Instagram forces a website selling fake likes and followers to shut down

Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10
Instagram logo on a Galaxy S10 (Image credit: Joe Maring / iMore)

What you need to know

  • Instagram reportedly sent a cease and desist letter to a website selling fake likes and followers, causing it to shut down.
  • LikeUp.Me is no longer functional and says it is giving out refunds for unused credit.
  • Fake likes and followers are against Instagram's platform rules.

A website that was selling fake Instagram likes and followers has shut down after Instagram sent it a cease and desist letter. Fake likes and followers are against Instagram's platform rules, and the company has gone after similar services in the past.

According to a Vice report, Aleksey Bykhun reached out to the outlet when they received Instagram's latter, although it isn't clear what they expected to happen. Regardless, Vice was soon blocked by Bykhun when it began investigating the story.

"I'm looking for a small consultation in answering to the C&D letter from Facebook," Bykhun wrote. Facebook owns Instagram. [...] Motherboard then found Bykhun was the CEO of LikeUp.Me, according to his personal website. On that, he claims LikeUp.Me generated around $100,000 in revenue in 2020.

According to the site owner's website, LikeUp.Me brought in around $100,000 last year alone, but with the site now down the company says that "refunds for the last month are being processed."

Influencers — and wannabe influencers — have long used services like LikeUp.Me in an effort to make themselves appear to be more worthy of real followers than they might actually be. It's also a way to convince brands to send out goodie bags and free stuff, too.

Instagram for its part says that it takes action whenever a site or service similar to LikeUp.Me is discovered, so it's unlikely we should expect this one to make a return any time soon.

Looking for a better way to grow on Instagram? Share great pictures! The iPhone 12 Pro Max is the best iPhone for taking photos right now and will probably be available for a song once iPhone 13 arrives next month.

Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.