Instagram Under Spam Attack by Tropical Fruit

The famous photo sharing service is facing a serious spam attack from a fruit diet company.

Instagram, which recently launched its video-sharing service and hit 130 million monthly active users, was attacked by a fruit diet company. Photo: Steve Santore/Flickr

Today Instagram user noticed a strange rise of fruit-related pictures. That doesn’t mean that their friends have become extremely obsessed with taking pictures of their healthy meals.

The fruit pictures might be linked to a fruit-themed spam attack that’s slowly making its way around the service, reports PC Mag.

It’s unclear just haw spammers managed to get a hold of users’ login credentials, but the attack results in a number of pictures of fruit – of all things – being posted to a person’s Instagram account.

There’s a message accompanying the pictures that includes a Bitly hyperlink that sends users to a fake BBC page promoting weight-loss coffee. “Ever seen this stuff? I guess its super healthy, im giving it a try. I saw it on Dr Oz’s show! Link is in my bio #lovemyfollowers #health,” reads an example of one spammy photo’s description.

Instagram’s owner, Facebook, released a post, claiming that the company are aware of he attack and will do its best to get rid of it.

“Earlier today a small portion of our users experienced a spam incident where unwanted photos were posted from their accounts. Our security and spam team quickly took actions to secure the accounts involved, and the posted photos are being deleted,” the post clamed.

It appears to be one of the most significant large-scale spam attacks to hit the photo-sharing service, that has grown expontentially over the past year.

Instagram launched video two weeks ago, allowing users to take and share short clips of video of 5-10 seconds in length. You may call it the Vine effect. Vine is the Twitter-owned video service that lets users capture six-second video clips for quick and easy sharing. Since its public release for iOS in January.

Also after Twitter debuted an Android version of Vine in the beginning of June, usage reached a tipping point: shares of Vines surpassed those of Instagram photos on Twitter — usage that has only diverged even more since then.

This may be due in part to Instagram removing a function that allowed images hosted on the app to appear in the body of tweets. With talks of adding auto-play video ads into the News Feed, Facebook was looking to familiarize users with the concept. With more users sharing short videos, video ad units may not seem as intrusive, writes Inside Facebook.

A rumour about internal testing of a video service related to Instagram began four weeks ago, where it was claimed by technology blogger Matthew Keys that 5-10 second clips would be added, though without details of whether this would be within Instagram or on a separate app, says the Telegraph.

“While the video feature is being tested internally, it is unclear if it will launch to Instagram’s 100 million monthly active users, who collectively upload around 40 million photos per day,” Keys wrote. “It’s also unclear if the app will have Instagram’s hallmark filters.”

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