Detect Fake Instagram Followers using AI

November 22, 2018 Posted by Artificial Intelligence, Influencer Marketing 0 thoughts on “Detect Fake Instagram Followers using AI”

Social Media platforms like Instagram and Twitter have taken a strong stance against fake followers and accounts that boost their social presence with the purchase of fake followers. Instagram’s latest announcement is another critical step towards reducing this unwelcomed behavior.

This is an excerpt from their press release – “Recently, we’ve seen accounts use third-party apps to artificially grow their audience. Every day people come to Instagram to have real experiences, including genuine interactions. It is our responsibility to ensure these experiences aren’t disrupted by inauthentic activity. Starting today, we will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity.”

Genuine Influencers and Key Opinion Leaders are popular because of the content they create. These are content creators who amass huge following from an audience who relate to them and trust them. At Affable, we have built machine learning algorithms that can detect suspicious activity from followers and flag them. For any influencer, you can view what is the % of suspicious followers. On an average, we notice 5-15% suspicious followers for most accounts since these are just inactive accounts that end up following everyone.


Screenshot of an influencer's profile on Affable showing fake followers

How does Affable detect fake followers?

Our proprietary algorithm analyses all followers of an influencer to gauge if they have characteristics of a fake account. As humans, we can detect looking at a profile if it is suspicious – look at the profile below. The username and the staggering following-to-follower ratio clearly suggests it is a dummy account. This is not all though, our algorithm also looks at other profile criteria to gauge its authenticity.


Screenshot from Instagram with fake followers


Affable also analyzes an influencer’s follower growth over time. For any influencer, you can visualize the timeline of their follower growth. Sharp spikes typically suggest that the account has had a mass-following in a short span. Sometimes these spikes are also caused by giveaways, but you should be careful when you see concurrent spikes as below.

Screenshot of an influencer's profile on Affable showing fake followers


Brands are taking a proactive step to avoid spending marketing dollars on influencers with fake followers. Most recently, Keith Weed, Chief Marketing Officer of Unilever expressed concerns and took a stance that the Consumer Goods company will not work with any influencer who purchases ghost followers.

Are you planning an influence marketing campaign? Do you know the influencers you have in mind are real or if they have fake followers? Check them out on Affable with a free trial:

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