Dutch public broadcaster VPRO has published a documentary called '#followme' that details the hidden reality behind fake Instagram accounts and how they become popular. The documentary, which was filmed in a vertical orientation for a primarily mobile audience, is around 49 minutes long and available to stream for free on Instagram and YouTube.

The film '#followme' details the big business fueling faux Instagram success, including the sale of followers to make an account appear more popular than it is, the staging of photos and videos designed to look spontaneous, and how motivated users game the platform's algorithm to climb in rank.

Instagram has faced increased criticism over its alleged role in fear of missing out (FOMO) and other negative mental health effects, including from some influencers who have shed light on the often fake nature of many Instagram accounts. The social network may be planning big changes that address some of these concerns, however. Earlier this month, the company confirmed that it has been testing hidden like counts and that it may introduce the change across the platform.