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How to Tell if Someone Bought Fake Followers on Instagram

Wondering if someone bought fake followers on Instagram?

You’re in the right place.

In this article, I’ll be mentioning 4 signs you can use to check whether someone bought or has fake followers on Instagram.

At the end of the article, you should be able to apply this knowledge and detect whether the followers of a particular user are real.

What are fake followers?

Fake followers are basically accounts that are created through spam email for the means of sale and bot activity.

Micro-influencers commonly purchase fake followers to exemplify their influential status and hoax their popularity.

Organic growth is challenging, so they might result in purchasing fake followers to grow their accounts as quickly as possible.

However, fake followers are highly detrimental to your account and they are ruining the influencer marketing industry.

Fundamentally, these accounts are created and utilized by bots for the means of sale.

How can you tell if someone has fake followers?

There are four signs you can use to tell if someone has fake followers.

1. Their followers do not have a profile picture.

2. The usernames of their followers are a random combination of words and numbers.

3. Their followers have little to no posts.

4. Engagement rates are either very low or have extremities.

Their followers do not have a profile picture.

The first step you want to take to check whether if someone has fake followers is to check their followers list.

Navigate to their profile > followers.

Check their followers and find those without a profile picture.

If their followers mainly consists of users with no profile picture like the one above, it’s a sign of a fake account.

The usernames of their followers are a random combination of words and numbers.

The next step you want to take is to check the username of the follower.

You might want to ask yourself these questions.

Does the username make any sense?

Is the username made up of random words?

Does it contain a lot of numbers?

If the profile meets 2 or more of the three factors, it might be a fake account.

Their followers have little to no posts.

Following the previous step, check whether the follower has any posts.

Typically, a fake follower has little to no posts.

If they do have posts, you might want to check their engagement rates.

If they have some posts, it usually has no engagement.

Engagement rates are either very low or have extremities.

The final step to take is to check the engagement rates of the user (that you’re checking).

Usually, someone who buys fake followers will have very little engagement rates on their posts. This is because fake followers do not engage.

This is an exception if they bought fake likes along with fake followers.

If that’s the case, the likes on their posts may have extreme highs and lows.

There might be a post that gets 50 likes, and another with 400 likes. This is a clear sign that the user have purchased fake likes.

Why you should never buy fake followers on Instagram.

Buying fake followers is one of the worst decisions anyone can make on Instagram.

People are enticed by status and popularity when it comes to social media. It’s a numbers game.

Therefore, some people may result into purchasing followers because it’s very challenging to grow organically.

But there are many disadvantages to buying fake followers.

Read on to find them out.

There’s zero engagement.

There are tons of ads online claiming that you can “Grow Your Instagram Account by 5,000 Followers Every Month.” or “The ultimate Organic Instagram Marketing Solution”.

Do not fall into their trap.

Unfortunately, these claims are untrue because the followers that you’re going to be purchasing from these services are fake and wouldn’t engage in any of your posts at all.

Here’s an actual review from a customer utilizing these ‘growth services’:

Don’t waste your time with them.

I signed up for the free trial because I was curious and did, in fact, gain over 200 followers in one night. Upon closer inspection, though, I could tell they were all bot/fake accounts that were not in the slightest way related to my niche.

As soon as the trial ended and I canceled my subscription, they all began to disappear. Sure enough, three days later I’m back to where I started.

They do not give you any legitimate followers who are actually interested in your stuff, they can only grow the number- temporarily at best.

Additionally, because of Instagram’s algorithm, having a large majority of your followers being bots/ghosts can ruin the chances of your content showing up on real followers’ feeds.

Again, don’t waste your time and money with them.

Source: Trustpilot

If you’re hoping to become an influencer, the most important metric brands look out for is your engagement rate. The number of followers you have does not matter as much.

It’s putting your account at risk

Buying Instagram followers is directly against Instagram’s Terms Of Service.

Buying them would put your account at risk of being permanently suspended.

Moreover, with the recent updates on their algorithm, Instagram consistently deletes fake accounts.

This means that the followers you purchased would be removed over time.

Totally unworthy. It has so many fake 1 hour aged accounts and no profile pictures at all and the followers start going off immediately after a few minutes.

Source: Trustpilot

Most of these services are ‘scams’

Looking to purchase fake followers from ‘growth services’?

Be prepared for terrible customer service and zero refunds.

I wouldn’t recommend it all! I purchased 750 followers and 3 days later I’ve lost almost half, I’ve made multiple attempts at contacting them and no response. Quick to take your money but can’t answer emails or provide a quality service. If they read this I’d like my money back

Source: Trustpilot

Alternative to buying fake followers and what you should do instead

Instead of purchasing fake followers, you should can follow for follow communities for Instagram.

Followchain.org – A follow for follow community for Instagram.

It’s basically a place where you can self-promote your Instagram page.

You can connect with people within your niche which will result in not only an increase in followers but engagement rates.

The best part is, it’s free.

It’s just like a social network like Facebook. Instead, it serves as a middleman where you can easily connect with others on Instagram.

There are lots of other follow for follow communities on the web as well.

You can find a full list of these communities here: https://www.followchain.org/list-of-instagram-follow-for-follow-groups/.

TD;LR: How to Tell if Someone Bought Fake Followers on Instagram

Here’s how you can tell the difference between a user with fake followers and one with real followers.

Someone with real followers:

If the following list of a user looks like this, then they have real followers.

Someone with fake followers:

If the following list of a user looks like this, then they have fake followers.

Author: Lim How Wei. Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain, a community that simplifies growth and networking for Instagram users. Feel free to follow him on Instagram.

About the author

Lim How Wei

Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written thousands of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.

Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.

In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.