Instagram is cracking down on spam in a big way.
The company sent a mass in-app alert to users yesterday explaining that that their number of followers may drop as they try to rid the service of bots and fake accounts.
One social media marketer who is in the business of selling fake Instagram accounts to brands, politicians, and marketers estimates that as many as 10 million accounts may be deleted.
“People who are household names are going to see their follower counts drop by a lot,” the marketer told the International Business Times. “It’s going to be chaos.”
On Wednesday, Instagram announced that the service had surpassed a milestone of 300 million users, more than Twitter. They topped 200 million users only nine months ago.
The company insists that bot accounts were not included in that number, and they have been working hard since this April to fix the problem.
Previously, Instagram would simply deactivate spam accounts rather than delete them. This new update will mean that fake accounts will now be deleted, which means they will no longer appear in follower numbers.
“When we remove accounts from Instagram that don’t follow our Community Guidelines, you may see a decrease in your follower count,” the company wrote in a blog post. This shouldn’t affect engagement from authentic accounts that like and comment on your posts.”
Like Facebook and Twitter, Instagram will also begin rolling out verified account badges to brands, celebrities, and athletes. This should eliminate confusion surrounding parody and celeb tribute accounts, which can frequently appear in the Explore feed.
You can read Instagram’s full announcement here.
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