Why do people buy followers on Instagram? It’s worth it? What are the risks? We did an experiment to get the answers.
We all know that there are many things you can fake on Instagram: a vacation, a ring, a brand deal, your personality… so why not do the same with your number of followers?
Joke aside, we understand why it can be tempting. Perhaps you are starting a branded Instagram account from scratch and want to make a good first impression. Or, maybe you want to leverage your Instagram skills to earn a piece of that $5.8 billion that brands are spending on Instagram influencers in 2022.
On the other hand, maybe you are reading this article because you represent a brand and want to know how to identify influencers who have built a valuable audience of real people and get rid of those who just want your money and will not add anything to your ROI investment).
The thing is: does buying Instagram followers really offer any advantage to your Instagram strategy? Can it be totally harmless? What risks do you run when you do this (besides possibly an uneasy conscience?)
To find out firsthand what happens when you have fake followers on Instagram, we decided to do an experiment. Read on to find out what happened when we dropped our credit card and bought the best followers money can buy.
How to buy Instagram followers
First, let’s take a step-by-step look at how to Buy Instagram followers in California (and then we’ll show you why it was a waste of time).
Beware of cyber fraud (phishing)
In recent years, many providers of fake followers on Instagram have gone bankrupt as the platform continues its mission to go after bots, junk accounts, and the pirate companies that operate them.
These days, finding a reliable fake follower supplier is like trying to find a reliable human organ seller. It is a black market. It takes a lot of research to find a provider that won’t steal your money or even your identity.
For the purposes of this experiment, I decided to use Famoid. (Keep reading for other options I also considered.)
Decide if you want to buy followers by batch or by daily ration
Either option will be blatantly fake, but the providers give you a choice — that is, a thousand followers at one time or 200 a day — to maintain the appearance and that “no one” (including Instagram) notices that you bought followers. . Of course, you just have to look around a bit to realize it, but we’ll talk about that later.
For various reasons (including the fact that this item was due out in a week) I decided to buy mine in bulk. Famoid offers you 1,000 followers for $15.95 (in what currency? It doesn’t say! It will be a big surprise when I get my statement!)
Decide if, by the way, you also want to buy likes and comments
Of course you can ‘upgrade’ your package. For an additional $9.71 in mystery currency, I decided to treat myself to 1,000 likes on my five most recent posts.
Again, the theory is that if you buy interactions, it will be less obvious that your followers are fake, but as you will see later, this is not the case. Just like the time I tried to pass my pajamas off as fancy sportswear on Zoom, there’s no hiding this petty decision.
Submit your Instagram and credit card information
Now you need to tell the service which account to direct its bots to. It is not necessary to give your password. If you feel insecure giving your credit card details to an unknown company or sending them to a Gmail account it IS insecure. I did it in the name of science, but I definitely don’t recommend it.
See how your fake followers start arriving
I clicked the “pay” button at 3pm and Famoid promised me a 6 day response time, but within half an hour, my followers started showing up. Within an hour he already had 39 followers. By 9:00 a.m. the next day, I had my 987 followers. (Of course, five days later that number had dropped to 933, but who was I going to complain to?)
For its part, my paid likes took a little longer to arrive, but the next morning I had exactly 230 likes on each of the five posts I specified (and zero on all the others, super normal!)
Bottom line: I got what I paid for. A boost in my vanity metrics that wouldn’t fool the most untrained eye. Furthermore, none of these followers had the slightest interest in my content, visiting my links or buying products.