It was only a matter of time until spammers got ahold of Instagram, and yesterday it finally happened. Even though the Facebook-owned company hasn’t yet made any moves into advertising, you may have noticed an awful lot of pictures of fruit on your feed this weekend.
That’s because some spammers managed to hack many an Instagram account Saturday, posting random photos of fruit and singing the praises of a “miracle fruit diet.” Read more…
Every social network has its share of spammers, but one type of fake account seems to be working particularly well on Instagram: airline accounts offering free flights. Roger Cheng of CNET writes,
The accounts have been pretty effective at garnering followers. Delta’s fake account already has 21,000 followers after it promised a free trip for the first 20,000 people who followed and shared the account. Likewise, the JetBlue account has 20,000 followers. The American Airlines profile has 5,963 followers after it promised a free round-trip flight to the first 5,000 followers. The accounts themselves are fairly bare aside from a few pictures and the offer itself. But there are no rules listed for the promotion, or means of contacting the airlines to collect on the free flight.
Airlines have begun disavowing the accounts, and Instagram has already removed a number of them (including a couple of the ones mentioned by Cheng). It seems like Instagram needs to launch a “verified user” system like the one Twitter implemented a few years ago.
Beware: Fake airline Instagram accounts promise free flights [CNET]