Fake Instagram followers are accounts usually created for one purpose: to increase the following and engagement rates of other Instagram accounts. How many times have you come across an Instagram profile with thousands of followers but less than ten likes on their posts? This is a sign that the account has fake followers.
In this article, we will see if there is a way to identify fake followers on Instagram. We will also talk about the most common reasons why Instagram accounts have fake followers.
Fake Followers on Instagram
It is essential to distinguish fake Instagram accounts from fake Instagram followers.
Fake accounts can indicate several things. They can be created as a secondary account that you use for various reasons. This doesn't necessarily mean that you're using your fake account to stalk other Instagram users or post their content so they don't know it's you. On the other hand, this is precisely why some fake Instagram accounts are created.
Fake followers are created for a different reason, and it's usually to increase followers for bigger and more popular accounts. Whether the account is owned by a brand influencer or a small business, many Instagram users buy fake followers to appear as if they have a larger audience.
Additionally, fake followers can be bot accounts, which are software that automates interactions and increases followers of a particular account. They can even be programmed to automatically follow accounts that interact with the main “popular” account.
Signs of Fake Followers on Instagram
Unfortunately, there is no surefire way to tell if an Instagram account has fake followers. However, there are several signs to look for that generally indicate this. Here are some of the most obvious signs that an Instagram account has fake followers. You can also use these signs to check if the followers are fake.
Numbers that don't match
"Unusual" numbers are one of the main indicators that an Instagram account has fake followers. This includes followers, likes, comments, and like interactions. This especially applies to the number of followers and the number of accounts they follow.
For example, if they have 100 followers but only follow 000 Instagram users, it's not realistic that these are genuine profiles. Such a disproportionate follower rate is not unusual for celebrities and famous accounts, but it is unlikely for new profiles.
Another sign that an account has fake followers is if it has a lot of followers and only a handful of likes on each post.
Spam or generic comments
A great way to identify fake followers is to read comments under account posts. Accounts with fake followers usually don't have many comments on their posts, and when they do, they're very generic. Comments like "nice photo", "good picture" or "wow" usually indicate this.
Sometimes comments can be completely irrelevant or not make sense. They might also be unrelated to the actual post. The purpose of these types of comments is usually to promote something. Reviews from fake accounts can sometimes come across as forced and overly positive, as if the review is trying to convince you to buy a product or interact with the account in some way.
Unrealistic or empty profiles
Another obvious sign that the account you are viewing is fake is the lack of personal information on the profile. Fake Instagram accounts usually don't have a profile picture, bio, or post. They also tend to have extremely long and generic usernames (e.g. "user56792749"). These types of fake followers are most likely bot accounts.
On the other hand, fake followers may have profile pictures of attractive women and men to trick you into believing they are real. These fake followers put more effort into their profiles, and they may even add short bios and a few posts. However, their profile pictures and posts are usually stock photos or images they have taken from other profiles. Their bios also tend to be copied from other accounts.
Finally, some fake followers have private and locked accounts, so you can't see anything they post. A user's message can say a lot about them. For example, fake followers usually have generic posts, all posted at once. If you notice that their posts include discounts or promotions, that's a sign that it's not a real profile.
Low engagement rate
Fake followers usually don't engage with other profiles. When you go to their profile, look at how many accounts they follow and how many follow them back. If you see low numbers, it could indicate that this is not a genuine profile. Even though their profiles are private, you will still be able to see the follower rate.
If their account is public, you can see if they've posted anything. These types of profiles tend to post generic messages, sometimes even promotional material.
Low engagement or activity rates also occur with accounts with fake followers or fake influencers. True influencers understand the importance of posting content regularly to retain followers and attract new ones.
Why do Instagram accounts buy fake followers?
In today's fast-paced digital world, social media fame is valued to a large extent. The more likes, views, comments, and followers an Instagram account has, the more likely it is to be exposed to a large audience.
While a wider reach isn't necessary for regular accounts, influencers and small businesses can definitely benefit from the spotlight. This is why many budding popular accounts buy fake followers.
Fake followers who are Instagram bots can be programmed to work day and night to keep your account active. As mentioned earlier, bots can even auto-follow you if you engage with an account with fake followers.
The main problem with buying fake accounts is that they create an unbalanced ratio. If you want to be an influencer but buy fake followers, you're doing yourself a disservice because you're not "influencing" anyone. These followers usually don't engage with the profile after hitting the follow button.
Follower Checker Apps
There are many Instagram audit tools and third-party apps that claim to be able to identify fake followers by analyzing the authenticity of an account. However, this is usually a scam, as there is no way to tell if their results are accurate. Therefore, you should stay away from these types of services.
Buying fake followers is actually against Instagram's terms and conditions.
Since it is not in Instagram's interest to have inauthentic accounts, the app regularly removes fake followers. Not only does Instagram identify accounts that use third-party apps to gain followers, but it also removes all likes, comments, and follows generated by fake accounts. Instagram identifies fake followers with its own machine learning tools.
Spot fake subscribers effortlessly
As more value is placed on our digital identities, falsifying information online has never been easier. Instagram is a commonplace for misinformation, fake numbers and distorted content. While there's no way to know for sure if an account has fake followers, there are plenty of signs that point to inauthentic Instagram users.
Have you ever come across an Instagram account with fake followers? How did you find out that the followers were fake? Let us know in the comments section below.