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Using Bots in Instagram: A Desperate Move?

Social networking sites sure have their own domain. Facebook is for those lengthy political rants.Twitter, on the other hand, is for arguments and professional brags. Finally, there is Instagram, for vacation photos.

Instagram stories, however, are a small oasis. While your friends might post their most polished photos or flattering selfies with thoughtful captions to their grids, their stories are a glimpse into their actual everyday: a car they saw with a horrible custom plate, screenshots of a funny text conversation, messy karaoke videos.

The result is a more intimate feel with your friends. Aside from this, by showing you the users who watched your story and giving you the power to block them, Instagram gives you the fantasy that you have some sort of control over your content, and over who makes up your audience.

It’s a fun exercise in narcissism, too; a high-viewer account suggests importance, and it’s easy to convince yourself that views from particular people—a new acquaintance, an ex—mean something.

Jane C. Hu is a small-time Instagrammer. Usually, her stories are viewed by her mother-in-law, her friends, and those she knows from school and work. That changed earlier this year, however.

Strangers were viewing my story. Intrigued, I clicked on each profile to see if we had mutual friends or interests, but mostly we didn’t. It was unclear why an “actor/singer/model” named Jonathan with 5,000 followers would watch videos of my dog, or how a granite countertop company in Marshfield, Massachusetts—a town I’ve never visited—even found my account.

Turns out, the possible culprit for this are bots.

Find out more about this over at Slate.

What are your thoughts about this one?

(Image Credit: ElisaRiva/ Pixabay)


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