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How to Spot Fake Instagram Followers and Likes

6 min read
March 27, 2020
How do you check an Instagram account for cheating by buying followers, likes or comments, even if the account owner swears otherwise? Here is a detailed guide with examples to help you not to waste your budget.
On Instagram account owners can purchase followers, likes, or comments, or most often all at the same time. There is a lot of competition in the market for buying bots, so the prices for this service are very low. Let's figure out how to spot whether a particular account buys fake likes instead of getting them organically.

Why check bloggers for cheating? For example, an account is run by a freelancer who shows good results, but is it through their own hard work? Or is it the work of fake bots?

Or, for example, you approach a popular blogger that you heard about, and they offer to post an advertising post for $ 1K. Is it worth it? We recommend first checking the blogger account for cheating.

How to check for fake followers on Instagram

The cost of advertising with almost any account is made up of three criteria: the number of followers, likes and comments. The first is responsible for the size of the audience, and the rest for its activity. An account with 600K followers and 30K likes on each post looks perfect for the advertiser. It is not necessary to know which of these 600K followers place these likes. Often, just the dynamics are enough. For example, the dynamics of followers:
 spot fake instagram
You can spot a sharp increase from 159K to 169K in one day then slow unsubscribing. Why does that happen? Bloggers guilty of this will claim they suddenly attracted this amount of followers through their own hard work. However, this is hard to believe. Firstly, the audience is active on new posts for three days, i.e. there would have been a surge not in a day, but in three, and then in a day there would be growth and further unsubscription. Secondly, in 99% of cases, such a surge is just a hoax, but you should always remember that anyone, and not just the owner themselves, can catch bots in his account. And thirdly, if you take this screenshot to the account holder and ask them to explain what kind of surge it is, they most likely will not be able to.
Don't want to read, want to check!
Here is another example of a sudden increase in follower dynamics:
how to spot fake instagram followers
You can spot 8 days of a sharp increase in followers from 275 thousand to 301 and then less rapid, but still quick wave of unsubscribers. Immediately, the reason is obvious - a Giveaway. This is a type of a contest on Instagram, in which a user is asked to subscribe to 30-40 accounts, and they may be lucky and will win some iPhone or used Mercedes.

The account in the screenshot was among those 30-40 that a user had to subscribe to. Participation in such contests is counterproductive, because either an inappropriate audience without any real interest in the account subscribes to the account, or the organizers attempt to boost their results with fake bots. This is where the unsubscribers come from, because either the bots deactivate on their own, or after the contest this account becomes not interesting to the new audience who shortly unsubscribe by themselves.

How to check for fake likes on Instagram

Now that we have analyzed methods of spotting fake followers, let's look at fake likes and comments on Instagram. Similarly, we will consider the dynamics and immediately note that the buying of followers does not make sense without the buying of likes, because if the account has 100 thousand followers and 100 likes, then it's immediately clear that the followers are fake. However, if the likes are already 5-10 thousand, then all looks quite normal, but is it really so?

At least we do not have to further check the account for the cheating of followers, because if the likes are purchased, then the followers are too.

Let's look at this graph:
how to spot fake followers instagram
This is the dynamics of likes on one post during the day after posting. 242 likes in the first hour and 103 in the remaining time. At first glance, it seems, there is nothing wrong. That is, if you don't see how likes are collected on real accounts with a live audience, which is marked in gray on the chart. It shows several important points:

  • The majority of likes are gained in about a day;
  • At night, the speed of attaining likes is declining;
  • After a day, likes still grow, but slowly.

Let's go back one step, to the previous graph with a sharp increase in the first hour. The main thing that is visible on it - the corner at about 16:00 - is the moment when the user stopped buying likes. This looks very different to the second graph of natural likes, which is smooth and has no sharp corners.

It can also happen like this:
spot fake followers on instagram
This is an intermediate version, a kind of ladder, where each sudden step is a purchase of likes. The answer to the question "Does the blogger purchase likes and followers for their Instagram account or not?" can be found quickly and inexpensively in LiveDune using the Check Blogger tool . This tool has absorbed all the data that we know about Instagram bloggers and how our users check them for cheating.
Depending on tariffs, you will have a limited number of checks for cheating bloggers. But they can always be bought additionally if necessary. Consider this functionality in more detail.

Checking Instagram bloggers for cheating

This page displays a list of bloggers that you have already added for review, as well as the status of their review.
spot fake instagram
Click on the avatar to go to the social network itself, click on the nickname to look at the account diagnostics. It takes about 30 seconds to collect data on a new blogger, enter a nickname, click "Check" and after 30 seconds you can already see the result. We can go to one of the bloggers and immediately see the summary information. More than 1 million followers, 26 thousand likes per post - excellent.
how to spot fake instagram followers
Let's look at the conclusions made by LiveDune on the account. Of course, the first thing you should pay attention to is the obvious conclusion: a high probability that likes were bought.

If such conclusions are present, then our advice is that you should clearly not cooperate with this blogger. Of course, a notification appears not only when all 100% of likes have been purchased. Even if you are buying a third of the likes.

5 conclusions divided into 4 summaries:

• informational (blue fill);
• critical (red fill);
• important (yellow fill);
• positive (green fill).

To the right of each conclusion there is a question mark, hovering over it will reveal a hint on how this conclusion was made.
how to spot fake followers instagram
Below are blocks with a detailed description of each output, as well as numbers and graphs, and where they came from.

Audience engagement

We calculate the Engagement Rate and compare it with the average ER of similar accounts (by the number of followers). If the difference is very big, you should be wary, perhaps the account has bad content or followers were bought. Similarly, we calculate the ratio of likes and comments on the account and compare with other accounts. From this we can conclude how active the followers are in commenting in comparison with other bloggers.

Like spread shows how much the number of likes on a post differs from the average number of likes. If this indicator is less than 10%, this may mean that likes are bought in equal amounts for each post and almost all likes have been bought. In this account, these indicators are quite similar to the real ones.
spot fake followers on instagram

Like Attainment Dynamics

Like dynamics can be displayed for any post, provided it is available. If it is not there, then LiveDune will immediately begin to gather the information, and be ready within a couple of days. The screenshot shows several times when likes have been bought. The gray line shows how the likes should have been gained under ideal natural conditions. The gray line is built on the average of the dynamics of thousands of posts published at different times.
spot fake instagram

Follower Dynamics

The dynamics of how the number of followers of a particular account grows.
how to spot fake instagram followers
Active decline in the number of followers is a sure sign of participation in giveaway.

The 6 blocks by which the Instagram account is analyzed allow you to quickly conclude whether this blogger suits you and whether they use cheating. You can analyze your account at: https://pro.livedune.com/bloggersCheck/index . The base price is $ 5 for 10 checks and it doesn't matter how many followers are in the account.

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