Are There Fake Instagram Followers, (too)?

In short, of course you can buy followers on Instagram–this is America!

You may have read the NYTimes article on The Follower Factory – essentially celebrities and jumbo social influencers are buying followers and retweets for Twitter. When brands pay influencers with fake followers, it’s like when the server pours you half a glass of red wine and charges you full price. Except in this case, you can’t see that the glass is half full of cheap wine instead of a big silky and dusty Napa cab.

Although only Twitter was used, it is a valid concern for other platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube. And I can say unequivocally that there are influencers who are getting paid by brands who bought followers. I know, because we vet them and look at their audiences.

Related: Spot Fake Influencers (for free)

Instagram is Enabling Fake Followers

Instagram is not Twitter. Twitter allows nearly total access to its data either through a simple web browser or an automated process known as an API. Instagram and Facebook allow almost no access into their data from an outside party. So companies like Mattr have to use a combination of sophisticated software and brute force to dig deep into an influencer’s data on Instagram or Facebook. Twitter has a Waffle House API – always open, full of cheap data best consumed drunk. Sure it’s easier to program bots and buy followers, but it’s also quick work to uncover them.

Not everyone has access to mega servers and great software. And sifting through influencers manually is not really an option when you have more than a few in a campaign. This means there are hundreds of thousands of dollars wasted on Instagram influencers each year because of this restricted access. Are Instagram and Facebook motivated to remove eyeballs from their platform? Of course not! This is America!

Related: How to Get More Influencer Engagement for Your Money

Yes, You Can Buy Followers on Instagram

Do a search – it’s nearly as effortless as buying them for Twitter and you can also buy Likes, which ups everyone’s game as the industry shifts from impressions to engagement. For research, I created a new Instagram account for the sole purpose of buying followers and chronicling the process for you.

Check back weekly to see how George the Cat Cop’s audience grows, and we’ll do the deep dive on the data to see exactly who is liking his posts.

 

 

About MATTR

MATTR is the only full-service influencer marketing provider with detailed audience insights from PersonaMesh™. We go beyond demographics into psychographics such as values and interests so that your influencer campaigns align with your campaign targets.

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