This is a user generated content for MyStory, a YourStory initiative to enable its community to contribute and have their voices heard. The views and writings here reflect that of the author and not of YourStory.

Here’s Why Buying Instagram Likes Is A Bad Idea

Here’s Why Buying Instagram Likes Is A Bad Idea

Thursday January 31, 2019,

6 min Read

When Instagram changed its algorithm for displaying photos, many users have criticized the system. Originally, you can see posts from a chronological order, but now it only shows posts from those you interact with most. Even businesses and small-time entrepreneurs don’t love the idea.

During the old system, some media personalities can earn as much as $18,000 per post on Instagram. However, since the alteration, they are having a hard time increasing likes and followers. As a result, this has affected their revenue-earning potential.

Desperate to keep up with their previous numbers, many users have doubled their effort. Meanwhile, there are those who have decided to bite the bullet. These users have taken the easy path by buying Instagram likes from providers who have capitalized on this new system.

Many users are still on the fence about it. If you’re one of them, then find out through this article everything about buying Instagram likes -- the good, the bad and the horrifyingly ugly.

How to Buy Instagram Likes

Essentially, there are two notoriously popular methods to cultivate a fake following in no time.

Creating multiple (like thousands) of bogus accounts and have them like your posts. There are a bunch of service providers that sell Instagram Likes outwardly.

Subscribing to a service that programs Instagram bots which will act as your account – they’ll follow or like photos on related accounts. After doing so, they’ll unfollow those accounts to maintain a more idyllic follower-following ratio.

Both do not provide long-term benefits. Sure, they add numbers instantly, but this only lasts temporarily, urging you to avail more of these services. You can find service providers that sell Instagram likes for as low as $2.95. It’s quite tempting, but it’s too good to be true.

There are major concerns with these seemingly shady practices. First, fake account followers have no photos, and will most likely not comment as well. Such lack of interaction raises a red flag already. Users and even Instagram can easily spot this suspicious activity.

The second method works on the principle of mutuality. When somebody follows you, you are expected to follow them as well. The bots work their “wonders” until you’ve generated a substantial number of followers. Of course, in many cases, these new followers don’t realize that the bot will just unfollow their account a few days later. This is an act of deception and most users consider it unethical.

What’s funny about these bots is that they lack spontaneity, which you’d expect from their programming. They will merely leave generic one or two-word comments on photos like “Cool!”, “Awesome!” or “Great Job!”

It only gets ridiculous when the comments don’t match the intention of the post. For instance, saying “Great” on a serious but subtle advocacy could be a cause for misunderstanding. Obviously, these bots don’t have any idea on how nuances in communication work. This could create petty to even massive PR disasters for businesses as well.

How To Spot Suspicious Accounts

Generally, your number of followers is inversely related to your engagement rates. This means when you have more followers, the rates go down. However, a profile that has 2 million followers yet only manages to get less than 1,000 likes per photo looks definitely fishy. There’s a high possibility that such account has a lot of bogus followers.

  • Usually, Instagram accounts have these rates of engagement based on the number of followers:
  • Users with less than 1,000 followers: 8% engagement rate (on average)
  • 1,000-10,000 followers: 4% engagement rate.
  • 10,000-100,000 followers: 2.4% engagement rate
  • more than 1 million followers: 1.7% engagement rate

Using these data as a guide, you can figure out immediately who’s buying Instagram likes and who utilizes organic methods.

Also, you can determine users who utilize these phony services by comparing the ratio of likes to comments. You can find users with posts having an unbelievable number of likes, but their comment section is comparable to a ghost town. These users are certainly buying Instagram likes. There are two ways about it.

Further, you can look through the followers’ profiles of these users too. If the followers’ profiles have very minimal activity, then these are probably fake accounts. Go for accounts with a one-digit number of posts and followers as well as those with no photos of themselves.

As for user’s engagement, if you spot stupidly repetitive or arbitrarily nonsensical comments on the post, you can deduce that these indeed are fake users.

Violation of Instagram’s Community Guidelines

Resorting to these practices will undeniably trigger Instagram. Primarily, the social media network wants to bring more authenticity to the platform. This is why it encourages users to be present in uploading posts or engaging with other users in real time.

Jessica Zollman, Instagram’s former Community Evangelist, stated that the media platform has formed a team that specializes in identifying spam. Further, they won’t hesitate to deactivate accounts that match their criteria.

Since 2014, Instagram purged millions of fake followers, including those from other celebrities.  In fact, celebrities like Kim Kardashian, Ariana Grande, and Justin Bieber have all experienced momentous drops in follower count after the incident.

This may happen to you as well if you’re still adamant about buying Instagram likes. Eventually, you may lose in the end not only your money but also your hard-earned social following.

Besides, fake followers don’t purchase products nor endorse your brand, so what’s the point in doing so? As to making your name or your brand appear popular, the fake likes actually contribute very little to this aim.

As social media and marketing tactics evolve, companies have also elevated their practices to keep up. While Instagram is the real deal when it comes to finding a good advertising partner, several opportunists have emerged. Somehow, businesses are now able to differentiate the authentic users and those who are merely fraudulent in nature.

They just don’t look at the follower metric; they also check engagement rates. Having no real followers makes it hard to validate a good engagement rate when working with brands.

To sum it all up, it’s very clear at this point: Buying Instagram likes is totally pointless. It’s better to have an active community that’s also steadily growing than a ton of fake followers that will serve you nor purpose nor interaction.