Instagram

Instagram fixes Singapore viral ‘bug’

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Written by Kamil Arli

Instagram has reportedly fixed a hack that instantly fetched users more likes and followers just by changing the geo-locations of their posts to “Singapore, Singapore.”

Instagram has fixed a bizarre bug in its ranking algorithm that meant that pictures submitted by users geotagged as being in the Southeast Asian state of Singapore had a better chance of going viral even if they were not actually there, according to the BBC. Exploiting the bug had the apparent effect of increasing the chances of a post reaching Instagram’s Explore page on the photo-sharing app, resulting in large numbers of likes and new followers. The company confirmed to the BBC that the so-called “Singapore boost” was “a bug that impacted engagement.”

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THE TRICK GAINED CURRENCY WHEN INTERNET STARS

The trick gained currency when internet stars, including King Bach and Christian Collins, began geotagging their posts as being in Singapore to gain a wider reach, causing confusion among some users who believed — temporarily, at least — that their favorite Instagram celebrities were in town, the BBC reported.

IT IS NOT CLEAR WHY A USER GEOTAGGING THEMSELVES AS BEING IN SINGAPORE

At this stage, it is not clear why a user geotagging themselves as being in “Singapore, Singapore” should boost their post or what Instagram has done to fix the bug. But Anna Lee, a Singapore-based digital strategist, told the BBC that Instagram users are unlikely to get much benefit from exploiting bugs such as the “Singapore boost” in the long term. “The only way to continually engage and enlarge your fan base boils down to having interesting content that will add value for your followers,” she said.

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About the author

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Kamil Arli

Editor of DigitalReview.co. Digital Media Consultant

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