Having become a nerve centre of fake followers, likes and comments from accounts that use third-party services to get more engagement, Instagram just stepped up and striped off all likes and follows that violate the platform’s rules.

To make itself a transparent and trustworthy social media platform, Instagram claims to have developed special machine-learning tools which help in identifying fake likes, follows, and comments made using third-party apps to gain popularity. These tools scan different users and the response their posts receive, identify fake activities and automatically remove the likes, follows, and comments. The tool was implemented on Monday and Instagram will start removing inauthentic engagement activity with accounts that use third-party apps to grow their follower count and engagement.

In case any account is found to be violating the basic Community Guidelines and Terms of Use by using third party apps for more likes and follows, the app will notify the users that their fake likes and/or follows have been removed. Also, for security purpose, users will be prompted to change their passwords to avoid any compromises in account security. Furthermore, the notice also says that if someone continues using these inauthentic apps, they may “see their Instagram experience impacted” as they could “limit access to certain features” for those users.

So if you see a sudden drop in your Instagram followers list, that is because those were fake follows and were stripped off automatically; likewise with likes and comments too. This step matters, because the Facebook-owned pictorial social media platform is massively used as the medium for brand-consumer relationships via Instagram influencers – but with fake follows and likes, it gets tough to determine if one is a real influencer or not. This is something that all social media platforms must adapt to. Having said that, all you need to do is shun away all those Instagram bots and start getting real content for real likes and followers, because buying followers is not going to cut.