Facebook Is Cracking Down on Instagram Engagement Pods
Influencers, if you've been falsifying your rates of engagement with the help of Instagram Pods now is a good time to stop.
Facebook is officially cracking down on engagement boosting pods and groups.
A few days ago, the social network suspended 10 large groups that helped hundreds of thousands of people falsify their engagement rates on Facebook-owned Instagram.
But for all you non-influencers out there, you might be wondering...
What on earth is an Instagram Pod?!? And why are they so bad?!?
If you're not an influencer, you may never have heard of Instagram Pods.
An Instagram Pod is a group made up of bloggers and influencers. The group can exists as a Facebook group, a Whatsapp/Telegram thread or as a group message on Instagram Direct. Members of these "pods" inform one and other when they post new content.
Each group has their own set of rules, but the idea is the members will exchange likes and comments on each other’s posts if they want to remain in the pod.
Instagram Pods were specifically created by influencers to help other influencers "outsmart" the algorithm, by falsely inflating engagement rates within influencer communities.
While they don't necessarily fake engagement (as a real person is dishing out the likes and comments), they definitely create an inauthentic sense of community and interaction on an influencer's Instagram account.
They're also a lot of work for influencers within the group (as they are all expected to comment and like everyone else's post in the group), and don't guarantee reach beyond the initial pod.
But the social media giants are catching on and have started to crack down on it.
A few days ago, Facebook suspended 10 large groups that helped hundreds of thousands of people falsify their engagement rates on Facebook-owned Instagram.
According to Social Media Today ". . . these groups are the extreme end of the pods movement, some numbering in the hundreds of thousands of members, though the actions within them are separated into smaller, sub-groups (you couldn’t possibly have an active pod of thousands or you’d never be off Instagram)."
Facebook only detected these groups after they were reported, but don't be surprised if further crack downs occur in the near future. The social networking giant may soon boost their efforts to stamp out such algorithm-gaming activity all together.
Influencers that don't want their accounts shadowbanned (or worse) should avoid engaging in Instagram pods.
And those that are currently using pods to boost their engagement levels, well, you've been warned...
Have you ever joined an Instagram Pod? Let us know in the comments below.