How to Identify Fake Followers for an Instagram Account
Fake Instagram followers are accounts typically made for a single purpose – to boost other Instagram accounts’ following and engagement rates. How many times have you stumbled upon 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’ll discuss if there is a way to identify fake followers on Instagram. We’ll also talk about the most common reasons Instagram accounts have fake followers.
Fake Followers on Instagram
It’s essential to distinguish fake Instagram accounts from fake Instagram followers.
Fake accounts can indicate several things. They could be made as a secondary account that you use for a variety of reasons. It doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re using your fake account to stalk other Instagram users or view their content so they wouldn’t know it’s you. On the other hand, that’s precisely what some fake Instagram accounts are created for.
Fake followers are made for a different reason, and it’s usually to boost the number of followers for larger, more popular accounts. Whether the account belongs to a brand influencer or a small business, many Instagram users buy fake followers to appear as though they have a larger audience.
In addition, 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 engage with the main “popular” account.
Signs of Fake Followers on Instagram
Unfortunately, there is no foolproof way to determine whether an Instagram account has fake followers. However, there are several signs to look for that typically 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 whether the followers are fake.
Numbers That Don’t Match
“Unusual” numbers are one of the biggest indicators that an Instagram account has fake followers. That includes followers, likes, comments, and similar interactions. This especially applies to the number of followers and the number of accounts they follow back.
For example, if they have 100,000 followers but only follow 200 Instagram users, it’s unrealistic that these are genuine profiles. Such a disproportionate follower-following ratio isn’t unusual for celebrities and famous accounts, but it’s improbable for new profiles.
Another sign that an account has fake followers is if they have many followers and only a handful of likes on each post.
Spam or Generic Comments
A great way to identify fake followers is to read the comments under the account’s posts. Accounts with fake followers typically don’t have a lot of comments on their posts, and when they do, they’re very generic. Comments like “nice photo,” “good picture,” or “wow” typically point to this.
Sometimes the comments can be completely irrelevant or not make sense. They could also be not related to the actual post in any way. The aim of these types of comments is usually to promote something. Comments by fake accounts can sometimes seem forced and excessively positive, as though the comment aims to convince you to buy a product or engage with the account somehow.
Unrealistic or Empty Profiles
Another obvious sign that the account you’re viewing is fake is a lack of personal information on the profile. Fake Instagram accounts typically have no profile picture, bios, or posts. They also tend to have extremely long and generic usernames (for example, “user56792749”). These types of fake followers are most likely bot accounts.
On the other hand, fake followers can have profile pictures of good-looking women and men to make you think they’re real. These counterfeit followers put more effort into their profiles, and they can even add short bios and a few posts. However, their profile pictures and posts are usually stock photos or pictures they took from other profiles. Their bios tend to be copied from other accounts as well.
Lastly, some fake followers have private, locked accounts, so you can’t see anything they post. A user’s post can say a lot about them. For example, fake followers usually have generic posts, posted all at the same time. If you notice that their posts include discounts or promotions, it’s a sign that it’s not a genuine profile.
Low Engagement Rate
Fake followers typically 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’re seeing low numbers, it could indicate it’s not a genuine profile. Even though their profiles are private, you will still be able to see the follower-following ratio.
If their account is public, you can see whether they posted anything. These types of profiles tend to post generic posts, sometimes even promotional material.
Low engagement rates or activity also happen with accounts with fake followers or fake influencers. Genuine influencers understand the importance of posting content regularly to keep their followers and attract new ones.
Why Do Instagram Accounts Buy Fake Followers?
In today’s digital, fast-paced world, social media fame is valued to a great extent. The more likes, views, comments, and followers an Instagram account has, the greater chance of it being exposed to a large audience.
While a wider reach might not be necessary for regular accounts, influencers and small businesses can definitely benefit from the spotlight. That’s why many wanna-be popular accounts buy fake followers.
Fake followers that are Instagram bots can be programmed to work day and night to keep your account active. As mentioned before, bots can even automatically follow you if you engage with an account with fake followers.
The main issue with buying fake accounts is that they create an unbalanced ratio. If you want to be an influencer but buy fake followers, you aren’t doing yourself a favor, as you’re not “influencing” anyone. These followers typically don’t engage with the profile after they hit the follow button.
Follower Checking Apps
There are a lot of Instagram audit tools and third-party apps that claim that they can identify fake followers by analyzing the genuineness of an account. However, they are usually a scam, as there is no way of knowing whether their results are accurate. Therefore, you should stay clear of these types of services.
Buying fake followers is actually against Instagram’s terms and conditions.
Since it’s not in Instagram’s interest to have inauthentic accounts, the app deletes fake followers regularly. Not only does Instagram identify accounts that use third-party apps to gain followers, but it also deletes all the likes, comments, and follows generated by the fake accounts. Instagram identifies fake followers with its own machine learning tools.
Spot Fake Followers With No Effort
As more value is placed into our digital identities, faking information online has never been easier. Instagram is a common place of misinformation, fake numbers, and misrepresented content. While there is no way of knowing with certainty whether an account has fake followers, there are many signs that point to inauthentic Instagram users.
Have you ever come across an Instagram account with fake followers? How did you figure out the followers were fake? Let us know in the comments section below.