Instagram is one of the most widely used social media messaging apps worldwide, with a user base of more than 500 million active users every day. Given the wide popularity of Instagram among the youth and elderly alike, it is also increasingly used as a marketing platform by many companies for reaching out to the specific target population and increasing their business.
As per social media analysts, Instagram has a much broader engagement rate than similar social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. However, with more incredible popularity comes greater spamming. A large majority of Instagram users have to deal with such spam messages and comments on their accounts and pages and their posts and stories and deliberately ignore such irritating texts.
What does Spam mean on Instagram?
In simple words, Spam refers to irrelevant and unsought-for textual messages that are sent over the internet by spammers. Such messages are usually sent in bulk by the spammers, the motive behind which can range from advertising and marketing to dispersing malware and phishing.
While earlier, most of the spamming was done via emails, with time, the spammers have moved to social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, etc.
What do Instagram Spammers do?
These spammers generally open fake accounts on Instagram and use such accounts for sending and spreading messages to other Instagram users. In many cases, malicious spammers hack some Instagram accounts and begin spamming and disseminating fake and malicious messages to the followers of those accounts.
The spammers also exploit the considerable access to posts of different accounts that the hashtags as a feature of Instagram provide. The spammers, with the hashtags, get an accessible target population and spam the comment section or chats of the accounts using such hashtags in their posts.
The severity and intensity of spamming on Instagram can be clearly understood because, in 2014, Instagram purged its platform of spammers, millions of accounts disappeared, and even Instagram itself lost as many as 8.8 million followers. Unfortunately, however, the intensity of spamming has continued growing exponentially over time, with spammers continuously finding new ways to stay relevant and protect themselves from the company’s algorithms and regulations.
Types of Instagram Spammers
As now you know what spamming means on Instagram and how it affects an ordinary user, let’s dive into knowing about the different kinds of spammers:
These are the most common spammers found on Instagram, which can be easily recognized from a simple look at their accounts. Such spammers generally have no profile picture and few posts, and that is too seductive. Instead, there are posts and bios containing links to get more followers in some accounts. They usually follow you to grab attention, hoping for a follow back as well as visit their links and offers.
They are much worse than passive spammers. Using similar tactics of following you in the hope of you following them back and seeing their posts and clicking their links, they would aggressively engage in commenting on your post multiple times to get your attention.
Their comments generally revolve around checking and clicking on links on their profiles to gain followers or earn money. The chief idea behind such an act by these spammers is that commenting, again and again, would make their links more visible to the target population, eventually helping them in succeeding in their goals.
While bots generally operate the aggressive and passive spam accounts, reciprocal spams are done by ordinary people. They go to as many posts as they can and repeatedly comment or send the same messages to draw others’ attention and succeed in their objective.
Why is Spamming considered flawed?
Most people, who haven’t experienced spamming, generally have a question in mind why is spamming considered flawed as spamming? On its face, it does not look like causing any harm by simple messaging and commenting. However, spamming can be highly distractive when a user has some accurate and engaging content to share with his followers. The user wouldn’t want the distractive spam comments in his posts and live videos.
In addition, while the user may have added a creative caption to his post for being read by the audience, the follower is instead forced to read such spam comments, which can distract them from the original posts. Therefore, excessive spamming on your post might seriously affect your engagement rate. The followers might no more be interested in reading and engaging in your post, which is full of Spam.
Along with this, spam followers might also affect your integrity and impression among the audience. If you have thousands of followers and your posts get a few hundred likes, as your followers might be just Spam, severe questions on your integrity can arise. It can even get worse when periodic purges are done by Instagram in which Instagram is cleaned of such Spam. It can lead to a massive drop in your followers, affecting your impression and influence of other prospective and existing followers.
Automatically blocking spam comments via the Instagram app.
To automatically get rid of spam comments being dropped on your posts by spammers, follow the following steps:
- Launch the app and log in to your account.
- Visit the profile page and click on the three-lined icons at the top right.
- Click on settings from the drop-down and then click on privacy.
- Click on the comments option, which would show the various ways to block spam comments.
- Click on ‘Hide Offensive Comments,’ following which Instagram would automatically hide those comments that Instagram finds inappropriate.
- You can also click on ‘Manual Filter’ to add some spam words that you need to hide.
- Alternatively, you can also select to filter out most reported words, following which most reported spam comments and words would automatically be filtered out.
Reporting Instagram Spam
Another way of blocking spam accounts and their spam comments is by reporting them. You can also delete them, but reporting would notify Instagram about the reported account being Spam. To do so, follow the following steps:
- Click on the post’s comment section and go to the spam comment.
- Select the comment through a long tap.
- Click on the information icon next to the trash icon.
- Among the several options shown, click on ‘report this comment.
- Instagram would ask why tap on ‘it’s Spam.
- The spam comment would go, and the relevant account would be reported.
You can also directly report the spam account through the following steps:
- Click on the account name of the spammer.
- Click on the three dots at the top of the page.
- Click ‘Report’ from the drop-down.
- For the reasons shown, click ‘it’s spam.’
- The account is reported, and you are also provided with the option to block and prevent such spammers from seeing or commenting on your post and account
Spamming on Instagram, and for that matter on all other platforms, can be highly frustrating. It can pose a massive distraction for the followers in enjoying your posts. In addition, it can negatively affect the brand’s popularity and engagement rate, posing a threat to business and marketing prospects via Instagram.
Proper knowledge of what Spam means in Instagram, the various types of spammers existent, and the way to eliminate them can be much helpful in ensuring a good Instagram experience to the account owner and the followers. While Instagram is also putting much effort into getting rid of the ill of spamming on its platform, awareness and reporting such spams can further help Instagram succeed in its efforts.