Who has the most fake followers on Instagram? Stats & insights
Published on: 15 Sep 2022 | Author: Raluca Zdru
Social media platforms and community building can have a huge monetary value to celebrities and brands, who now employ top influencer marketing agencies to maximise their number of followers, but how many of these millions of following accounts belong to a real person? We created these Fake Followers Files to discover who has the most fake followers on Instagram.
From Hollywood to Bollywood, this category features some of the biggest onscreen names across the world with fake followers, Instagram bots that can harm the user when they spread misinformation. If you are a big brand considering working with influencer marketing, take a look at the list of actors with the most fake followers:
Instagram follower figures are also a debate in the music category, in which we see two of the most popular recording artists of 2021 sitting at either end of the table. Olivia Rodrigo has the lowest percentage of alleged fake followers, with just 11%. Nicki Minaj, on the other hand, has 160.3 million followers, with 28% of them being fake accounts.
While the reality TV category features some of the biggest celebrity names with the whole Kardashian family, it’s the Brits that take over the fake followers’ leaderboard at both ends of the table.
While Love Island pals, Amber Gill and Ovie Soko have the lowest percentage of suspicious accounts following them, with just 9% of potential bots, the top spot is reserved for The Only Way Is Essex star, Mario Falcone, with 32% of his follower count being suspicious accounts.
For many of these social media accounts, their overall followers are tied directly to their income, but which of them can claim to have the highest percentage of genuine followers and the least fake followers?
TikTok sensation, Khaby Lame, has the lowest percentage of fake account followers with just 9% suspicious accounts following him. Jay Alvarrez on the other hand has 6.8 million followers with 36% of those being potentially fake followers.
Each platform’s fake follower problem may be different, but it affects everyone involved, and can even induce users to be unknowingly manipulated.
Covering a range of sports from football to basketball, this category features some of the most popular sports stars, but who’s faking it when it comes to followers?
Tom Brady has the most genuine audience, as his 10.3 million followers feature 17% fake followers.
The top spot is shared by former basketball player, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Tennis star, Venus Williams both have 26% of their followers coming from fake social media followers. Real Instagram followers can seem, sometimes, like a product out of stock.
Fake and real followers parallel the sporting world, where everything is competitive, but who wins when it comes to the unenviable award of having the highest percentage of fake followers? The top spot goes to English football team, Leicester City with 32% of their 5.8 million followers being potentially fake.
When we look at the social media accounts by industry, we can see that some are likely to have far more fake followers than others. In fact, the 40 accounts belonging to brands had an average of 25% suspicious accounts following them, while the world leaders only had an average of 16% suspicious accounts following them. With figures like these, it’s expected that the influencer industry can’t rest when it comes to public opinion and engagement rate.
An Instagram user’s followers can be the source of fake news and generic comments, bots that also can end up posting content that is empty on Instagram and other platforms too.
The same applies for brands too. Looking at a range of brands in a variety of industries on Instagram, from fashion to food, we found that the tech giant, Apple, had the highest percentage of genuine followers, with only 20% of their 26.6 million follower accounts being fake followers.
However, sitting at the top of the list was Pizza Hut, with as many as 30% of their Instagram followers coming from suspicious accounts and fake profiles.
Pizza Hut is closely followed by other renowned food chains such as KFC, Burger King, Subway and Wendy’s, each having 28% of their following considered fake followers.
Friends star Jennifer Aniston ‘broke’ Instagram when she first appeared on the platform, and it seems as though her millions of Instagram followers are mostly genuine, with 92% audience credibility, just 8% of her followers are likely to be fake.
She’s tied for the top spot with Mette Frederiksen, the Danish Prime Minister. While her follower count pales in comparison to her top-of-the-table co-star, she also only has 8% of fake followers.
It is important to mention that limiting the number of suspicious accounts is very hard for accounts with a large following. But if you are a company, looking to work with an influencer, or are simply looking to get more out of your key social media platform and presence, inauthentic accounts can represent a reason why impressions don’t turn into conversions and why an account’s reach might seem bigger than it actually is. You can use Sortlist to find an agency who will be able to help you navigate social media platforms and ensure that you are getting the most out of your accounts.
A list of 320 accounts was created by using lists of the most famous names of well-known celebrities and personalities, the most followed and the most engaged with social media accounts. These lists came from sources such as: Brandwatch, Social Blade, Plann, 90 Min.
We then categorised these into our nine categories with 40 accounts falling into each.
Using a social media auditing tool from Grin we were able to discover the audience credibility of each account, giving us an idea of the percentage of Instagram followers that could be deemed to be suspicious.
It should be noted that these numbers are based on estimates and cannot give an exact number of alleged fake followers for each account.
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