Should you buy Instagram Followers? We have the Full Scoop

When you're just starting out on Instagram, your biggest enemy is your own expectations. As a result, it's not uncommon to have a vision of what a successful Instagram account looks like. Here's what you need to know about buying followers.

May 13, 2022 8:30 PM

Should you buy Instagram Followers? We have the Full Scoop

The truth is that most people would rather lament that they don't have 10,000 followers than organically grow their list from what they have. It's a standard way to let ourselves off the hook, tempting us into giving up or taking alternative methods to gain followers.

Buying Instagram Followers

Whether you want to become an online celebrity or spread your brand on Instagram, it's tempting to take inexpensive shortcuts wherever you can to expand your reach, including "buying" followers.

Yes, it is possible to buy Instagram followers, and a thousand of them for the cost of a latte seems like a good deal. But, of course, if it were that simple, wouldn't everyone be doing it? So what's the catch? Is it legal and safe to buy Instagram followers for your business? Is it worth the investment? How much does it even cost? There is an abundance of cheap services that let people spend as little as $10 to get a thousand followers. However, you're only paying for a number; many of these followers are inactive or bots, meaning they'll never interact with your post in any meaningful way.

Types of Bought Followers

Most followers you can buy are bots or inactive accounts.

Instagram Bots

Bots are everywhere on Instagram; you probably see several of them every day. Some companies have learned how to automate the bot creation process, allowing them to mass-produce enough supply to sell. In some cases, the bots may even use stolen names and images to assume the identity of a real person. The dummy accounts may run on additional automation to seem organic, liking and sharing content depending on the platform. Advanced bots even produce content. But, of course, since they're not actual humans, they'll have an unusual-looking follower-to-follower ratio, limiting their engagement impact. Without real followers interacting with your posts, your content becomes visible only to your bot followers. Since bots won't talk with friends and family about your brand in real life, your reach goes nowhere.

Inactive Accounts

Of course, some companies sell genuine accounts as followers. In this arrangement, users create accounts with only the goal of receiving followers for their subscriptions. Because these followers are real people, they may show some initial engagement, but they'll ultimately drag down your Instagram's metrics as their accounts become inactive. After all, they only created the account to fulfill follow-for-follow requests; the real person managing it doesn't have a reason to keep checking the newsfeed or buying products he doesn't have a personal investment in. Without any interaction, your inflated follower numbers come without any value.

Should You Buy Instagram Followers?

There's no good reason to buy Instagram followers. In most cases, the purchased followers are inactive accounts or bots, and neither of them will interact with your posts in any meaningful way. That means your content doesn't show up on real audience newsfeeds or Explore Pages. It also makes it challenging to measure metrics. While you might see early engagement, it quickly tapers over time. As a result, there is no long-term value for your content.

The followers you buy might initially give you views, comments, and likes in the first few weeks of becoming a follower, but that attention won't last; they'll be gone by the time you start reporting on your account's performance. How helpful are 10,000 followers who don't care about your content? Engagement is central to the algorithm Instagram uses to display posts to users. Without comments or likes, your post isn't going to make the cut.

Follower Size Isn't Everything

Follower size is one of the levers that influence success, but it's neither the only one nor the most important; you can run a successful business with an Instagram account with under 500 followers. Just keep these principles in mind at all times: Find your audience: A list of 10,000 unengaged followers will never compare to 500 loyal followers who read and engage with every post you make. Your followers are family: The first people to support your Instagram are its biggest heroes, so treat them like that. Talk to them directly and ask them what they think; make them feel like they're part of the building process the way they are. Dare to try: There are countless reasons to give up, and one reason to try: It might work.


Remember: Purchased followers will never engage with posts meaningfully, and if you're caught with a fake audience, that can ruin your credibility with your actual target. After all, if you have 10,000 followers but only three likes per post, it won't take long for the discrepancy to become apparent.