Does Instagram Know If I Buy Followers? Will They Ban Your Account?
People from all walks of life use fake followers, viewer bots, auto likes, and all sorts of shady services that might give them a bump in ratings or raise their online profiles. Instagram is just one of the social media platforms where this happens.
But who exactly goes for fake followers? Oftentimes fake business profiles use fake followers. Less often, real people trying to make a name for themselves online will use auto likes or buy followers if they lack the means to attract new ones themselves.
Other situations include start-up businesses that have no other means of getting noticed quickly. And don’t be surprised if you hear that some of your favorite celebrities boosted their Instagram following with bought followers.
People tend to follow popular profiles with many followers, so this does make sense business-wise. However, there are more than a couple of ways in which this can backfire, even on Instagram.
Will Instagram Ban for Bought Followers?
The good news is that Instagram doesn’t ban accounts just for buying followers. The same policy applies to buying auto likes. However, there is one thing that could happen. You may lose the followers you purchased.
Needless to say, depending on where you bought them from, this could be a potential financial disaster for your business. High-end providers of followers and auto likes charge premium prices, but they issue no refunds if something goes wrong on your end.
So if Instagram doesn’t issue bans for using fake followers and likes, how does it respond, if at all? Instagram simply limits your exposure. You may think that having a large following is enough to make your profile page pop up on other people’s feeds, but that’s not always the case.
There’s a hidden rule about growing an organic following. This means having real people follow you using their real profiles. Sure, some fake profile sellers may have more authentic products, but scratch a little further below the profile pic and the dozen comments and it’s easy to spot a fake profile.
If Instagram detects a serious abuse – not one or two fake followers but maybe 1000+ – then a number of things could happen. Your account may receive limited exposure, which means that your profile will be treated as if it doesn’t have those 1000+ fake followers.
Another thing that might happen is that Instagram decides to delete or suspend the fake accounts.
How to Get Away with It
The obvious choice would be to not use fake followers and auto like service providers. Alternatively, if you simply have to do this in order to raise your profile for a while, you’ll want to pay a premium to make sure that those fake profiles can handle a background check.
Make sure that your bought followers log some activity on a weekly basis. You’ll also want to make sure that you yourself increase your activity on Instagram. There’s no easier way to get outed than having no activity and a growing number of fake followers.
Not all bought profiles are easy to spot. Some companies put so much effort into these pages that you’ll see tons of uploaded photos, personal information, and a good ratio of 1:10 between the number of pages they follow and the number of accounts that follow them.
You may have stumbled upon one of those profiles yourself without even knowing it. However, such foolproof followers come at premium prices, which is why usually only celebrities and companies use them.
You can also try stalling by buying followers with average profile completion and little activity, but with super-private profile settings. This should make it harder for your real followers to do their research. On the other hand, being tied to so many private profiles could also signal that you have something to hide.
This method may or may not work in your favor in the long run.
At the end of the day, you shouldn’t worry about Instagram banning you or trying to make your life miserable for buying a couple of followers and likes to raise your profile. However, you may want to consider your actual followers.
Instagram’s fake profile checks aren’t always on point, so sometimes you may get away with yours easily. On the other hand, real people with a lot of time on their hands and perhaps an axe to grind with you might still be able to quickly out you for using fake followers.
It only takes a couple of clicks and very little research to tell if a profile is real or not. Being associated with something like this may massively damage your popularity, not to mention your credibility.