Difference Between Real and Fake Instagram Followers

Updated at 08/04/2023

Want to know the difference between real and fake Instagram followers? In this article we'll explain how they differ from each other and more.

Having a significant number of followers is crucial for Instagram growth. There are two categories of followers: real and fake. While it may seem that only real authentic Instagram followers hold value, the reality is more nuanced. Continue reading to explore the advantages and disadvantages of both real and fake followers, along with some supplementary details.

What are real Instagram followers?

Real followers are genuine Instagram accounts managed by real people. They follow you because they like your content, connect with your personality, or admire your brand. These followers are more than just numbers. They actively participate in your Instagram journey by liking your posts, leaving comments, sharing your content, and saving it for later. They’re the ones you’ll find tagging their friends in your comments or sliding into your direct messages with questions or compliments.

What are the benefits of having real Instagram followers?

Listed below are 6 benefits of having real Instagram followers.

  • Building trust: When you have real followers on Instagram, it means people genuinely like your content. This builds trust for new people who visit your profile. They'll think, "If all these real people like this account, it must be good!"
  • Increased engagement: Real followers like, comment, and share your posts. This makes your posts more popular and visible to others on Instagram. It's like friends telling friends about you.
  • Real reedback: With real followers, you can get real feedback on your posts or products. This helps you to improve and become better. It's like having a team of advisers who want you to do well.
  • Helps business growth: If you're a business, real followers can turn into real customers. They're more likely to buy from you because they trust you and like your products.
  • Potential for virality: Real followers can help your content go viral. If they really love a post, they might share it with their followers. That's how things spread on Instagram.
  • Long term growth: Real followers stick around for a long time because they enjoy your content. This means your Instagram account can continue to grow over time.

What are the drawbacks of getting real Instagram followers?

Listed below are 10 drawbacks of getting real Instagram followers.

  • Time consuming: Getting real Instagram followers can be a slow process. It takes time to build a genuine, interested audience.
  • Effort required: You need to consistently post quality content and engage with your followers to maintain their interest. This requires a lot of work and dedication.
  • Unpredictable growth: The rate at which you gain real followers can be unpredictable. Some days you might get many new followers, other days none.
  • Spam comments: Even real followers can post spam comments or inappropriate content on your posts.
  • Expectation management: Real followers have expectations. They want regular, high-quality content. If you can't provide this, they might unfollow you.
  • Low engagement: Not all real followers engage with your content. Some might simply follow and then rarely interact with your posts, which doesn't help increase your reach.
  • Privacy concerns: The more real followers you have, the less privacy you retain. More people are viewing and interacting with your content, which could lead to unwanted attention.
  • Follower churn: People may unfollow as fast as they follow if they lose interest in your content, leading to a high churn rate.
  • Negative feedback: Real followers can give negative feedback or criticism, which can be tough to handle, especially if it's not constructive.
  • Risk of hacking: The larger your follower base, the more attractive your account can be to hackers. This could potentially compromise your account's security.

What are fake Instagram followers?

Fake Instagram followers are accounts that are not run by real people. They are usually created to increase the follower count of other Instagram accounts. These followers often don't engage with your content like a real person would - they won't like, comment, or share your posts. Now, not all fake followers are the same. Listed below are the 3 quality levels of fake Instagram followers.

  • Low-quality fake followers: These are very basic and easy to spot. They usually have no profile picture, no posts, and strange usernames with lots of numbers. They don't engage with any content and they follow a large number of accounts.
  • Medium-quality fake followers: These are a bit more advanced. They might have a profile picture and a few posts. Their usernames might seem more real, and they follow a smaller number of accounts. But they still don't engage with content in a meaningful way.
  • High-quality fake followers: These are the most advanced fake followers. They have a profile picture, multiple posts, and a believable username. They might even have followers of their own and appear to engage with content, usually through generic comments. But remember, they're still not real people and won't provide genuine engagement.

Please keep in mind that fake followers have their benefits, it's always better to grow your following organically with real people who are genuinely interested in your content.

What are the benefits of getting fake Instagram followers?

Listed below are 5 benefits of getting fake Instagram followers.

  • Quick increase: Fake followers can boost your follower count quickly. This can make your account look popular in a short time.
  • Appearance of influence: If your account has many followers, even if they're fake, it can appear influential. This could attract real followers.
  • Enhanced social proof: More followers can make your account seem important or trustworthy to some people. This is known as "social proof".
  • Requires less effort: You don't need to create regular, engaging content to attract fake followers. They're bought, not earned.
  • No negative feedback: Fake followers won't give you negative feedback because they don't interact with your content.

What are the drawbacks of having fake Instagram followers?

Listed below are 9 drawbacks of having real Instagram followers.

  • No engagement: Fake followers often won't engage with your content because they're not real people. This means they won't like, comment, or share your posts.
  • Damaged reputation: If people find out you have fake followers, it can harm your reputation. It can make you seem untrustworthy or inauthentic.
  • Harmful to account performance: Instagram's algorithm favors accounts with high engagement. If you have many followers but little engagement, your content could be shown to fewer people.
  • Wasted resources: Money spent on low quality fake followers could be better used on creating high-quality content or advertising.
  • No real growth: Fake followers don't contribute to real growth. They can't buy products or spread word-of-mouth about your brand.
  • Inflated metrics: Fake followers can give you a false sense of success. You might think your content is doing well when it's not.
  • Potential for spam: Some fake followers can post spam or inappropriate comments on your posts.
  • Not sustainable: The number of fake followers can decrease quickly as Instagram removes fake accounts. This means you could lose the followers you paid for.
  • Risk of account suspension: Buying fake followers is against Instagram's rules. If they find out, they could suspend or even delete your account. This doesn't happen very often though.

How to spot the difference between real and fake followers on Instagram?

Listed below are 7 ways to spot the difference between real and fake followers on Instagram.

  • Check the follower-to-following ratio: If an account is following many people but has very few followers, it might be a fake account.
  • Examine their activity: Fake accounts often have little to no posts. Or, they may have multiple posts uploaded at the same time, which can be a sign of fake activity.
  • Look at their username: Fake accounts often have strange, random usernames with lots of numbers or symbols.
  • Check their profile picture: Fake accounts often use stock photos, or they might not have a profile picture at all.
  • Read their bio: Fake accounts may have an incomplete, vague, or nonsensical bio.
  • Inspect their engagement: Check if the account interacts with other posts. Fake accounts usually have low engagement rates because they're not real people.
  • Use a follower check tool: There are online tools and apps that can analyze an Instagram account's followers to see if they're real or fake.

Spotting the difference between fake and real followers is not always easy. Some accounts might display one or two of these signs but are still real, while others might be very good at pretending to be real.

What tools can check for fake followers?

At times, it can be difficult to detect fake followers on Instagram, which is why there are tools, and apps designed to assist you in identifying and eliminating them from your account. Listed below are 6 tools to do a fake Instagram follower check.

  • HypeAuditor: This is a tool that analyzes Instagram accounts to find fake followers and engagement. It provides detailed reports.
  • Phlanx: This tool calculates an Instagram account's engagement rate, which is the interaction a user gets compared to their follower count. A very low rate could suggest fake followers.
  • Social Audit Pro: This tool can identify fake followers on Instagram and other social media platforms. It also offers detailed analytics.
  • Social Blade: Social Blade provides detailed stats about an Instagram account, such as follower growth and engagement. Rapid growth can sometimes indicate fake followers.
  • Modash: Evaluates Instagram accounts for the number of followers, engagement rate, presence of fake followers, trending content, and additional details.
  • Social Auditor: This paid tool examines Instagram accounts to detect fake followers, likes, comments, and provides insights into the genuine demographic information.

Remember, no tool is 100% accurate, but these can help give you an idea of whether an Instagram account has fake followers. Always look for patterns rather than relying on a single result.

How to get rid of fake followers on Instagram?

If you identify low-quality fake followers, it can be a wise decision to remove them from your Instagram account. Listed below are 7 steps to follow to get rid of fake followers on Instagram.

  1. Identify the fake followers: Use the methods we discussed earlier or use an app or online tool to help you spot the fake followers on your Instagram account.
  2. Go to their profile: Once you have identified a fake follower, go to their profile by tapping on their name.
  3. Three dots icon: On their profile, you will see three dots or a similar icon in the top right corner. Tap on it.
  4. Remove follower: A menu will appear with several options. Tap on "Remove follower". This will remove them from your follower list.
  5. Block the account: If you want to ensure that the account can't follow you again, you can also choose to block the account.
  6. Report the account: If the account is clearly fake, you can also report it to Instagram. This can help Instagram improve its efforts to remove fake accounts.
  7. Repeat the process: Continue this process for all the fake followers you want to remove.

Remember, this process can be time-consuming if you have many fake followers. Some tools can help you identify and remove fake followers more efficiently, but they often require a paid subscription. It's best to avoid getting low quality fake followers in the first place by growing your Instagram account organically or by buying high-quality ones.

How to get real Instagram followers?

Listed below are 4 key aspects to get more real Instagram followers.

  • Content creation: This involves consistently posting high-quality content using various Instagram features like Stories, IGTV, Live, and Reels. By creating engaging and consistent content, you can attract and retain followers.
  • Profile and performance optimization: Optimizing your Instagram profile and utilizing Instagram Insights are essential. A well-optimized profile makes it easier for others to discover you, and Insights provides valuable data to understand your audience and refine your strategies.
  • Engagement and collaboration: Finding your target audience, engaging with other users, collaborating with influencers, and sharing user-generated content all contribute to fostering a community. By interacting with your target audience, partnering with influencers, and showcasing user-generated content, you encourage more engagement from followers.
  • Promotions and contests: Running contests and giveaways, buying Instagram ads, and promoting your Instagram on other platforms help increase visibility. Contests and giveaways encourage interaction, ads can reach a wider audience, and cross-promotion expands your reach beyond Instagram.
  • Growth services: Instagram growth services are third-party companies that help individuals and businesses increase their Instagram following and engagement. They use various strategies such as targeted interactions, content planning, and hashtag research to organically grow your audience. It's similar to buying high-quality Instagram followers or engagement, but with a strategic approach.

How to get fake Instagram followers?

The easiest method to acquire fake Instagram followers is by utilizing websites that provide them for free. These websites usually provide free trials, but it's important to keep in mind that the number of free followers you can receive is typically limited. Listed below are 6 steps to follow to get fake Instagram followers.

  1. Go to a search engine: Perform a search for 'free Instagram followers' and choose one of the top-ranking sites that appear in the results.
  2. Provide your username: You'll need to provide your Instagram username so the site knows where to send the followers. They usually do NOT require your password.
  3. Set account to public: Please ensure that your account is set to public, as these types of services cannot be provided to private accounts.
  4. Wait for delivery: In most cases, the free fake followers will appear on your account within a few minutes.

Should you get fake followers for Instagram?

Getting fake Instagram followers, specifically high-quality ones, can offer some quick benefits for your Instagram account. They can boost your follower count swiftly, lending your account an appearance of influence and importance, potentially attracting more real followers. It's less effort to get fake followers, as they're bought, not earned through regular, engaging content.

However, these followers are not real people and often won't interact with your content the same way as real followers would. They won't comment, like, or share your posts, leading to lower engagement rates. If it's discovered that many of your followers are fake, it can harm your reputation. While Instagram's action against buying followers is rare, it's still a risk.

Overall, organic growth through real followers, who genuinely interact with your content, is a more sustainable and beneficial approach for your Instagram account. However, it is not necessarily a negative approach to purchase fake followers to give your account a initial boost. Just ensure that these followers are of high quality.

Margarita López Vázquez, who was born in Madrid, Spain, in 1990, is the driving force behind's marketing and advertising success. She joined the team in 2015 and, since then, has used her enthusiasm for technology and creativity to put the website on the radar.

Margarita López Vázquez OMExpo Marketer
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