Digital Gabe
Cutting Edge Commentary On All Things Media

Looks Like Instagram Might Need Some Purging Of Its Own

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You might remember a few weeks ago when word came out about Twitter’s purge of fake bot accounts from its platform.  In my blog post I expressed the hope that other social players would follow Twitter’s lead.  Here’s a good example of why that’s needed.

According to the research firm Ghost Data, an estimated 9.5% of Instagram’s users may also be bots.  While that might seem like a small percentage, the worldwide total comes to an estimated 100 million active bots on Instagram – so they have a huge problem on their hands.

Ghost Data’s calculations for figuring out Instagram’s bot infiltration is pretty startling.  Their researchers intentionally bought and implanted 20,000 bots on Instagram (yes, you can buy these babies!), and monitored how they interacted with real human users.  Within a few days the bots had interacted with over a million other Instagram accounts – usually by following the humans and sometimes even by posting pictures for other humans to see.  By watching how the sample bots behaved, and then doing some reverse math against Instagram’s normal network amplification, GD was able to peg Instagram’s bot count at just under 100M.

The good news is if Twitter can identified and purge non-human accounts from its user base, then Instagram (and what about Facebook?!?) should be able to do the same thing.  I think this stat proves the point that a cleanup is needed on all of the social pubs.

 

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