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Real Vs Fake Followers The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers


Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers

Wannabe influencers turn to fake followers to get a growth boost and climb a rank, from nano to micro, micro to macro, and up. However, they only provide a false sense of accomplishment. Their profiles, engagement rate, and activities are odd, making them stand out from real followers and putting your brand image and credibility at risk.

In this article, we’ll discuss the difference between fake and authentic Instagram followers, how to spot fake followers, and the best tools to detect fake followers. Further, we’ll also examine why influencers buy followers on Instagram.


Real Vs Fake Followers, they may look the same for an average Joe and Jane. However, a marketer must know the difference. Both have profiles, bios, and pictures. So, what is the difference? Authenticity! 

Fake Instagram accounts are profiles made by an individual or through software with no person behind it. They are solely to rack up the follower count, nothing more. 

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers


These profiles rarely engage with others, and when they do, it is spamming posts with one-word comments and forcefully selling promotional content.

In contrast, real Instagram followers are accounts run by genuine individuals who follow another account for content quality, shared interests, and likability. Their profiles and behaviors depict authenticity, and they seldom act in a bot-like way.


Spotting a fake follower is no rocket science. It is as easy as it gets. Here are four telltale signs of a phony follower:

  1. Check The Follower-to-Following Ratio

Perhaps the quickest way to spot a bad apple is by checking the follower-to-following percentage. A following-heavy profile with a massive gap between followers and following has fake written all over it. Influencers delivering bot followers as a service often use a single profile to follow multiple different brands. Resultantly, the ratio looks unnatural. 

  1. Inspect Engagement Rate

Fake followers are there to do one thing ‘follow.’ So, you won’t find most of these profiles engaging actively. Even posers who provide quality followers who promise engagements do so in ways unhuman. Short messages, lots of emojis, and a lack of personality are telltale signs of a fake profile. 

  1. Evaluate Photo and Bio

You cannot blame a wannabe influencer selling 1K fake followers for $9.99 for lack of authenticity. Yes, you can blame for duplicity, but not authenticity. Most fake profiles on Instagram have shady photos and a generic bio (at times, no bio). 

  1. Auto-Suggested Username

If we cannot use our name to create a profile, we think of creative ways to select a username. However, fake followers often lack the creativity and the time to do that. As a result, they stick with auto-suggested usernames, sometimes with seven to eight random numbers after the name. Workable for bots, not for genuine users.


Scanning thousands of followers to cherry-pick the phony ones is an arduous task. Fortunately, you don’t have to do so. There are multiple tools available in the market, paid and free, that help you detect fake followers in a quick time. Here are the seven best tools to detect and clean fake followers before they taint your brand image:


With tons of incredible free features and some paid ones, HypeAuditor provides in-depth insights into followers’ location and metrics like engagement rate and engagement authenticity. Often used to spot fake influencers with loads of fake followers, it shares information required to decide who’s real and who is not. 

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers


Another tool offering a glimpse into the audience’s engagement rate is FakeCheck. Used commonly by influencers to check their level of social engagement, it works wonderfully in segregating fake from real. FakeCheck provides account fake follower count and engagement rate to help separate the best from the rest.

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers


It is a tool apt for all top social platforms, including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and Twitch. SocialBlade makes it easy to discover fake followers on social spaces and validate influencers with genuine backing. Using this, you can get historical data about a profile or account to assess engagement trends and activities and spot posers.

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers

Social Audit Pro

It is a paid service but worth the investment. Social Audit Pro inspects 5K followers at $5 and 20K followers at $20 to check, identify, and remove fake followers from your social profiles. Any profile flagged as dormant or fake gets kicked out of the system on your cue. Not only perfect for drastic times, but Social Audit Pro is also an incredible tool to compare influencers and find the best one.

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers


A free Chrome extension, Upfluence is a simple and effective fake follower detection tool. It provides insights like performance metrics, engagement rate, and activities to draw a line between the real and the fake. 

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers


Using natural language searches and similar tactics, TrendHERO inspects profiles to cherry-pick authentic ones and single out shady profiles. Thanks to its easy-to-use interface, it is often the pick of Instagrammer who want to quick-check the authenticity of Instagram profiles and the Influencer’s audience.

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers

IG Auditor

Lastly, IG Audit is a free Instagram fake profile detection tool, but even better than some paid ones. It works effectively on public accounts to assess and define which profiles are more human-like and which reek inauthenticity. Perfect for a quick answer, the tool randomly inspects 200 profiles and scores the account out of 100 using multiple engagement, language, and activity-related metrics. 

Real Vs Fake Followers: The Best Tools To Detect Fake Instagram Followers


Influencers, mostly wannabe influencers, buy followers to raise ranks and make their profiles look a million-dollar. Real, genuine, and likable influencers make loads of money, and the riches lure wannabes seeking instant gratification without putting in the hard work. Buying followers does just that and makes accounts feel credible, trustworthy, and above all else, worth an investment.

However, influencers and profiles that value the follower count above engagement rate and genuine interactions don’t last long. Besides giving a false sense of achievement, a fake follower count does little good in overall brand development. 

A good brand is likable, trustworthy, and credible, and influencers with fake accounts are the opposite. Here are five top reasons why influencers buy followers:

  1. Attract Traffic to Social Profiles
  2. Level Up Rank
  3. Drive Revenue
  4. Get More Sales
  5. Show Brand Growth


We asked a number of social media marketers and experts about buying fake followers and this what they had to say

Fake Followers Hurt Your CredibilityDemi Yilmaz, Co-Founder,

“Followers are the bread and butter of Instagram — without them, your posts would go unnoticed. Lately, though, people have been buying fake followers to inflate their numbers and appear more popular than they actually are. This trend is driven by the rise of Instagram influencers who earn off the platform by partnering with brands, and the monetization of the app through ads.

While buying fake followers may seem like an easy way to get ahead, it actually hurts your credibility in the long run. When someone buys fake followers, they are devaluing the worth of a follower. By inflating your numbers with fake followers, you are essentially shooting yourself in the foot.”

Fake Followers Always a Tacky Look for a BusinessJonathan Zacharias, Founder, GR0

“As a business owner, I find it tacky when a business decides to purchase “followers” who are essentially fake profiles and bots. In my opinion, this can make you seem desperate for approval from actual potential followers. It makes more business sense to build your following organically, which is achievable by creating relevant content. IG Auditor is a great tool that you can use to detect fake followers on Instagram. Ultimately, by having a better understanding of who your true followers are, you can better tailor to their interests without being misled by fake profiles.”

The Ban HammerMax Schwartzapfel, CMO, Schwartzapfel Lawyers

“Instagram doesn’t actually take too kindly to you padding your numbers with fake followers. It’s nearly impossible for Instagram to weed out all the fake accounts that exist on their site. Bots ass simply too numerous, despite aggressive moderation. That doesn’t mean that they aren’t on the lookout, however.

If your account gets noticed as being full of fake followers, you can be targeted even if your account is actually valid. That could lead to restrictions, account suspensions, and possibly outright bans on your account.

Long story short, don’t buy or use fake Instagram followers. Even if you don’t you may want to take some time identifying and removing fake accounts periodically, just to err on the side of caution.”

Inappropriate Bot CommentsMark Valderrama, Founder & CEO, Aquarium Store Depot

If you pay for Instagram “likes” and “following,” you may or may not get any real interest in your content because obviously, those fake accounts are of no good use. However, some Bot accounts might be interested in your posts and they may also trash your posts with comments written in languages you don’t understand. This will make you appear shady and unreal in the eyes of those few real followers you have and they might also question your brand’s authenticity. These automated accounts may also post everything from sexism to racism and would be tough to monitor. So, instead of harming your account in this way, you should invest your money in proper marketing to boost your follower count. Social Audit Pro is a great tool to check Fake followers however, it’s not free, but well worth the price.


Removing fake followers from Instagram has been made simple today thanks to online tools and software. However, first, we must understand why we must remove shady followers. 

Most importantly, fake followers damage the brand image and taint reputation. In addition, they stop us from reaching our target audience. Fake followers mean fake reach, and such exposure rarely results in leads or sales. 

That’s why businesses and brands must prioritize fake follower detection and removal. There are two ways to do so:

  1. Through Instagram Cleaning Tools

Like tools for fake profile detection, there are tools for profile removal too. Moreover, some apps do both, helping influencers and brands save time and ensure their reach remains original. 

Cleaner for IG is one of the most commonly used apps for iOS devices, and Unfollower works the best on Android. Both apps work similarly and are highly effective in detecting and removing fake followers on Instagram. 

However, the downside to apps like these is they use similar technology to detect and remove fake followers as the ones that create and add them; bots. Thus, the odds are the right action may get tagged as a questionable activity by Instagram. 

So, one must use these tools in moderation and configure them correctly. Cleaning up profiles at a high detection/removal frequency may trigger suspicion. Therefore, it is better to stick with low rates and follow the safe and sure route.

  1. Manual Removal

Though it sounds outdated, manually removing profiles is a good ploy. Relatively time-consuming but worth it. Fit inspection in your routine profile check-up. Like you devote time to interact with active followers, find time to remove inactive ones.


No social media platform is spam free. Spammers, posers, and fake profiles exist on every platform. However, advanced tools and apps have now enabled us to detect and remove phony profiles before they push our focus awry and taint our brand image. 

Using the tools described in this article, influencers and brands can now ensure their profile remains fake-free and credible. So, they stay in the good books, and businesses and brands seldom doubt their credibility because of a few bad apples. 

Want to find genuine ways to build your brand and grow the follower list? Read How To Find Contacts On Instagram To Grow Your Followers.

karina gandola

Karina Gandola was born and raised outside the city of Charleston, in the beautiful mountain state of West Virginia. Karina loves writing about the influencer marketing space and an area she is passionate about. She considers her faith and family to be most important to her. If she isn’t spending time with her friends and family, you can almost always find her around her sweet yellow Labrador retriever, Poshna.

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