The world of social media has exploded in recent years. Platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter count their users in billions across the globe, although not all stand out in the same way. Some users, the so-called “influencers”, move masses of thousands of people who see their photos, play their videos, retweet their tweets and comment on their publications. This is achieved with effort, work and quality, but also with money.
Having a large following on social media is the new “being the popular boy at school.” You are to the extent that you appear, as thinkers like Guy Debord point out, and social networks are the greatest exponent of this. A person with more followers is a more popular person, more cool, an example to follow and something that other users aspire to. These followers can be real, legitimate and with real flesh and blood people behind them, or they can be fake accounts and / or bots that only serve to fatten a number.
In which for many people it is the age of ego and appearance, there are not a few companies that base their business model on the sale of fake followers for the main social networks. The process is simple, cheap and gives what it promises: more followers in exchange for a couple of euros. So that? Maybe a matter of personal ego, maybe to appear to be something that is not, maybe to attract true followers with inflated numbers. There are many reasons, as well as pages to get hold of them.
At Genbeta we wanted to test what the process of buy fake followersWhat do they offer, if it works for something, if it gets more interaction or if, directly, they help the number of followers go from zero to one hundred in a couple of minutes. We have bought followers for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and this has been our experience.
The selection criteria for websites and prices
There are endless websites to buy fake followers, so when choosing one, we decided to get carried away by Google. To do this, we searched for the terms “buy Twitter followers”, “buy Facebook followers” and “buy Instagram followers” and let SEO do the rest of the work. Once the websites were located, we bought 1,000 followers for each social network at the following prices:
- 1,000 fake Twitter followers at buy-followers.com: $ 7.
- 1,000 Fake Facebook Followers (“Likes”) on BCubeAgency: $ 7.
- 1,000 fake followers on Instagram in The Follower Shop: 7.99 euros.
Let’s start with the bird’s social network. On February 2018 we bought 1,000 fake followers for our account @feikfollowers. All of them, of course, had completely random names, they did not have a description and rare was the profile that had a photo.
These took a long time to arrive, so we tried to contact the company. They told us that they were having problems with Twitter and that in 72 hours we would have the followers in the profile. They never arrived. In a second batch that took place in July 2018, we bought another thousand for @ feikfollowers2, which did arrive within 24 hours.
They were there for weeks, without doing anything. Not a mention, not a direct message, not a single interaction. The only thing we noticed was that in the first week about 100 disappeared. However, the second week of July arrived and with it the so-called “Twitter purge.” The social network removed millions and millions of fake accounts and bots, including our more than 1,000 followers. Of the 2,000 fake accounts we bought, only account @ feikfollowers2 kept some (four, to be exact). Twitter has removed our two test accounts as of today.
Faced with this disappearance, and given that we had paid $ 14 for them, we did what any client would have done: write them by mail. The mail was sent in July and to this day, at the time these lines are written, we have not yet received a response. Interestingly, the customer service email ends at @ hotmail.com, so hopes of a response are low.
Of course, the store is not responsible for anything:
- We are not responsible for your business or social media account.
- We are not responsible for any damages you may suffer, even if they are a direct result of our services.
- We make no guarantees regarding an increase in sales, popularity or any other potential profit.
We buy the followers using a PayPal account in TheFollowerShop, one of the stores with the best SEO positioning. We caught up with them on Friday, September 28 at 9:30 a.m. and at a steady trickle of about three followers per minute we reached 400 in two hours. At 1:00 p.m. we were already going for 700, at 3:30 p.m. we had 970 and at 4:30 p.m. we had surpassed the thousand barrier, reaching 1,012. In less than 10 hours we had our first thousand followers, which we already told you that they have not stayed there.
The figure constantly fluctuated between 1,050 and 900, coming and going all the time, although in a way they were stable. The profile of our newly acquired followers was as follows:
- Country of origin: Indonesia, India, the United States, Iran and Nigeria.
- Age range: mostly between 18 and 24 years old.
- Sex: 75% men, 25% women.
The vast majority of the followers seem moderately active. Some upload a photo from time to time, although no one publishes stories or shows the activity of a person between 18 and 24 years old. To this evidence must be added that each and every one of the profiles have about 200 – 300 followers and follow more than 5,000 accounts.
We wanted to put them to the test to see if they were real or not, and of course, there was nothing we did not expect. Upon reaching a thousand followers, we uploaded a photo that he got 20 “likes” and a reach of 336 accounts. In the first instance we could think that it is not bad, it is a range of 30% although the engagement is null. However, things changed as the days went by.
Two days later, and when the drip of followers had calmed down, we uploaded a photo of a sunset that got 10 “likes” and a reach of 107 people. Simply put, 10% of our fake followers had seen the photo and only 1% had interacted with it. Things got worse when, two days later, we uploaded another photo with a range of 36 accounts and the “likes” remained at four. It goes without saying that in all this time none of the photos have had comments and that we have not received a single direct message.
Moral: fake followers are inactive accounts that, although they upload photos periodically, do not interact with your content in any way
The purge of followers began on October 2. In a matter of a couple of hours, our number of followers dropped from 1,005 to 848, which was reduced even more the next day, remaining at 650. At the time these lines are written we have 681, although the same in an hour we have 600 or less, it is not known. At the moment the figure is stable, but it is possible to think that in a week we will be at 300.
Faced with this loss, we try to contact TheFollowerShop through the questionnaire that can be found on their website. This gives us error 500. No contact email can be found on the web and social networks have not shown activity for months. The last tweet they published was on June 14, and the last photo they uploaded to Instagram is from March 2017. To make matters worse, they do not have direct messages open, so it is impossible to contact them. Seven euros thrown away.
In its terms and conditions of use, TheFollowerShop makes it clear that wash your hands. They are not responsible for absolutely anything that happens with the followers:
“We only offer the indicated service. In other words, we do not guarantee that your new followers will interact with your account unless explicitly stated. If, for example, you buy ‘likes’, we only provide the number of ‘likes’ mentioned. We do not guarantee that users will continue to “like” your posts or photos. “
“We cannot guarantee that all followers or new followers will follow your account indefinitely.”
“All accounts that follow, comment, retweet or bookmark in all the services we offer, except the” Business Expansion Pack “, are inactive or fake accounts. These are for display and perception of popularity only.”
“We are not responsible for your business or social media account. We are not responsible for any damages you may suffer, even if they are a direct result of our services.”
“We do not guarantee increased sales, popularity or any other potential profit.”
“We cannot guarantee that our website is up and running. If our website is down, it is probably the fault of a third party (such as a hosting company).”
We might think that, in the face of such a resounding loss of followers, we could request a refund, but not. The only way to request a refund is if your followers (or whatever you bought) haven’t reached you within seven days. That is, if you manage to contact them through any of the channels offered by the web, of course.
WatMag colleagues also made a video about their experience buying followers on Instagram:
The followers of the Facebook page took a little longer to arrive, but the pattern they followed was the same as in the case of Instagram. We bought them on September 28 at BCubeAgency, an “agency” that defines itself as “specializing in social media marketing activity.” It wasn’t until the 30th that we received our first 132 followers.
One day later, on October 1, we already had 994 (we did not reach a thousand). Since then everything has been losses. Facebook page lost between 50 and 100 followers a day, going from 994 to 500 in a week.
The demographic profile of the fake followers was how much …