At long last, the photo-sharing service Instagram has announced that its algorithm will be deleting inauthentic likes and follows that those fitness trainers and life coaches you’ve been following have bought from specialized services.

Instagram says that they’ll begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments. They’re using machine learning tools to identify accounts that use third-party services to boost their popularity. The new measures will be ongoing, Instagram has cautioned. Moreover, accounts that continue to use such apps to grow their audience “may see their Instagram experience impacted,“ but the company didn’t detail how.

If Instagram suspects you’re using an app to boost your status, you’ll see this:

It looks like you may have shared your username and password with an app offering followers or likes. We’re removing activity like new followers from these apps to protect our community from inauthentic activity. Change your password to stop them from accessing your account.

So, rather than identify the apps and services that inexperienced Instagram users may have authorized once and then forgotten about it, Instagram is advising that people change their password “to stop them from accessing your account,” which may actually scare some people. But I get it, they want to banish these apps and this is one way to do it.

The firm has recently spotted accounts that use third-party apps to grow their audience.

Such apps artificially boost your follower count by using many, many fake accounts to like your content. This is especially rampant if you’re a fitness trainer or a life coach as competition in those two verticals is tremendous, at least on Instagram, so people resort to shady tactics to make them look more popular in the eyes of their followers than they really are.

“This type of behavior is bad for the community,” the company noted, and we tend to agree. You should be aware that any apps which promise to generate inauthentic likes, follows and comments actually violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines and Terms of Use.

And now, Instagram is enforcing their own guidelines.

Are you concerned about this? Have you, and why, used a third-party service to make you or your business look more popular on Instagram?

Let us know by leaving a comment below.