Everyone wants to get as many followers as possible on social media. Every follower you gain could be a potential customer or engage with your page to give credibility to your account. However, they can only be potential customers if they are real and are not fake followers. Although having a lot of followers can be a sign of success, people will become suspicious if there is not a lot of engagement. Due to the high number of fake followers now on social media, engagement has become more important. Not only will fake followers affect your engagement and conversion rates, but they can also get your account banned.
It’s not just businesses who are trying to take advantage of fake followers. It’s been revealed by Takumi that this year’s Love Island contestants are being followed by a large number of fake followers on Instagram. The lowest concentration of fake followers is 45%, whilst two contestants have the highest concentration at 65% each. When the investigation took place, the most followed contestant, Tommy Fury, had 971,000 followers. However, it was found that 60% of them were fake! Six accounts were even reported to Facebook weeks before the contestants were publicly announced. Anna Vakilli’s account gained 15,000 followers between February and March whilst Anton Danyluk has a big following in India, Brazil and Mexico – countries that are known that have bot farms.
People may believe that these contestants gaining fake followers before going onto Love Island to inflate their perceived popularity is harmless. However, when they leave, they can use their large followings to make money as influencers. Last year, Social Chain found that brands are being defrauded by up to 96% of what they spend on individual social influencers.
If you are still tempted to try and buy fake followers, social media sites are trying to crack down on them. Instagram now has its own machine learning tools to identify any suspicious activity. It will point out all the accounts that use third-party apps for inauthentic follows, likes and comments on other accounts. Any account that continues to use these apps will see their Instagram experience impacted. This will likely mean that some features will be disabled. Last year, Twitter had a major purge of locked accounts on their platform, with up to 6% of accounts deleted. Many verified accounts with large followings saw big drops in their followings, some seeing over 1 million disappear overnight. Facebook released its third Community Standards Enforcement Report in May which shows what they have done between Q4 2018 and Q1 2019 to prevent and remove controversial content. During this period, the social media platform confirmed that 3.39 billion fake accounts were deleted. They have also estimated that 5% of monthly active accounts are fake.
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