When you buy Instagram followers, this is what happens. People buy Instagram followers for a variety of reasons. Is it worth it? What are the potential dangers? To find out, we experimented.
The Instagram fake follower market is predicated on a very appealing promise: pay a little money and acquire a lot of followers. You can go from a few hundred followers to 10,000 or more in a matter of hours. Profits and partnerships are bound to follow with that boost, right?
No, I’m sorry to burst your bubble. Even while purchasing Instagram followers is inexpensive and simple, hidden expenditures can add up quickly. If Instagram discovers your dishonesty, you risk ruining your reputation, alienating your real followers, and perhaps losing your account. Buying Instagram followers won’t help you grow your business or become popular on the platform.
We’ll take you on a tour of the fake follower industry and show you what happens when you purchase Instagram followers in this post. Rather than cheating your way to fame, we’ll show you how to increase your Instagram followers through tried-and-true methods.
Alternatively, you can watch a video of our most recent experiment, in which we attempted to purchase the most expensive followers possible:
Where can I get Instagram followers?
First and foremost, let’s go through how to acquire Instagram followers step by step. We’ll then explain why you should save your money and your dignity.
- Pick a service provider.
Several companies sell phony Instagram followers, so you have a lot of options. If you Google “buy Instagram followers,” you’ll come across a brave new world of enterprises with dubious ethics.
These companies don’t operate the same way they did a few years ago. Instagram’s public API was shut off in 2018, making it impossible for third-party apps to post.
This has a significant impact on a variety of businesses, including those that sell Instagram followers and likes. Overnight, a large number of bot accounts vanished, and third-party services that liked and followed accounts ceased to function. When the fake follower industry returned, a couple of things had changed: services no longer required login credentials, and services began emphasizing that all followers were “genuine” and “authentic,” rather than bots.
We’ve compiled a list of some of the more well-known stores below, but we can’t promise that you can trust any of them with your credit card or account information. You’re on your own in this place!
- Make a strategy.
You’ll note that there are other options open to you as you explore the fake follower frontier. Some businesses allow you to choose between normal and “premium” followers, while others provide “controlled growth.” All of these schemes rely on the usage of click farms, which exploit low-wage workers who are frequently forced to work in sweatshop-like conditions. That’s yet another reason to stay away from them.
The most basic options are also the most evident fakes: they lack profile photographs and posts on their feed, yet they exist – at least for now. They’ll be described with the kinds of superlatives you’d find at a farmer’s market: high-quality, all-natural, free-range that last one might just be for eggs. Because these fakes are so blatant, Instagram tends to erase them swiftly. They won’t like or comment on any of your posts while they’re around.
Following that, there are “premium” or “active” followers. With profile images and postings on their feed, these accounts appear to be slightly more legitimate. Companies will claim to be “100% real people!!” but we would take that with a grain of salt the size of Mt. Everest. They won’t engage with your content in any way, just like your basic followers.
The growth that is controlled
Finally, there’s “controlled growth.” This is the most expensive service, which can be purchased at a one-time price or as a monthly subscription. Managed growth services and effectively run your engagement strategy for you by reaching out to other Instagram accounts to increase your following.
Managed growth services demand you to pass over your account data (which are extra dubious!) as well as precise information about the audiences and hashtags you wish to target to a “growth agent.” After that, the agent (or their automated program) will like, follow, and comment in your place. This should, in principle, result in more followers. In actuality, it’s just another method to clog up your feed and lower your total engagement rate.
- Decide on the number of people you want to follow you.
Are you still interested? Okay, fine! You can then select the number of followers you want to purchase.
This will be determined by your budget and the plan you select. Because basic fake followers are inexpensive, you may be tempted to get 5,000 or 10,000 at once. What’s to stop you? Because a massive overnight increase in followers is likely to lead Instagram to raise some warning flags.
As a result, most businesses provide “immediate or gradual” delivery alternatives. In principle, a more progressive delivery is less suspect. However, the ratio of fake to genuine followers is important, so think wisely before purchasing a large number.
- Include some “likes” or “views”
Many of these businesses advertise themselves as “one-stop shops” for all types of phony encounters. As a result, you can buy likes for your Instagram posts and views for your Instagram Stories.
In principle, this improves credibility by counteracting false followers with fake interaction. It’s unlikely to fool anyone in practice.
- Take a chance.
You’ve looked over the possibilities and, against your better judgment, decided to go ahead and check out. Now is the time to give your Instagram username, email address, and credit card information to the company.
Some businesses will ask you to create an account, while others will go straight to the meat of the matter: payment information. If you don’t want to give out your credit card information, you might be able to pay with PayPal or Bitcoin instead.
Important note: you will not be required to hand up your Instagram password unless you choose managed growth.
- Be patient with yourself.
When the charge on your credit card clears, most providers promise that you’ll notice additional followers within 24-72 hours.
Because they promise to increase your account gradually through focused engagement or automation, the most expensive growth services take longer. So, what does this imply for you? It may take longer to discover you’ve squandered your money.
Where can I purchase Instagram followers?
Numerous businesses sell Instagram followers. While you could simply stare into the abyss and see what stares back, we’ve compiled a list of some of the possibilities for you.
Retailers, like any other illegal industry, are prone to altering their identities and URLs to hide unfavorable reviews or customer complaints. You’ll also notice that the appearance, language, and pricing tiers of each company’s website are all rather similar. To be honest, it’s difficult to discern the difference between them. However, we attempted:
Buzzoid: Buzzoid claims to have the “quickest delivery,” with new followers arriving within hours of payment. They also provide an “automatic likes” membership service, which allows you to receive likes and video views from “actual people” on each new post for a monthly charge. Getting hundreds of likes on a post in a matter of seconds seems like a good approach to alert Instagram to your nefarious actions.
Twicsy: Twicsy, like many of its competitors, boasts of “Real Users, Real Accounts, and Quick Delivery!” Twicsy doesn’t offer planned growth; instead, it gives users the option of choosing between “genuine” and “paid” followers. Even though they prominently display their Trustpilot scores, several consumers have complained about overcharging, no customer service, poor outcomes, and being banned from Instagram. One review is a modern-day rendition of King Midas’ myth if instead of a golden touch, you were plagued with an excessive number of imposter followers:
Famoid. For our most recent fake follower experiment, we used Famoid (watch our video below for a more detailed review). In summary, Famoid claims to have “all real & active” followers, however, they were all evident fakes in our experience.
Kicksta: This gadget isn’t like the others. Through the miracle of artificial intelligence, they claim 100 percent all-natural organic development. You provide Kicksta a list of accounts with followers you’d like to see (for example, competitors or influencers), and they’ll like posts from those accounts. The idea is that users will be more likely to follow you after receiving a notification that you liked their post.
While this is preferable to summoning an undead army of bots, it isn’t perfect. For starters, you still have a lot of work to do to lead Kicksta’s approach, which is time you should be spending on… Get more followers! For another, you’re entrusting your account and its activities to a third party, which can backfire if their approaches irritate the users you’re trying to impress.
Find out why we believe automation is one of the black hat social media practices you should avoid.
SPY24: One of the things I appreciate about SPY24 is that, like The Gap, they usually have a discount going on.
Another strategy is to give users the option of “immediate followers,” who appear all at once, or “daily followers,” who appear over time. The latter entails signing up for a membership plan that guarantees a specific number of daily followers. It’s refreshing to see some innovation in the fake follower industry.
SPY24 also has a caption generator for Instagram that promises to “make your Instagram go viral.” Though I doubt it will drive me to social media popularity, I was pleasantly delighted by the melancholy caption it inspired for me:
Mr. Insta: Of all the phony follower websites we looked at, this one provided the most options. It’s been dubbed the “Cheesecake Factory” of dubious services. It’s also significantly more pricey than its rivals. Mr. Insta offers to “deliver the highest and most realistic-looking followers” in exchange for the large dollars. Customers may also pay using Dollar General or CVS gift cards, as this was the only service that did so.
Social Boost: This service specializes in growth management, and it comes with a higher price tag and Etsy-worthy words to match (“handmade growth!”). Unlike the majority of other sites, Social Boost does not guarantee a certain amount of followers. Instead, they offer to target and engage with Instagram users to gradually develop your account.
We wanted to see if buying the most expensive followers would produce better results, so we gave it a shot. You can read about our disappointing experience in the paragraphs below!
QuickFix is an interactive installation by Belgian artist Dries Depoorter in which followers and likes on Instagram are sold for a few Euros. Pros: the installation records your purchase, allowing you to become a part of the artwork! Cons: Because there are only two QuickFix machines in the world, you can only use this service if you’re in the proper European gallery.
How much does buying Instagram followers cost?
Depending on the provider, this varies. Most companies provide a volume discount, making 10,000 followers appear to be a better deal than a few hundred.
In general, purchasing Instagram followers is inexpensive when you buy quick followers. For 1,000 followers, the majority of the firms we looked at charged roughly USD 15. Some were more expensive, ranging from $25 to USD 40.
Services that use automation or manual involvement to generate followers will be more expensive. These services can cost anything from $50 and $250 each month.
The long-term damage to your professional reputation and account is not reflected in those expenditures. There’s more on that later!
Is it possible to buy Instagram followers?
No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no, no
Longer answer: These services will indeed inflate your Instagram account with low-quality Instagram followers. It’s an illusion, just as the gain in height when you convert from Imperial to Metric. Even the number of genuine followers you have is a vanity statistic that does not indicate a substantial return on investment. However, if those genuine followers appreciate your content, they’re more likely to become buyers. Even the most “high quality” phony followers, as our tests show, are usually random accounts that have nothing to do with your brand or niche. They’ll never comment on your postings, become real consumers, or spread the positive word about your business.
So, if your only goal is to increase your number of followers, these services will assist you in achieving that goal. At least until Instagram detects the spamming activity on your account and shuts it down.
There are, however, better ways to spend your time and money if you want to establish a successful business, interact with customers, and generate a return on investment from your social media strategy.
It’s not necessary to take our word for it! To see what would happen, we bought followers from Social Boost (watch our video in the intro to see the results).
What happens if you pay a lot of money for Instagram followers?
We conducted several experiments to see what happens when you buy Instagram followers. We bought Famoid’s cheap immediate followers in 2021. In the name of science, we paid extra for a premium growth management service this year. There were a couple of distinctions:
You must do your study on these services because their purpose is to get “organic” engagement by liking and following other accounts on your behalf. Our growth agent needed information on influencers, demographics, and hashtags to help them figure out who we wanted to reach out to.
You could wonder if you could use this information to like and follow relevant accounts if you’re the one who’s coming up with it. Yes, you certainly can! And you should, because you’ll be able to do a better job than a click farm worker.
The development agency also recommended that we upload Instagram Stories daily, as well as two or three feed posts per week. This is an excellent tip! However, it serves as a warning that you can’t just sit back and wait for the crowds to arrive. You must still put up the effort.
Instagram sent us security notifications.
Your account credentials are required by these premium fake follower services for them to log in on your behalf. Agents utilize a VPN to make it appear as if they’re signing in from your usual location because click farms are located all over the world.
But, like with everything else about this trip, they over-promised and under-delivered. When Instagram detected logins and account activity in unusual locales, we received security notifications, which serve as a reminder that you’ll never deceive Instagram. If there’s something fishy going on with your account, they’re bound to notice.
Our bank also sent us security notifications.
Our credit card was refused when we tried to pay for our growth service, and our bank called us several times because they were concerned about fraud. We were able to persuade them to unlock our card, and the initial payment was made.
Then we sat and waited. Even though a payment appeared on our credit card, our growth service informed us that it had not been received. So, against our bank’s advice, we paid again, even though our bank had warned us that we were being conned. (Do not attempt at home!!)
We were out USD 500 before they even got started because the service wouldn’t start working on our behalf until the funds cleared. Finally, the funds were received.
The outcomes were less than ideal.
We finally see the promised followers 19 days after attempting to make our first payment! Please start the drums…
We had 37 new followers after 19 days. That’s around two followers each day, which is the kind of growth you might get with a little work and no risky overseas transactions.
We’d gained a few more followers by the time we decided to end the experiment. We had 335 followers by week four. That works out to around $1.50 per follower. You’d think they’d be quite good at that price! However, they were inactive, looked quite bogus, and had nothing to do with our account.
We got some strange Direct Messages.
The energy you send out into the world tends to come back to you, as a self-help book might suggest. And you attract shady people when you engage in dubious tactics. During this experiment, we received a lot of interesting DMs, including two psychic reading offers and one solicitation to join the Illuminati.
It’s just another example of the unforeseen consequences of buying false followers. Strange DMs are harmless entertainment, except they load up your inbox and make it difficult to locate and engage with genuine followers.
4 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Buy Instagram Followers Instagram can tell if you’re buying followers.
Instagram is continually working to maintain the platform secure and legitimate, as evidenced by the big bot crackdown of 2018. That means they constantly deactivate bogus accounts and prosecute users who buy them. If they detect questionable account activity, they may suspend or terminate your account permanently.
Brands will shy away from collaborating with you.
It’s no secret that fake followers exist, and legitimate brands want to avoid working with companies or influencers who utilize them. Free tools like HypeAuditor make it simple to figure out who is inflating their follower count artificially.
If you’re detected buying false followers, your credibility and reputation will be ruined. Those bad consequences will linger much longer than the accounts of your false followers.
You will not be followed by real users.
If your account is predominantly followed by fake-looking accounts, even regular Instagram users will notice. Have you ever seen an Instagram post with just comments from clearly spam accounts? It detracts from the atmosphere.
Influencers and businesses frequently buy followers to increase their credibility, believing that consumers are more inclined to follow a 20,000-follower account than a 200-follower account. However, you’re deceiving no one, and the users you’re intending to recruit will flee.
Your metrics will be messed up.
Your follower count can be high if you buy a lot of followers, but your engagement will be poor because those false followers don’t interact with your material.
Brands and partners are put off by this since they worry more about strong engagement rates than follower counts. A respectable engagement rate for a post is normally between 1% and 5% for each post. The higher the number of phony followers you have, the worse your engagement rates will be.
It will also be more difficult for you to figure out what is working and improve your social media approach as a result of this. If all of your followers are genuine, it’s simple to figure out what kind of content they like by looking at which posts and Stories get the most attention.
Instead of buying Instagram followers, what should you do?
There are many legitimate techniques to boost your Instagram following! It won’t happen overnight, but the followers you gain are far more valuable than those you purchase.
Create fantastic content.
Unfortunately, there is no way around this! Audiences and brands are both picky. That means you’ll need to provide interesting movies and high-resolution photographs, as well as well-written descriptions.
You should also make sure that your material is searchable. Using hashtags and tagging related accounts will increase your visibility. The golden ticket is to get on the Explore page, which is more likely to happen if you publish frequently and have a large following. Instagram gives high priority to posts that earn a lot of likes, so check out our tips for obtaining more likes on Instagram.
Your Instagram account should be promoted.
Make it as simple as possible for others to find you on Instagram! Ensure that your username is consistent across all social media networks if at all possible. Anyone who follows you on TikTok will be able to discover you on Instagram as well.
You may also encourage your viewers to follow you on Instagram by cross-posting your finest Instagram content to your other social media platforms.
Consider alternatives to social media. Your Instagram account should be linked to your website, email signature, business cards, and other marketing tools.
Organize a competition
Instagram contests can quickly increase your following if you’re looking for a quick fix. To engage, users must follow your account, tag friends, and share your material with their accounts. This will attract more followers and broaden your reach.
Concentrate on your relationships.
Followers don’t want you to speak at them; they want you to speak directly to them. Responding to comments, conducting Q&As on your Stories, and posting user-generated material on your feed are just a few methods to demonstrate that you’re paying attention.
Looking for more conversation starters and relationship-building ideas? We’ve put together a content idea cheat sheet with 29 unique suggestions.
Ads, not followers, should be purchased.
If you want to expand your audience, Instagram advertising is a legitimate (and effective) option. Paid Instagram advertising can reach up to 1.48 billion people, so you’ll almost certainly gain some new followers.
Keep up with the times.
You must change with the times to stay on top of Instagram. Users’ interests and inclinations are continuously changing, so your content must adapt as well. In 2022, here’s what users want to see.
Looking for more non-bot ways to increase your following? We’ve compiled a list of 35 ways to increase your Instagram followers.
Hootsuite allows you to manage Instagram with your other social media platforms while saving time. You can schedule and publish pieces, engage with the audience, and track performance all from a single dashboard. Today is your chance to try it for free.