Instagram has made a clean sweep of some fake user accounts, and has deleted followers from accounts that are also fake. The company, owned by Facebook, decided to get rid of fake accounts that pay for users in order to clean up the photo app.
While Instagram’s intentions were of the good kinds (the company simply didn’t want spammers to be a part of Instagram anymore), this move has upset some people - and cost a lot of celebrities quite a few followers.
According to The Guardian, Justin Bieber was the one celebrity to suffer the most when Instagram cleaned out accounts. Bieber lots thousands of followers thanks to the sweep, but he wasn’t alone. Many other celebrities also lost followers during the sweep, and this has caused a lot of people to rebel against Instagram.
But, it can be argued, Instagram has really good reason to get rid of some accounts. The accounts that were deleted were those that often posted spam links and were run by bots. Even though those accounts were spam, many people still followed those accounts, and were confronted by suspicious sites and other spam links when clicking on an original link posted by the bot accounts.
Why Instagram Cares
When people start to realize that most accounts are run by bots and exist to spread spam, those people tire easily of Instagram. This, in turn, will mean that Instagram would eventually start losing users that tire of the spam, and that could eventually mean the demise of the app. Clearly, Instagram had good reason for wiping some accounts from the app, and even though a lot of people lost many followers, the app might be better off without all of those bots and spam accounts.
Where do all of those spam accounts come from? Various marketing companies sell bot accounts to users, so that those users can appear more popular on apps like Instagram. Instagram reps have also stated that users making money from sponsored posts may also find that their accounts are soon purged (if not already). Instagram wants to clean up the app, so that it goes back to original followers with real accounts - not spam accounts run by bots that are potentially dangerous.
Inactive Accounts are Gone Too
Instagram also swept the app of inactive accounts that were included in follower lists. If an account was simply inactive (or there to boost numbers), that account was deleted. Some users don’t like the control that Instagram has exercised over all accounts when the company made the cuts, but it stands to reason that Instagram had to get rid of bot accounts in order to make the app more appealing for everyone else.
Instagram’s main goal is to provide a true experience for people that want to follow real people, want to post real photos, and are using the app the way that it was meant to be used. If you’ve found that your account has been deleted, there’s nothing you can do to get it back at the moment. Mostly, though, Instagram deleted only those accounts that were proven to be run by bots.