Today there’s a bit of business going on in Instagram with a crew of developers in Indonesia. Users @haqnii, @yogi.mp4, and @yogqq, as well as others, have set up a bit of a trick on Instagram. They’ve created a loop, with which any person who follows and comments with a tag will be up-voted by hundreds of accounts (all of which are run by bots). But that’s not the end goal – that’s just the hype.
What’s going on here?
The team – I assume it’s a team, it could just as well be a single person – is running a pretty interesting scam at the moment. Imagine you’ve got hundreds of bots set up on a server or a set of servers. You can control the actions of all of these accounts with a service as simple as, say, IFTTT.
Each time someone comments with your chosen account name tagged, you’re able to see it – it pops up in your notifications on Instagram. Once your first account sees this, the rest can start to act. If someone comments with your name tagged, you could potentially set off a plethora of accounts to like said comment – there’d be an almost limitless number of likes on each post.
This sort of multi-account bot-festival is possible because there is no limit to the number of likes a single comment or post can get. The limits for comments, for example, on Instagram are per-account.
So one account probably isn’t going to be able to comment on more than 5 posts in the span of a minute – especially if they’re just copy-pasting content. But one post can get 100 likes a second – just so long as those likes are tapped by unique, individual accounts.
The only thing Instagram can potentially do is stop the use of automated systems that require their API to function. They could also go one-by-one and disable all accounts liking each comment made with the given account name. But unless they’ve got proof that each of these accounts was, indeed, a bot, they might be in for some trouble.
Means to an end
The end goal of this spam and hype campaign is to point toward the group’s supposed Social Media Marketing and Management company “GoSocial.” This is not a business that is active, yet. They’ve got a countdown meter going.
As of today, the group suggests they’ll open their doors in 37 days, 16 hours, and 24 minutes. That puts us on Saturday the 13th of April or Sunday the 14th, depending on where you are in the world. What a strange day of the week to launch a business, right?
When I went to GoSocial for the first time, I thought something looked familiar. I thought I’d seen that rocket graphic before, and etcetera. Turns out I had. You can find this graphic (and the rest) on Freepik’s premium resources. This does NOT mean that the business is not legitimate. It only means that they’ve purchased their business aesthetic from Freepik all at once.
Will these people launch a legitimate Social Media management company? It’s possible. But given their technique for grabbing likes and follows and hits and such right here and now, I wouldn’t personally put much stock in their ability to bring any customer any useful engagement.