Instagram is so fake! #rant

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are mine. Please build your own opinion on the information provided. 

I am so sick of Instagram y’all! I know this is not big news, but I feel like ranting today! Here are more #rants from me, if you are into this! πŸ˜†

Let´s get this rant started! Instagram is so fake and full of lies! I am on Instagram since 2013 and I have seen how much it has changed in these 7 years. Back then it was truly so innocent!

I used Instagram more like a “picture diary” and it was fun! It wasn´t about money and even the photo quality did not matter much back then. I did not care how many likes my pictures got and I did not worry if a picture is “good enough” to post. I did not bother much with my caption either or those dreaded hashtags! Everyone was just having fun!

But these days are long over.  Today Instagram is full of #ads #sponsored stuff (and I am guilty as well), people have gotten so good in photography and are posting professional and very polished pictures. But it all feels so fake to me! And I certainly don´t have much fun with it anymore.

However, it still amazes me, what people do on Instagram to cheat their way up. Once in a while I like to check on Socialblade to the whereabouts of followers of certain Influencers.

Why do I do this? Because Socialblade pretty clearly shows, if an Influencer is cheating. And to no surprise to me: most Instagrammers (that have above 50k followers) cheat! You can easily detect the annoying “follow- unfollow method” (it will look like in the graphic below- a constant up and down), but also if they have bought followers (gaining thousands or hundreds of followers within a day or two is NOT NORMAL!)

This is how the graphic on social blade looks like if Instagrammers do the follow-unfollow method

If you are not sure what the “follow- unfollow method” is: many Instagrammers follow others just to gain their attention, but unfollow immediately after they follow them back. This strategy is so annoying, because there you are thinking someone liked your content- but nope! They only wanted you to follow them. They don´t care about you and your content at all! You are just a number, a new follower for them. I absolutely despise this method! Don´t follow to immediately unfollow!

However, this technique does not work very well anymore, because people learned from it and don´t follow back that easy anymore. Nobody likes to get unfollowed and so it has gotten harder than ever to get people to follow you back. Back in 2013 it was pretty normal to follow everyone back! We did not care- us Instagrammers from 2013! #thegoodoldays LOL! ;-)

Anyway, back to why I am so immensely pissed! I could not believe my eyes, when I recently discovered that a lady -that I looked up to – is also buying her followers. There is NO WAY ON EARTH she gained on one day: 1812 followers, a couple days later: 1138 followers, then 1976 followers naturally! NO WAY!!! I was so surprised to see that! Even though I looked her up on Socialblade, I did not expect to discover that!

See the green numbers below- they are too high to have occurred naturally. She bought them. The red numbers? Those are the numbers of followers she lost, because Instagram deleted them. Of course it is normal to lose here and there followers- but usually it should not be in the hundreds or thousands. Except if you said something really controversial on your Instagram! 😏

Those red circled numbers are clearly bought followers!

Why does this disturb me so much? Everybody does it! From buying followers to buying likes- even views for a video can be bought. In her case it disturbed me so much, because

a) I admired her
b) I believed women my age (and older) don´t do this kind of sh!t

But mainly because:
c) She organizes events for other women that want to learn how to become an Influencer and sells those tickets for and astonishing ticket price of $600

This drives me crazy! Because women are paying a lot of money to her and are expecting to learn something! That woman wants to teach others how to be successful on Instagram, but she is a cheater herself! I couldn´t believe it! In what world do we live that mature women feel the need of doing something like that? I don´t like this at all!

Instagram is creating monsters! Nobody has morals anymore!

Everybody only wants to be Instagram famous! Is this the number 1 goal these days?

What is her/and others main intention of buying followers? 

Well, there are probably many, such as:

A) Fame

I always have to think of Andy Warhol’s famous quote: “In the future, everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes.” Wow, how right he was! And maybe Instagram offers the perfect platform for that. What Andy didn´t know is, that in the future you would be also able to buy yourself fame. At least the “look of fame”.

B) Money

Most people on Instagram are hoping to make money with sponsorships. And of course it is no secret, that you make more money, the more followers you have. Everybody thinks it would be so easy to make fast money on Instagram.

But the companies are getting smarter as well and don´t get so easy fooled anymore. Also: you will probably be surprised to hear, how low payments for #ads are (in many cases you only get a free product!).  Everybody is keeping this a secret and not many are talking openly about how much (rather how low) they get paid on Instagram! So you hear always things in the media like Influencers get paid thousands for posting only 1 picture. Yeah- maybe if you are Kim Kardashian!!!

But the truth is: a payment as low as $25-$50 is pretty standard if you have 30k followers! Would you have thought that? On rather rare occasions I get paid like $150 to $300. My highest payment on Instagram was $800- but that was a one time opportunity in 7 years! So, don´t expect to get rich on Instagram! ;-)

That said, I can get paid much higher for a sponsored BLOG post! So, if you like to earn money to make a living, I’d rather suggest you to write a blog than starting an Instagram page. Though, you also won´t get rich from blogging! Hahaha! Sorry, it is the truth! ;-)

Where is the harm in buying followers? 

1. First of all basically these Influencers are scamming companies when they accept sponsorships- because the followers are not real. Of course, companies expect something in return when they pay an Influencer for a sponsorship! They are investing in the Influencer! They are hoping that some of their followers will buy the recommended product! But if the followers are fake- nobody is going to buy anything and therefor the company won´t get anything in return for their investment.

2. It also hurts the real Influencers of us- because we can´t compete with these high numbers. Inflated fake followers, fake-likes and fake-views make us look like we are not worth investing in! I have had companies recently telling me they can´t work with me, because I received less than 400 likes. But I have rather 400 real likes than 1000 fake likes! Hell, I am proud even if I receive 250 likes! Those come from real people! I am also so sick of checking my likes! I don´t want to do that anymore!!! πŸ™…

Why do I not delete my Instagram?

I can´t tell you how many times I have thought of quitting Instagram altogether. However, companies these days care ONLY about Instagram! I am a professional blogger since almost 8 years. I know how to write compelling reviews, I can show them my click-through rate, page views (that have ranged as high as 75.000 page views/month), even – if companies used trackable links- how many sales were made coming from my review and yet, all most companies care about is Instagram.

So, I feel like I am forced to be on Instagram as a beauty blogger, because even if I get sponsorships on my blog, they still want that picture on Instagram. Instagram is a MUST! “Can you please also post on Instagram?” So, I keep my Instagram, but I honestly hate it. I hate seeing all the cheaters around me. And all the fakeness. Sorry, I know not all of you are faking! I see you! And I love you!πŸ’˜

I have a friend who bought herself 15k followers. All the while she is posting blurry images that make no sense and gets 5 likes and 0 comments on each post. It is so easy to see what was happening here! And she won´t get any sponsorships with 0 engagement either. I have no clue why she did that. We never spoke about this, but I can clearly see she did this.

Last year I was invited to an Influencer Event by Too Faced (read here about it) and I met an Influencer with more than 500k followers. When I checked her data that night on Socialblade, it was clear to me, that she too only bought her followers. And she got invited by Too Faced? So, unfortunately some companies apparently truly don´t pay attention, if Influencers are faking it or not. However, just like me, she was only given free products,  so Too Faced wasn´t spending big bucks. The harm in this case was minimal.

She lost since the event more than 50k followers because Instagram is deleting fake accounts,
but she keeps "re-filling" her followers.

I know of an Influencer who bought more than 300k followers. 300K? That is nuts! She switched her Instagram account from a business (or creator) to a private account because then Socialblade does no longer show any data! She can hide now what she is doing. I really don´t get this. Her number is constantly decreasing as Instagram is deleting fake accounts (accounts that were solely set up from companies that sell followers) and she keeps “re-filling” her followers. Must be very expensive too, to buy all the time followers!

Instagram is trying to crack down on fake followers and constantly deleting fake accounts, which you can also see on Socialblade- if someone loses hundreds- thousands of followers within days- those are fake accounts that Instagram is deleting). But it seems that Instagram is just not fast enough.

Who is the real winner of the big Instagram lie? 

Companies that sell followers, likes and views! Basically scammers. If you buy followers, you are not only a liar yourself, you are also supporting scammers!

Sorry for the rant, but now that I got this all out, I feel much better! LOL! πŸ’

Questions? Ask me below!

You might enjoy also my article about Marina De Giovanni, an Instagram Influencer that teaches others to be one- but does she really?

P.S. English is not my native language, excuse my grammar mistakes and other errors!