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Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Do fake followers on Instagram and YouTube help or hurt? How can I increase my interactions, how can I generate more views and how do I get Likes? It doesn’t always have to be organically grown – I’m also already “helping things along”. What were a few months and years...

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

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Table of Contents

This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)

Do fake followers on Instagram and YouTube help or hurt? How can I increase my interactions, how can I generate more views and how do I get Likes? It doesn’t always have to be organically grown – I’m also already “helping things along”. What were a few months and years ago the embellished numbers and the 100,000 followers instead of 10,000 followers are often just times in 10 minutes 4000 likes or views on small accounts, so that the ratio to purchased followers again. What it is supposed to bring is quite simple – artificially improve your own external image, generate advertising orders and thus charge higher amounts for an Instagram post or a YouTube video. 

Detect bought followers – detect fake likes on Instagram.

Of course, if you look at different accounts on a regular basis, take note of the follower numbers (e.g. to suggest bloggers for collaborations) and simply enter them into an Excel spreadsheet, you can easily track the growth and don’t even need expensive tracking software.

Fake followers and bought likes - Instagram, Facebook, YouTube

While probably over 95% of Instagrammers growth is relatively variable and has slight fluctuations, often “spontaneous” jumps and thus purchased followers quickly stand out. If you get 20, 30, 37, 40 followers per day and on one day suddenly makes a jump of 537 or 2041, there are of course at least surprises, which can have various causes

The blogger is just featured somewhere and was mentioned in a magazine, featured on a TV show or is trending right now
The account has been classified as a “Suggested” account by Instagram and is thus shown as a recommendation to every new user. Often this trend lasts between 5-14 days, a growth of 500 to 2,000 followers per day is not uncommon. A real growth of 20,000 followers in the time normal. This can be viewed graphically, as well as via corresponding announcements from Instagram. In addition, there is a look at the new followers. These accounts are often very fresh, first follow some Instagrammers who are just making the same jumps and are either often created by many very young people or, unfortunately, by “spam accounts”

Even if it sounds so tempting, it happens perhaps in less than 0.1% of accounts with conspicuity that just one day is a jump each, then many days again a normal growth and then another jump. An example of this is a few YouTube accounts that, for example, every Sunday morning at 11 a.m. call on followers to also follow the Instagram page. If you generate 500,000 real video views in one day, you will of course get an activation of many new followers who, for example, have also just become fans on YouTube.

If you maintain the above Excel table a little, it is usually very quickly noticed when purchased followers are there, because Instagram also removes complete “fake followers” providers again and again (and thus also the artificially generated followers).

There was a corresponding example, for example, again on 03.09.2016 where many account suddenly lost 5,000 to 20,000 followers overnight. The shock for many people of course great, especially since some stars and starlets from the red carpet had to cope with this loss of fake followers. The magazines have reported accordingly about it and the usually so talkative management was suddenly not available for comment. 

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Shortly after the action was reported at HORIZONT (link from 04.09.2016), at Stern.de, Focus.de etc. about the action, which can also be traced at InfluencerDB. Some people here have lost well over 50 thousand followers in one day, which were then “leaps and bounds” in each of the next days and weeks again.

But not only VIPs and celebrities have been hit by this cleaning action, but also some Instagrammers and bloggers. All of a sudden, the account lost 15,000 followers overnight – annoying, of course, only if you’re on a sponsored trip to the Caribbean and only notice it after seven days.

Then there is suddenly the jump of 10,000 new followers and the numbers are again “in order”. The external presentation has been adjusted again and you can prepare for the trip

ATTENTION IRONY: It is almost unbelievable how many accounts were “mistakenly” punished by Instagram with a loss of followers just on this date and Instagram has fixed the error within a few days after a call from the blogger or Instagram celebrities. Funny thing is, there is no phone number or email address on Instagram. All contacts, if any, go through a support form with almost no success.

Even large Instagrammers with more than a million active and real followers, whose accounts are marked with a “blue tick”, have no direct contact person and sometimes wait 14 days to 30 days with problems until a solution is found. The “small” blogger with 10,000-20,000 followers, however, calls Instagram briefly and the 10,000 mistakenly removed fake followers are already corrected. Presumably, there was also a voucher from Douglas and a chocolate cake as an apology from Instagram directly in addition. (END IRONY)

Theoretically, these fake followers would not be a problem, as long as the account is used purely privately, no collaborations are made and thus no false facts are played to the “advertising partners”. If only 5,000 of the 100,000 followers are real, a different range is achieved in real terms for product XY than actually expected – and above all paid for – by the customer.

Thus, exactly this impression falls back on all active Instagrammers who honestly show their travel pictures, fashion pictures or photo art over the years. If you as a fashion designer in the front row, because you could not check it or had to trust the numbers of PR agencies (which also often can not check it), have ten people sitting who together have well over 2,000,000 followers (but of which at least 1,000,000 are artificially generated) it is of course annoying and you could fill these seats better with fashion representatives who buy the collection for their stores or report on it in the print magazines.

I am absolutely no opponent of influencers with the right honest reach in the front row, as a celebrity traveling for a luxury hotel in the Caribbean and even strongly advocate this development and also often present it to brands as a solution, if the reach is right though. With the right and genuine accounts, a good increase in one’s own visibility can be generated at any time, corresponding examples can currently also be seen, for example, at the Dolce & Gabbana fashion show (report VOGUE from 16.01.2017).

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Recognizing bought followers – recognizing fake likes on Instagram – new trends

Of course, word has spread to the providers of bought follower farms, well-known bloggers and Instagrammers are becoming more cautious and no longer buy the large quantities of 20,000 followers or 50,000 followers. People are buying “discreetly” . Every Sunday only 1,000 followers and it is then at first glance of course much less noticeable… Who can remember in it whether the blogger had 37,592 followers or 38,592 – a small jump in the morning hours and already you are no longer sure yourself, unless you keep the well-known Excel spreadsheet.

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

But even this fake follower trend is currently trying to counteract a little and recently buys the followers as a monthly or even annual subscription. Of course, this offer can no longer be compared with the savings offers from Asia, where there are 1,000 followers for 1.59 EUR.

Currently, there are fake follower offers for 1,000 followers between 20 EUR and 30 EUR, which are then reduced daily in packages of 33 and it looks nice and natural. 10,000 supposedly real followers in a monthly package starting at 99 EUR and if you consider what is paid for an Instagram post by companies, an additional 10,000 purchased followers are of course a good investment.

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Depending on the product, the complexity of the Instagram post, 3 to 8 EUR per 1,000 followers are paid. Thus, you get between 30 and 80 EUR directly more if you have 10,000 new purchased followers. A worthwhile investment, but unfortunately unfair and fortunately, currently not only the followers are taken into account, but also increasingly the likes or the like ratio and the number of comments, or the general interaction with their own channel.

Of course, it didn’t take long and you can now get bought likes in addition to the fake followers.

Bought followers – bought likes on Instagram – buy likes.

For the reach of an Instagram image are often the first 10-15 minutes crucial and how strong you get interactions on the image. Why then not “help” a little with fake bought followers.

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Many purchased follower providers have expanded their product fields and now offer Likes that are guaranteed to be credited to the image within five minutes of the image being online. You just deposit your account and it is queried every minute to see if a new picture is uploaded. As soon as a picture is online, regardless of what time of day or night, 500 or even 4,000 likes are quickly received on it in 10 minutes. The remaining 50 minutes in the first hour then only another 200 Likes are received. 

ATTENTION IRONY: It’s really nice when all followers get up at 3 o’clock in the morning, like the picture and immediately go back to bed – there’s no time for a comment then… (END IRONY)

The problem of course, it only works as well as the reliability of the purchased follower partner. If you look at an Instagrammer then a little closer, each image has between 4,000 and 6,000 likes and suddenly a picture is uploaded in the evening at 18.00 clock and has after 15 minutes only 27 likes, then something probably does not work. Often the image is then removed (because there was still a typo #Ironie) and is uploaded again two hours later. The problem is often then:

The credit for faked Likes is used up or the monthly package has expired.
The server of the provider is not available at the moment (especially because it is often located in countries that are not so well connected to the data network).
The fake follower provider has been blocked by Instagram once again.

The prices for faked likes depend on the “contract length” and the number of likes per picture or whether only one picture per day is to be supported. Some providers take for example 35 USD per one hundred Likes per picture. 

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Recognize fake followers – how do I find out?

In general, of course, always rely a little on your own feeling. If the Instagrammer has over 100,000 followers, regularly gets 8,000 – 10,000 likes, but only 20-30 comments, it is quite surprising. Each person gives the picture a heart within a short time, but you do not leave a comment as a friend.

Certainly, the number of comments in relation to Likes decreases somewhat with increasing Likes, but per 1,000 Likes, 20-30 comments (depending on the orientation of the account) are normal. Fashion bloggers have slightly higher interactivity, while travel accounts usually have slightly lower interactivity, but this is due to the general orientation and is completely normal.

A very simple way to check the Likes is to set the account to “Notification” and get a push notification as soon as a new image is uploaded. Simply go to the account in question, click on the three dots in the top right corner and then select “Enable Notification”.

Usually these messages arrive within a few seconds and you can look at the picture itself and see how the likes “grow”.

If all of a sudden there is a jump from 50 to 550 within a few seconds, it is “surprising” to say the least. 

Likewise, you can look at the Likes very well, from which accounts the Likes come. Simply click on the number of likes and look at what accounts give the likes. Typical signs for “fake accounts” are:

Any numbers behind the name, often only a first name and 6-8 numbers.
Often no own profile picture or several accounts with the same picture
If you want to take a closer look at the fake follower profiles, they are often made private
These fake follower accounts follow 1000 people, but have only 10 own followers
Often there is no picture or only a few pictures in the account

It is quite astonishing that just these people, who seem to be so little interested in their own account, take the smartphone a few seconds after the blogger and Instagrammer has uploaded a picture and give a “Like”. If you then follow this game over several pictures, you very quickly get a feel for it and can assess it whether fake followers and bought likes are active here.

Likewise, it is of course noticeable when the fake followers only grow “monthly”, but the Likes have suddenly made a jump from 3,000 to 6,000, from 5,000 to 10,000, etc., but the number of comments does not increase accordingly and is often even declining.

Just like the fake likes, you can of course quickly check the fake followers, on the one hand with the Excel spreadsheet, but also once you look at who is following the person in the first place.

Here it applies again, as already mentioned above: Accounts with many numbers behind it, no profile picture or very many private profiles and unnatural follow/follower ratio are of course at least once “conspicuous”.

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Fake VIEWS and subscribers on YouTube

What is the trend bought followers on Instagram already for a few months or years, is also spreading on YouTube for a few months. It is also often Instagrammers who open a YouTube account and already have tens of thousands of followers on Instagram as well. The thought – whoever follows me on Instagram will also follow my channel, unfortunately does not apply. The intersections of the two channels are low and since Instagram offers two products with Instagram Stories and Instagram Live, the willingness to switch is even lower.

What is noticeable, of course, is that you produce many videos with a lot of effort, have 500 – 1000 subscribers within a few days (in relation to 100,000 followers on Instagram), which is also still realistic, but the new videos are accessed over 10,000 times in the first few hours.

Extremely unlikely, especially since new videos and new channels on YouTube are not considered as much as large channels or YouTubers who regularly upload many videos for many months and years.

Even if the one video is directly the “one-hit wonder”, why does it always work in the first few hours once the video is online and then it hardly goes up at all?  After all, if 10,000 people watch the video within 4-6 hours, why doesn’t anyone comment?

The answer could be because these 10,000 people have not seen the video at all, but are just a computer that generates 10,000 retrievals with different IP addresses on behalf of a company and thus generates artificial views. Of course, at first glance it looks great when a new channel can already offer such numbers as the big YouTubers within a few minutes. But is that realistic?

If you then look at the ratio of likes/dislikes, it is even more surprising. Even if the display is turned off, you can still have the like ratio, engagement rate, etc. read out with many tools on the Internet. But if 10,000 people only get 50 likes and 20 dislikes at once, it’s 99.99999% impossible that this video will rank well on YouTube (especially for a new channel).

If so many people watch the video, also want to see the next and next video immediately, why is the channel not subscribed – especially if it is about fashion, beauty and lifestyle? As a female follower, can you not stand by the fact that a woman makes interesting videos? Unrealistic, especially since the majority of female YouTube viewers subscribe to female channels and thus an indication of fake followers.

Again, only helps – take a closer look at the person’s channels (incl. Instagram, Twitter, Facebook page) etc. once, set to notification and see how fast the video goes up and also how the video description is…

Easily detect fake followers on Instagram and YouTube

Purchased VIEWS, purchased LIKES and purchased VIEWS – CONCLUSION.

It is certainly not an issue that will calm down in the next few weeks, rather the opposite will happen. It only helps for this for companies and also private bloggers, Instagrammers and fans to just take a closer look at the pages and especially to pay attention to the interactivities.

I will continue to report on these trends in the future and also in my lectures and workshops with brands and companies again pick out some examples directly, so that in the future it will be even easier to see for yourself who is correcting a little. A new trend that is slowly emerging in Germany is artificially generated followers or fake followers and “repins” on Pinterest. I will report on this topic in the future.

It is called “embellished and artificial Instagram world”, but originally it referred to the imagery and the specially exposed breakfast, etc.. Today, however, you can think about whether it may also refer to the numbers, views, likes and comments.

The next trend after bought followers will certainly be then, bought Instagram story views – even for 24 hours, apparently, for some people, the bought artificial popularity is worth it. The only problem is – once you stop buying, it will be noticed immediately – or, of course, it was again a mistake by YouTube or Instagram, which was corrected after only one call. In this sense – all honest Instagrammers without bought followers and YouTubers without bought followers continue to have fun and good cooperations…

Believe in yourself, your personal dreams and start your own journey – just for you….

Believe in yourself, your personal dreams and start your own journey – just for you….​

Table of Contents

Table of Contents

Believe in yourself, your personal dreams and start your own journey – just for you….

Believe in yourself, your personal dreams and start your own journey – just for you….​

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