Instagram starts purge of fake likes, follows and comments

Sorry, you can’t hire third-party apps to boost popularity anymore.

Marrian Zhou Staff Reporter
Marrian Zhou is a Beijing-born Californian living in New York City. She joined CNET as a staff reporter upon graduation from Columbia Journalism School. When Marrian is not reporting, she is probably binge watching, playing saxophone or eating hot pot.
Marrian Zhou

No more fake fans in the Instagram universe.

James Martin/CNET

Instagram influencers can say goodbye to fake fans.

Instagram on Monday said it'll begin removing fake likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity on the platform.

The Facebook-owned photo app will use machine learning technology to help identify accounts that boost their pages in such ways and remove the "inauthentic activity," according to the company's blog post. The users will receive notifications to let them know that Instagram has removed their likes, follows and comments. They'll also be asked to change their passwords in order to prevent third-party apps from using their accounts.

In August, Instagram added new tools to increase "authenticity" on the social network, including two-factor authentication and verified accounts. Users can apply for a verified blue badge, like on Twitter , to show they're the real deal. Instagram also detected and removed fake accounts, according to the company's blog post.