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Study: 1.5M Fake followers found from Lithuanias top influencers

3 min
August 13, 2019

We recently completed a full study of Lithuania’s TOP 150 most followed accounts. We gathered some very useful insights we would like to share with you. The first of which is massively important: 

Lithuania’s top influencers are the victims of 1.5M fake Instagram accounts. 

The results of this research are important for brands who are using influencer marketing as it illustrates the need to truly understand the audiences of creators they partner with. Here are a few key insights.

A very small number of those creators hold the highest percentage of fake followers

graph showing the correlation of fake followers and number of Instagram profiles

For example, one creator holds 50,000 fake followers. That accounted for nearly 75% of their total audience being fake. While these examples are very few of the top 150 Lithuanian influencers, they account for a large percentage of the total number of fake accounts. 

This is an obvious case of fraud where the creator has intentionally inflated their own audience. They have chosen to damage the sponsorship ecosystem for other influencers and defraud brands who pay them in good faith.

The average Lithuanian influencer’s followers have high credibility

Of the 150 creators analyzed, 49 had over 90% credibility and 73 had between 80-90% real followers. For reference, anything above 75% is an acceptable number and not a clear indication of fraud. 

The total average across all of the top 150 was 85% credible followers (meaning 85% of the followers on average, are real). This is a very good sign for brands and an indication of the honesty amongst the top creators in Lithuania.

How do Lithuanian Instagram influencers end up with fake followers?

Every public instagram account has fake followers (for bigger accounts, 10-20% is normal). Many of these are bots created by people trying to promote (often fake) products or services, boost their own followings.

The influencer is not in this case purposefully gaining fake followers, they are the victims of robots taking interest in their pages.​The influencer is not in this case purposefully gaining fake followers, they are the victims of robots taking interest in their pages.​

Some however purchase thousands of fake accounts for very little money in an attempt to defraud brands or impress their friends.

How to identify influencer with fake followings?


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