Instagram just got caught selling advertisements to the same follower-buying companies it claimed to have banned back in November.
Back in November, Instagram claimed it banned all accounts that were obtained by third-party apps. These apps allow people to purchase followers and likes from fake accounts and bots.
An investigation by TechCrunch found that despite Instagram’s claims, the app was still allowing these companies to place ads.
TechCrunch reached out to Instagram to find out why they were still selling these ads. Instagram claimed that they removed the ads and that the accounts are still banned. However, they still saw ads for companies that promote buying followers even after their conversation.
In November, Instagram said they were using AI technology to detect and erase “fake” accounts that follow, like and comment on people’s posts for a fee.
Instagram responded to the findings of the investigation with a statement.
“Nobody likes receiving spammy follows, likes and comments. It’s really important to us that the interactions people have on Instagram are genuine, and we’re working hard to keep the community free from spammy behavior.”
“Services that offer to boost an account’s popularity via inauthentic likes, comments and followers, as well as ads that promote these services, aren’t allowed on Instagram. We’ve taken action on the services raised in this article, including removing violating ads, disabling Pages and accounts, and stopping Pages from placing further ads.”
“We have various systems in place that help us catch and remove these types of ads before anyone sees them, but given the number of ads uploaded to our platform every day, there are times when some still manage to slip through. We know we have more to do in this area and we’re committed to improving.”