Why buying Instagram followers isn’t a good idea

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Buying followers on Instagram is certainly a tempting way to increase your account’s popularity. So how do you go about it – and is buying followers really worth it?

Anyone who uses Instagram frequently will be acutely aware of how many followers they have. Many people might wish they had more followers on their account, and sometimes connecting with your friends just isn’t enough.

There are several companies out there which offer to boost the following of your Instagram account in exchange for a small fee. For as little as a few dollars, you can gain several hundred followers on your account, typically from automated or ‘bot’ accounts. Other, more expensive services, offer higher quality followers; they provide accounts which are actively used and will follow, like or even comment on your photos.

It all sounds like an easy way to increase your following – perhaps you just want more likes and more popularity, or maybe you’re trying to build a blog or online business which would directly benefit from greater outreach. So, what are the pros and cons of deciding to buy yourself extra followers?

Benefits of buying Instagram followers

  • More visibility: The obvious reason to buy more followers is that your profile appears more popular and more appealing to other users, meaning people are more likely to find you and follow you.
  • More engagement on your photos: If you decide to stump up for follower accounts which interact with your photos, then having extra likes and comments will likely make your posts more visible to your other followers; this will enable them to see your posts in their feed and interact with them more often.
  • Potentially increased revenue for your business: Brands looking to advertise with Instagram bloggers/influencers will look first and foremost at their number of followers – the more you have, the more likely it is that you’ll land that endorsement deal you’ve been looking for.

Downsides of buying Instagram followers

  • Little or no interaction with photos: Fake followers can look good at first glance, but since they’re not real people with real accounts, they’re unlikely to contribute any meaningful comments to your posts, or to share your account with their friends – especially if you choose to go with a cheaper service.
  • Risk of inappropriate or spam comments: Bringing in hundreds of new followers means allowing all these new accounts to comment on your photos. Since they’re all automated or run by strangers, you have no idea what they might comment, and blocking the ones which post unwanted content can be a real pain.
  • You gain nothing beyond visibility: The main downside of buying followers is you’re not being followed by real people. If you have a personal account, buying followers will make you look more popular superficially, but likely won’t gain you much new following or engagement from actual people you know; if you run a blog or a business, you can’t influence or advertise products or services to bought followers, since there’s nobody behind these accounts. Either way, you don’t gain that much in the way of tangible popularity or financial benefit.
  • Instagram cracks down on fake followers: Creating automated accounts or buying/selling accounts is against Instagram’s Terms of Use, meaning the company is constantly trying to purge fake accounts from their service. This means you run this risk of paying for extra followers only to have them disappear without warning – not only will this cost you money, it could reflect poorly on your account.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you whether or not you think buying some extra followers will be good for your Instagram account. With that said, based on Instagram’s Terms of Use and the lack of genuine engagement they provide, it’s likely that paying money for fake followers won’t be worth it for you in the long run. Whatever the case, it isn’t worth stressing about. If Instagram is really giving you grief, you may just want to delete it!

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