Instagram announced today that it will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity. According to Instagram the third-party apps in question violate its policies and users will be prompted to stop using them.
Accounts that use the questionable services will receive in-app messages alerting them that inauthentic likes, follows and comments given by their account to others have been removed. Affected users will also have to change their password.
"Since the early days of Instagram, we have auto-detected and removed fake accounts to protect our community," the company wrote in a blog post. "Today's update is just another step in keeping Instagram a vibrant community where people connect and share in authentic ways."
The company says it has developed a series of machine-learning tools that can identify the use this type of third-party apps and users who continue with their use will "see their Instagram experience impacted". This could be limited access to certain features, for example.