Instagramers around the world are dealing with the rise of spamming on Instagram. The photo sharing app that was once a small community of iPhoneographers quickly grew…and grew and grew. With the growth of of the app, came the expansion to additional smartphone users and the buyout by Facebook. Along each milestone, Instagramers who have been utilizing the app from the get go have felt the pain with each step into the future. What exactly are users experiencing that is so painful? Spamming. Don’t get me wrong, I am in no way blaming the spam on the influx of additional smartphone users. It is simply due to the rise in popularity of the app.
SpamBots seem to be invading Instagram with a force that is driving users to a land far, far away. Those who once enjoyed sharing their images are now being attacked by SpamBots. Personally, I have been seeking out smaller photo sharing apps. A current favorite of mine is Starmatic. Why do I like it? Because it reminds me of the old Instagram. I’ve found a lovely variety of photographers posting beautiful images and there is no spam. I know many others have sought refuge in Tadaa and Streamzoo, just to name a few. Will SpamBots drive Instagram into the ground? I doubt it. Will it lose a few frustrated users? Yes, I believe so.
- Accounts are being hacked
- Endless spamming comments are being left under images
- Legitimate accounts are being deleted
- Scammers posting spam links (Best Buy)
- Fake followers
With each of these instances, Instagram users are becoming increasingly disgruntled, and in many instances, leaving the photo sharing app for good. I’ve seen it with my own eyes. Accounts that were hacked and recreated by a SpamBot posting the images as their own. Below is a prime example. The account @GNICHOST7ET is a fake account. It has a stolen user image and stolen photographs from a legitimate Instragram user. What can you do? What can he do? Report and block the account.
I’m sure you have experienced the spam in the comments thread under your image. Not only is it annoying, but it seems endless. Within seconds of posting and tagging your photo; comments pop up inviting you to participate in an array of spamming activities. If you tag your photo to any of the popular hashtags used by many, you are likely to end up with a handful of comments inviting you to receive a free iPad or be in a movie production, as seen below. Is there a relation to tagging your photo and the occurrence of the spam comments? Should users stop tagging their images?
Best Buy is one of the most popular scam links that I have seen. The offer advertises a free $100 gift card to Instagram users. When the link is clicked, the user is prompted to enter information including their cell phone number. When a cell phone number is given, users are often being scammed into a subscribing to a service that will eventually show up on your next bill. With the increase of youngsters using Instagram, I worry about the kids falling in to these scam traps. Being enticed by the lure of something free and “too good to be true” can be extremely tempting. If you have kids on Instagram be sure that you take the time to talk to them about spam and scam.
Fake followers are still running rampant, although I feel there has been a slight decrease in this activity. Check your followings and look for “more_followers_here” or “more_likes_here” as the user name. These accounts generally post a comment informing you how to get more likes. As you find the accounts, delete and report.
What You Can Do
- Report spam comments that are posted on your thread
- Report and block accounts that are sending out spam
- Notify Instagram via Twitter, Facebook, and ironically, Instagram
- Don’t click on any links advertising free iPads or gift cards
- Contact Jessica Zollman, Instagram’s person in charge of Social Media Management and community matters (@jayzombie on Twitter and Instagram)
Instagram is trying to fight back. Unfortunately, as a result, legitimate accounts are being deleted. How is this happening? It has been thought that while Instagram is trying to fight the war on spam links, they are unknowingly deleting accounts of legitimate users who post a link with their image or in their comments. Imagine if you went to post an image and found that your account was deleted? For many photographers, this has been a devastating problem. For now, I would recommend that you do not post any links in your comments thread.
About Nicky Sanford
Nicky Firment Sanford is a self taught photographer specializing in iPhoneography.
Finding inspiration through her daily surroundings, you will see her coastal lifestyle come through in her work. Sunsets, sailboats, and silhouettes are her favorites to shoot. She is the momma to two growing boys and a proud military wife. Her personal website is www.thephotomomma.com and on Instagram @thephotomomma