How are you feeling about this announcement, slayers? Let us know in the comments!

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