In recent years, the Instagram sphere has seen a proliferation of “influencers”. They dominate your Instagram newsfeed with picture perfect poses and sleek product placements, and their posts routinely earn them hundreds if not thousands of dollars.
As at August this year, Instagram had more than 1.9 million users (33 per cent of the population) in Singapore and the influencer marketing industry is projected to be valued at US$10 billion (S$13.8 billion).
However, a new report by HypeAuditor that surveyed 7,107 Singaporean influencers with fan bases ranging from 1,000 to 1 million followers revealed that nearly half (47 percent) resorted to artificial methods of growing their fanbase.
HypeAuditor is an online Instagram and YouTube audit tool that uses artificial intelligence (AI) technology to detect social media fraud like fake followers, bot likes, and comments.
- 27 percent of influencers in Singapore buy followers.
- 10 percent of influencers use the follow/unfollow trick. This involves following a massive number of random Instagram users in the hopes that some will follow back — and then unfollowing those users after being followed.
- 27 percent boost comments artificially. 17 percent of influencers here artificially inflate their comments. 10 percent of influencers use “comment pods” to do so
“Macro influencers” the most likely to cheat
“Macro influencers” – defined as influencers who have between 100,000 to 1 million followers by HypeAuditor – are the most likely to artificially inflate their numbers, with 56 percent having done so.
“Micro influencers” – defined as influencers who have between 5,000 to 20,000 followers are the most likely to buy followers, with 33 percent having done so.
Macro influencers are the most likely to artificially inflate their comments, with 33 percent having done so.
“Over 17 per cent of Instagram influencers artificially inflate their comments. That is why most comments look inauthentic and spammy. About 9.9 per cent use comment pods — a group of Instagrammers who work together to enhance the engagement on their posts. They engage with each other, liking and writing comments on other pod members.”HypeAuditor CEO Alex Frolov