How To Differentiate Between Real vs Fake Instagram Followers

Reading time: 10 min read
Dejan Kvrgic
Written by
Dejan Kvrgic

Updated · Nov 16, 2023

Dejan Kvrgic
Freelance Copywriting | Joined August 2023 | LinkedIn
Dejan Kvrgic

Dejan Kvrgic, a tech enthusiast and holistic marketing strategist, brings a unique blend of skills t... | See full bio

Techjury is supported by its audience. When you purchase through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more.

The popularity you can gain through Instagram has caused enormous hysteria among the masses of influencers and aspiring Instagrammers who want to make an epic breakthrough on this social media network. Nowadays, anyone, literally a-n-y-o-n-e, can "buy popularity."

In the realm of social media, getting to the bottom of your Instagram community and learning how to differentiate between real vs fake Instagram followers is key.

Luckily, we're here to help you prevent such a catastrophic social media disaster from befalling your profile.

If you’re in a hurry, though, here is the gist of our article.

Key Takeaways 🚀

  1. Fake Insta accounts might boost your numbers, but the real ones are the backbone of online success. 
  2. You can very fake Instagram followers in 3 steps: analyze profile info, look for sudden spikes in follower count, and compare engagement – that’s it.
  3. Real Instagram followers provide more collaboration opportunities, while fake ones are just a silent crowd, so to speak.
  4. Without social proof, your Instagram account won’t be able to attract more followers or generate profit.
  5. Unlike fake followers, real Instagram accounts will help you build a targeted community.

Insta Statistics You NEED To Know

In order to convey to you the real-life, immersive progress and incomparable power of this social media platform, we must take a second to look at some solid facts gathered by pros.

In that light, we present Insta-related data that might blow your mind.

Social media marketers and influencers need multiple social media platforms to help them do their job, and here are the leading ones used in January 2023:

ocial media platforms used by marketers 2023

Instagram is thriving in second place with an incredible 80%.

There’s no denying that this platform is popular with everyone. Influencers and advertisers were the ones that benefited the most from the popularity of this app in 2023. Now, they can reach 176 million more users than one year ago.

Talk about spiking numbers on the internet.

But not all these numbers are real, though. 

Twitter is not the only platform buzzing about fake followers – Instagram is in this sauce as well. There are a  whopping 95 million fake accounts on Instagram.

And to make matters worse, 80% of your favorite influencers use fake followers for their growth.

How To Become a Fake Follower Detector

You are not your follower

If you’re buying Instagram followers from an unreliable growth tool, you must be prepared for the worst. Although they don’t appear fake at first, after a couple of days and posts, you’ll see what we’ve been trying to warn you about all along

0 engagement, 0 interaction, 0 everything!

Luckily, you don’t need an online course or a certificate to become a fake follower detector. 

All you need are these three tips that’ll help you differentiate real from fake Instagram followers in a jiff.

If this sounds tempting, get ready to take some notes:

✔️ Analyze Profile Information and Content

This is probably the most obvious red flag when it comes to fake followers.

You don’t need any advanced knowledge to spot a bot or a ghost among your followers. Just go to their profile and check whether they have some of these warning signs:

  • Their Instagram username has random letters and numbers.
  • There is no Instagram bio.
  • Their following and follower number don’t match – there’s a huge difference.
  • No profile picture or a picture of an animal or celebrity instead of their own.
  • No content posted, no Instagram Stories, no Highlights.
  • They don’t have any tagged photos.

To put things into perspective, here’s a real-life example of a fake follower:

On the contrary, real followers have colourful, filled accounts with a normal username (usually their first name or a nickname), a bio, some content, Stories, and so on.

Basically, the complete opposite of the shortlist we’ve mentioned above.

There’s really not much to say when you see a profile like this one. Also, you can’t expect any kind of engagement or interaction whatsoever.

What’s next?

Go through your follower list, look for similar profiles, and report or remove them.

Here’s a warning flag:

So far, the Instagram platform has recognized around 95 million fake followers.

✔️ Look for Sudden Spikes in Follower Count

The next thing you can do to keep your account safe and sound from profiles like the one we’ve seen above is to look for sudden follower count spikes.

Have you checked your follower number lately? If you noticed a huge spike in the number,  then there’s probably a growth tool in the game. 

The growth is real and possible, there’s no denying that, but not in a matter of a couple of days. Sudden spikes in Instagram followers like this one indicate foul play – yup!

If you just take a second to go through their followers, you’ll probably see accounts like the one we showed you a moment ago. 

It’s unnatural for someone to gain that many followers in such short span.

If you go through their list, you’ll probably also notice 50, if not 100, fakes. With that kind of “community,” the Instagram account doesn’t stand a chance of climbing the social media success ladder or expecting any kind of feedback from the audience.

Fun fact: You can still get millions of followers if you’re a celeb. When she joined Instagram, Jennifer Aniston broke the platform by receiving 2M followers in less than 24h.

✔️ Compare Engagement to Follower Count

This might be a two-edged sword, so let us break it down the right way.

The trick here is going through your recent posts and looking at the number of likes, comments, saves, and shares that you got along the way. 

Also, take into account the people that reached out during your busy time.

All of that falls under engagement – the more, the merrier!

If you have a lot of new followers and your likes are getting higher, you’re on the right track.

However, if you’ve got a lot of new followers and your posts are not getting the bare minimum of attention, something’s up – and it’s not your engagement rate.

Worried that your rate is down? According to information from Iconosquare, the average engagement rate on Instagram is 4.7%

Take it as a sign to check your followers' authenticity. 

Now, here’s the catch:

It could be an issue of fake followers, or you could be falling behind with your content. 

Sometimes, your followers might stay there but refuse to engage with your content because it just doesn’t resonate with them anymore.

No worries, though – both scenarios are solvable.

Either abandon the unreliable growth service and remove fake followers, or pick up some new tips and tricks on how to post engaging, entertaining, and thought-provoking content.

Reasons Why Real Followers Are the Backbone of Online Success

Like symbol in red gift box

Now that you’ve picked up the knowledge on how to spot fake followers, let’s focus on something positive – the importance of real Instagram followers and the benefits they bring to your online presence.

Below, we’ve listed the three key reasons why real followers represent the backbone of your online success:

💲 Provide More Influencer Op portunities

The first benefit that real followers carry is more influencer collaborations and opportunities for your account.

When we talk about followers, we don’t just mean regular Instagram users that scroll through their Instagram feed for fun – we’re referring to celebrities and influencers that can also contribute to your popularity.

Real Instagram followers can bring you closer to potential business partners, contributing to boosting your engagement rate and adding value to your content.

This also contributes to the monetization of your platform. Even nano-influencers can make up to $100 per post – which is a pretty good deal, don’t you think?

Fun fact: Instagram’s first hashtag appeared way back in 2010, and it was – you guessed it – #nofilter.

💲 Represent Social Proof

Social proof – a famous psychological phenomenon (especially in marketing) where other people rely on the actions of others to influence their behavior. Again, influence is the key!

Real Instagram followers equal social proof – those are the people that stay on your profile because you’re presenting valuable, reliable, and, ultimately, engaging content. 

Without social proof, your Instagram account would basically be nothing – it would be just a regular account that doesn’t attract new followers or generate profit – and you need both to stay afloat!

💲 Ensure Genuine Engagement

Last, but certainly not the last, real Instagram followers ensure genuine engagement. We’ve practically said it more than once up until now – you need real-life people to engage and interact with your content. 

How does this benefit your account, specifically?

Well, it boosts your visibility. You are more likely to pop up on someone’s Explore page and provoke a follow or even a DM. Also, you’re building a loyal and targeted community, which is the ideal of every aspiring Instagram influencer or brand.

So Is It a Complete Waste To Buy Followers?

Looking at it from a bigger picture, buying Instagram followers is viewed as a complete waste of your resources. But not only that – it can also harm your Instagram account. 

A majority of purchased followers often turn out to be fake bots with 0% engagement. Although this may lead to a spike in your follower number, you won’t gain any benefits from it. 

Instagram’s algorithm is getting smarter by the day – and it can often detect these unnatural fluctuations. Once you’re under the radar, your Instagram career could be in serious danger.

This is why it is vital to be cautious when looking for organic growth, a larger community, and genuine engagement.

In a sea of make-believe social growth tools, Flock Social brings actual REAL followers by interacting with legit accounts only. It helps you build an engaged and organic community that is genuinely interested in your content.

Their tool helps foster meaningful connections for long-term success – all without compromising your online integrity.

Instead of chasing superficial growth and overnight fame through fake accounts and bots, your sole focus should be expanding a community that resonates with your content. 

By making human interaction their #1 priority, Flock ensures organic growth and lays the foundation for your Instagram success in the long run. 

Looking for proof?

Here are reviews from our happy customers:

Here are reviews from our happy customers

The Final Call

That’s a wrap, folks. We’ve gone through thick and thin regarding fake and real Instagram followers. Before we sign off, let’s review the main points again.

Spotting fake followers on Instagram is easy as ABC. All you need to do is analyze sus profiles, look for sudden spikes in follower numbers, and compare engagement to the follower count. If the numbers don’t add up – it’s time for fake follower busting.

The real ones that stay on your platform will provide you with more opportunities for growth and collaboration, help you establish social proof, and ensure genuine engagement.

Life is too short for fake smiles, friends, and Instagram followers!


How do you know if your follower is a bot?

If the Instagram account that follows you has no information on its profile, doesn’t follow anyone and leaves generic comments under your posts, then it’s a bot. 

Is it possible to buy real Instagram followers?

Yes. As long you choose verified sources, you can get real Instagram followers for a good deal.

Are fake followers obvious?

Sometimes, you won’t know that your follower is fake until you check out their account.

Are Your Favorite Celeb’s Followers 100% Real?

They wish. Even A-listers like Kim Kardashian and Ronaldo have fake followers among their millions. 

44% of Kim’s followers are fake, and Christiano Ronaldo is close to that percentage, with a staggering 58%. 

Here’s another shocker. Taylor Swift, a worldwide famous singer with almost 120.4 million followers, has 72.3 million fake ones – insane!

Don’t be so quick to judge or overestimate other people’s success – even if they’re celebrities like the Kardashians – even their platforms have fake Instagram.

Can Fake Followers Like and Comment?

Some of them comment on your posts and like 50 of your pics in under 5 minutes, while others stay silent. Both options are a huge 🚩.You don’t want to see 10 “Nice photo” comments under your post from completely empty profiles when you click on them, and even worse, you don’t want an empty comment section.

Although we can’t predict someone’s comment, we can give you a couple of examples of what comments from real-life followers might look like:

  1. My jaw dropped! 😯
  2. You’re killing it!
  3. Sheesh!
  4. So pretty! 😍
  5. This outfit is absolutely insane 🔥
  6. The cutest!

These are just some examples of what real comments for your personal photos might look like.


Facebook LinkedIn Twitter
Leave your comment

Your email address will not be published.