Why it matters: Instagram is now large enough that it can afford to trim fake users without attracting too much negative attention. Influencers and brands may not like it as it could noticeably impact follower numbers but it's a good move that helps clean up the social network's image.

Instagram is borrowing a page from Twitter's playbook and will now be more proactive with regard to limiting what it calls inauthentic activity.

In a blog post published Monday, the Facebook-owned photo sharing service said it has recently noticed accounts using third-party apps to artificially grow their audience. From today, Instagram will begin removing fake follows, likes and comments from accounts that utilize such apps to synthetically boost popularity.

Instagram notes that some people that use these types of apps share their login details to score the extra attention. As such, accounts identified using these services will receive an in-app message alerting them to the deleted activity and suggesting they change their passwords.

It's possible that some people may have inadvertently shared their credentials with third-party apps, hence why offending accounts aren't automatically being deleted.

Instagram said the behavior exhibited by such apps violates their Community Guidelines and Terms of Use. It also introduces bad behavior into the community and makes accounts less secure.

Instagram surpassed the one billion monthly active user mark in June, further solidifying its reputation as a valuable destination for influencers and brands. It's no surprise, then, to see the social network attempting to clean up its act.