There's a hot controversy afoot in the Twitterverse — alas, some of those folks who are you following you may not be “real.”
What's worse, however, is that those fake followers can be purchased, and this, allegedly, has turned into a common practice for some prominent (and wannabe prominent) tweeters. One such person under such speculation includes President Obama, who allegedly has a 71% fake following (adding up to a whopping 13.5 million of his 19 million following).
Forbes then took a closer look at the top 15 celebrity tweeters, quantifying through Status People, the Twitter follower whistle-blowing software, that some of the major players, like Rihanna and Oprah, have up to 37% fake followers.
According to Fast Company, the fake finder isn't exactly perfect, however it still holds some clout, “While the makers emphasize on their site that their metrics aren't perfect (for example, they only analyze a sample of your followers and, moreover, it's possible for anyone to purchase Twitter followers for another user), there is no doubt that the results have the potential to humiliate anyone who pays money for subscribers–a dodgy practice that takes just a few minutes.”
And it's not just well known figures buying followers, the New York Times recently reported about a comedian named Dan Nainan, who went from 700 to 220,000 followers over night for the price of $424.15. “There’s a tremendous cachet associated with having a large number,” said the comedian to the New York Times, adding later, “When people see that you have that many followers, they’re like: ‘Oh, my goodness, this guy is popular. I might want to book him.’ ”
Then there was Zach Bussey, the blogger who accumulated 26,000 followers literally over night buy purchasing them as an experiment.
Since the recent outrage has been a public discussion, with article after article being written about the topic, Twitter has come to the defense, claiming that these followers are not necessarily “fake,” but instead simply “quiet.”
While many sites have looked into celebrity personalities, musicians, and politicians, I decided to round up thirteen randomly selected avid tweeters, involved in all different facets of fashion, to see how their fake stats matched up. See the evidence below, via Status People:
@sartorialist – 124,906 followers, 5% fake
@aggydeyn – 229,063 followers, 17% fake
@ManRepeller – 92,005 followers, 4% fake
@hilaryalexander – 229,817 followers, 8% fake
@bryanboy – 295,427 followers, 14% fake
@susiebubble – 168,103 followers, 11% fake
@annadellorusso – 116, 997 followers, 6% fake
@kanyewest – 8,404,753 followers, 21% fake
@millajovovich – 1,005,519 followers, 13% fake
@dkny – 415,277 followers, 6% fake
@oscarprgirl – 146,535 followers, 6% fake
@NET-A-PORTER – 312,487 followers, 7% fake
@_ifb – 29,473 followers, 2% fake
Well, there you have it, they are all relatively low compared to the stats of celebrities. Even Kanye's 21% is much lower than other big name tweeters.
While purchasing Twitter followers might seem like the “quick fix” for upping your social media game, here's the catch for bloggers — while having a mass amount of Twitter followers may attract marketing and advertising companies to your social media, if you are unable to deliver results once you begin working with them, you may gain a bad reputation, and eventually, less deals.
For example, if you buy 20,000 followers and promise a company that you will tweet their hashtag, they will expect your followers to engage with you and also use the hashtag. If none of your followers actually engage (since they are fake), it's likely the company will pick up on this. In the end, you will probably end up having a sour business relationship with the company.
So, the moral of the story? Don't use fake twitter followers because of three reasons:
1. An agency (or anyone for that matter) can easily check to see if your following is fake or real.
2. It will end up hurting your business.
3. And, in a nutshell, it can be considered dishonest.
What do you think about fashion bloggers having fake Twitter followers?
Thanks to Nubia for submitting the topic.
[Image credit: Shutterstock]