Fake followers 101

Most frequently asked questions about fake followers

Mariann Jüriorg avatar
Written by Mariann Jüriorg
Updated over a week ago

What is a fake follower?

A fake follower is any account created for a reason other than normal Instagram use. This can be to inflate likes or followers, spam other users or collect data on other Instagram accounts. They are not your target customers.

In Modash, the Fake follower rate includes two of three suspicioius types accounts:

Suspicious mass followers: These are account that follow 1k+ accounts and the vibes are similar to bots & fakes.

Bots & fakes: These are accounts that are most likely bots and fakes.

How do accounts gather fake followers?

Every Instagram profile has some fake followers. Some fake accounts on Instagram follow profiles in a seemingly random fashion. Some social media influencers purchase fake followers in order to earn more money from brand deals, among other similar reasons.

How do we detect fake followers?

Modash uses network graph analysis to determine the authenticity of followers/likes. We score billions of accounts to determine "normal" Instagram behavior. We then score this behavior against the "average" behavior of a user in that network. Accounts that do not score highly enough are flagged as fake. Some criteria that score includes are:

  • Missing profile image

  • Following : followers ratio

  • How long the account has existed

  • Number of posts

  • Missing bio

Should I work with influencers who have fake followers?

It's important to know that all influencers have some amount of fake followers. Bigger creators tend to have roughly 20-30% and smaller (>50k) 10-20% fake followers.

You want to focus on the number of real followers in your target audience. If you find a creator with 25% fake followers, this alone is not enough information to make a decision.

You can easily see a breakdown of an audience in an influencer's profile.

That same creator could have 500,000 followers, 75% of them are in your target city, age group, and gender, and with a good engagement rate. It means they still reach hundreds of thousands of people who might be interested in purchasing your product.

Overall, try to aim below 25%. And avoid accounts with more than 50% of fake followers.


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