Followers vs. Engagement


Committed to creating real experiences for audiences, Instagram recently announced that they will be using machine learning tools to identify accounts that are using third-party apps to generate engagement.

The crackdown will begin with a message alerting users that activity on their profile was deemed inauthentic and has been removed from their account. The next step will prompt a password change for the sake of the account’s security which could have been compromised by a third-party app. If accounts continue to use third-party apps to grow their following after receiving these notifications, their “Instagram experience may be impacted.”

In our line of work, we often find ourselves explaining how the number of followers an account has is not directly correlated to their success as brand. Yes, having a large follower number can count for something, but unless those followers are actively engaging with, purchasing from, and telling their friends about the brand, the number does not hold a great deal of weight.

Numbers such as how many shares your content is getting, how many likes you’re receiving and how many comments are on a post are much more important than the number of followers in your profile snapshot. You want your audience to be relevant and serve as micro-ambassadors for your brand within their own social networks. Instagram’s move to reduce the inauthentic activity is a step in the right direction to encouraging a genuine exchange between users, whether they are brands, good friends, or whatever the relationship may be.

Story By: Sophie Duncan