Likes and followers. Everyone wants to have them and some can’t get enough. There are shout outs, there are fan accounts. Some guys write about their hobbies, focus on food or beauty. But is all real that is shown? Since the MTV show Catfish has started to air, some might know that not everybody is who he seems to be. Some do everything to get likes, and followers. Sometimes it can be hard to notice a fake. But after being on Social Media for over 6 years and doing research, I figure out some things that can indicate a fake.
On Instagram people all look beautiful, have the perfect lives, good looking friends, and always lots of fun. Since Australian girl Essena O’Neill talked about the truth. She was a huge star on the photo sharing platform and I also wrote a blog post about her. She spent hours for one single picture. Making a photo looking like just capturing the moment, can be very complicated. Waiting for the perfect light, finding the perfect location and the perfect outfit is not quite easy. In addition, there are several photo editing apps to make the picture look even more perfect.
Instagram is all about photos, and they seem to be perfect, or that they have to look like perfection. For most users getting likes and followers is like a game. Everyone competes against other people, mostly against those who post about the same topic. Nothing less happens on Facebook. No other social network is used this often by so many people all around the world. People connect primarily with persons they know in their real lives, like classmates, co-workers, neighbors, friends, and family members. That’s the reason Facebook users tend to share more private information or pictures than on any other social network. But can a single person have more than 1,000 real life “friends”? I know lots of accounts that have that many Facebook friends. Well, the definition of a friend online is different than in reality.
Due to the TV show Catfish, it’s no news that lots of people pretend to be someone else on Facebook. Most of them have insecurities, aren’t happy with themselves and their lives and mostly feel unlovable or dealt with being mistreated or misunderstood when being themselves. Others are just way too shy in real life and create a profile online of a person they wish they were but don’t dare to be in real life.
So here is a list how to find out if the person you are talking to online is real or fake:
- Do the pictures always show the same person? Is this person even on photos? How are the captions written?
- Is this person only on photos or are there also videos with her?
- Is there a chance to talk to her besides chatting, like making a phone call or even video chat?
- How much does she tell about her real life? Is she connected with people from her real life? Are her friends or family members on pictures with her?
- Are the information on the social media account the same than when talking to her? When she claims to like dogs, for example, does she know a lot about dogs? Or when she talks about her family or former relationships, does the story make sense or are there different stories that don’t fit together, like one day she hates her mother and the other day she tells you that she never had a problem with her?
Of course the list is not complete and every person is an individual. Some persons are just shy and take a while until they are ready to do a phone call or video chat. Especially when they get in touch with someone who did not grow up with social media. These guys maybe need more time than two teenagers who get to know each other online. Or a person who already talked to a fake and tries to slow things down at first with the next person she gets in touch with online. But the more questions from the list above can be answered with “no” about a person you met online, the more likely it is, she’s fake.
And because the amount of followers and likes seem to be most important to many guys, here are some facts about the real amounts:
- Most accounts have about 10 % of their followers to like their pictures – more likes are probably bought or they use some apps that help them to get followers. It is like an exchange, you follow someone and get coins. You use these coins to follow someone else, and so on.
- An account normally slowly gains new followers. If one day an account has 100 followers and the next day 500, it seems pretty much unlikely that these followers are all real – except the new account belongs to a famous celebrity. It gets even more suspicious when this person is online and only then the follower number is rising, and degreasing when the person is offline.
- One person can have several accounts. Mostly fans create seldomly only one account. This also lets the number of followers of some celebrities increase without actually more real people are following.
- Some people also buy followers and likes. Is a celebrity only famous in Germany but has many followers, e.g. living in India, maybe even more than in Germany, this indicates that followers are bought.
- Also what these following accounts post or not post can prove that there is no real person owning them. Some are even created by a computer that randomly posts something or sends the same messages to several other accounts – many of these so called bots are on Twitter.
- Some people create other accounts, not to post anything but only to follow their actual account.
- Hashtags like #Follow4Follow or #Like4Like are written in the caption of a picture only to get followers or likes. But this person using these hashtags also claim that they do the favor in return to everyone who likes or follows. No matter what’s on the picture or if she actually likes what she sees – this means that a like does not always indicates that a person actually likes a picture or the account, but simply wants attention.
- People tend to like and follow accounts with many followers, which means a few thousands, than those with only a few hundred or even less. Most users also like when they follow only a fracture of people who follow them. Some unfollow after a few days if they are not followed back.
After doing some research on several Instagram accounts since I started using the network, and also tried a few things just to figure out how or if they work, I now thought it’s time to share what I found out. Do you use Instagram, too? If so, do you define yourself by the amount of followers and likes? Would you do, or do you do, any of the above mentioned things to become more popular on Instagram? Please feel free to share your thoughts and if you want to, you can have a look on my Instagram @sannyrise – but only if you are interested in a normal, real person, who loves a like and follow but only by people who actually care.