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Instagram Introduces New Authenticity Measures: What It Means For Businesses

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Bots and ill-intentioned users are the main targets of the new authenticity measures introduced by Instagram. Announced on August 13th (a prophetic date, some might say), these authenticity measures aim to keep feeds relevant to users. Instagram has reinforced its mission to deliver reliable, authentic content and build on meaningful engagement to nurture communities. 

But what do these new authenticity measures involve, and can these affect your business account? Glad you asked because we were just about to tell you. 

How do the new authenticity measures work?

To determine inauthentic content, Instagram’s algorithm will look for a determined set of parameters and signals. Which ones? Well, they haven’t disclosed the details, mainly because they don’t want outlaws to find ways to elude the scanning process. 

However, Instagram did reveal that the scanning will apply mainly to accounts that:

  • display signs of automation (bots);
  • operate in one country but mostly have followers in another country;
  • consistently seem to indulge in distributing questionable or potentially fake content.

In Instagram’s own words, they will be targeting “patterns of potential inauthentic behaviour”. That means that the changes will only affect a small number of the community. So, if your business account is operating authentically, you have nothing to worry about. 

What happens if an account is flagged as potentially inauthentic?

If an account is flagged as a potential distributor of inauthentic content, the owner will have to verify their identity. To do this, they’ll have to share a copy of an ID document that proves they are behind the account. To fulfil the requirements of the new authenticity measures, the shared ID must contain the user’s full name, age and picture. Both IDs issued by the government and from non-government organizations are accepted.

IDs will be securely stored and deleted within 30 days once the investigation is finalised. Under no circumstances will the personal information be made public. 

As soon as the account holder provides proof of their identity, the account will resume activity as usual. However, if Instagram has reasons to believe that they should investigate further, the account will remain under supervision.

In case the account fails to deliver the required ID documents, Instagram can apply sanctions according to their new authenticity measures policy. It can reduce its content distribution or even disable the account altogether.

A bigger picture, a stronger community

The new authenticity measures come as part of a bigger effort to reduce coordinated inauthentic behaviour and protect the communities on Instagram and Facebook. 

On July 8th, Facebook’s Head of Security Policy wrote an in-depth article relating their success in removing several fake accounts that coordinated their activity to mislead followers. The ongoing efforts to stop content that aims to manipulate are slowly cutting through the weeds, as shown in another behaviour report on August 6th.

For Instagram’s users, this comes as great news. The new authenticity measures will help communities grow stronger, and they will increase trustworthiness among followers. And that means brands and businesses that operate legitimately will also have lots to win. 

If you’re among those brands, you can be more confident that you’re operating on a platform that has your back. So, while Instagram takes care of the outlaws, you take care of growing your business. As always, Preppr is here to help. 

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Ilona Iftode is a copywriter with a taste for adventure. She lives to write, travel and explore new concepts in the realms of advertising, marketing, SEO and beyond.

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