1.6 crore Instagram influencers in India may be fake, estimates a new study. The study further elaborates upon Instagrammers' tendency to artificially boost certain key metrics such as followers and engagement on the platform. The number of followers and the rate of engagement on Instagram are among the crucial metrics that marketers often use to select influencers for brand campaigns.
Researchers from the Swedish e-commerce start-up A Good Company and data analytics firm HypeAuditor examined over 1.80 million Instagram accounts across 82 countries. They have reportedly found India among the top three regions with the most number of fake accounts (16 million) on Instagram, in addition to the US with 49 million and Brazil with 27 million Instagram accounts.
Instagram seems nowhere close to slowing down on growth in terms of the number of active users on the platform. Upon reaching over a billion monthly active users as of 2018 and counting, Instagram has quickly emerged as the key influencer marketing platform over the period. And given the number of fake influencers plaguing Instagram, the influencer marketing fraud could be at an all-time high.
The study suggests Instagram influencer fraud is estimated to cost marketers close to $750 million globally, which is huge for the market that is worth about $1.7 billion.
“Companies are pouring money into influencer marketing, thinking that they are connecting with real people and not Russian bots. In reality, they are pouring money down the drain and giving away free products to someone who acquired a mass-following overnight,” Anders Ankarlid, CEO of A Good Company, told PRWeek.
Instagram now has more than a billion monthly active users around the world. Meanwhile, has about 2.38 billion monthly active users. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has more than 300 million users in India.
In related news, authorities recently issued a warning for Instagram influencers to stay away from the 'magical' turquoise lake in Russia because of its water being toxic. The lake in question is nothing but a toxic dump for the local coal plant that pumps waste into it.