As part of a broader effort on the part of Facebook to crack down on groups and users that may be abusing its system, the social media service announced it was banning ten major groups used to boost the reach of Instagram accounts.
People would use these groups to attempt to “game” the system so to speak on Instagram and increase their following in the process.
Peta Pixel cites a report from BuzzFeed that this action came in the wake of the news agency’s contacting Instagram and inquiring about the potential impact these groups could be having on the algorithm used to determine a photo’s reach on Instagram.
One major group that was deleted reportedly had 200,000 members.
Names such as Instagram Followers Exchange, Daily Instagram Engagement, and Instagram Like and Comment give you some idea of the scope of these groups’ activities.
For those that may not be aware, attempting to artificially inflate likes, comments, or followers can lead to Instagram banning your account. The idea behind all of this is, of course, that the service wants growth and engagement to be organic and based on relevance.
As Peta Pixel reports, most of these groups grew in response to Instagram’s switch from a chronological feed to an algorithm-driven relevance system.
Basically, these Instagram “pods” would like, comment, and follow one another en masse in order to make the service think the photo was very popular.
Many of these groups were rapidly growing and probably only represent a fraction of the total groups out there dedicated to this practice.
Instagram has cracked down on a lot of the automated systems users had grown to love over the past few months, such as an automated response bot and other bots. Some users got their account banned for such activity, perhaps the strongest response Instagram can mete out for real power users.