InstaScam: The Truth Behind The Lies


Travel / Monday, December 31st, 2018

If you have been following me on Instagram, then you will know that I am not shy with sharing my recent thoughts about the changes within Instagram and the ramifications that it has had.

This post will be blunt and for that I am sorry but this sh*t needs to be said.

Most of us have downloaded the app, there are over 1 BILLION users worldwide and it dominates the Social Media world. 

Ask yourself what app you open first in the morning and I am sure it will be either Instagram, Facebook or Twitter. Our lives are ruled by these apps, whether we like to admit it or not.

We spend on average, over an hour on Instagram daily. Equating to about 15 days a year. That might not seem much but take into account the other ways these apps control our daily lives.

Getting the “perfect” shot or selfie, videoing everything that we think may be cool to share on our stories, taking photos of our daily routine. Combine all of this and we pretty much spend ALL day on the app.

Influencers

I hate that word and I know many who are seen as “influencers” hate it too but Instagram has created a monster and thousands now live and work on the app and make MILLIONS as an influencer.

But what are the majority of them influencing you to do? Really think about that because the majority are making you feel worse rather than better.

50% of these Instagram accounts (bloggers, influencers or content creators) are FAKE. 

How?

Well after being on the app for a while, I can tell which accounts have used inauthentic methods to grow. So many of these accounts manipulate you into thinking they are incredible, honest people with an amazing life. 

The majority are not real or authentic though. They get themselves into debt just to create the life you see online. It’s an act, a “brand” in which they are building. Their aim is to make money from you and that is all.

For example, why do we keep seeing the same places covered by travel influencers and bloggers? 

It’s because what matters today is not the new and unknown, honest reviews, adventure stories and travel mishaps. It’s Insta-worthy destinations that will guarantee you likes and followers. 

People are literally travelling to places they know will give them more likes, comments and followers.

I kid you not.

  • Bali
  • Santorini
  • Tulum
  • Morocco

That is just to name a few but they have all been the victims of Instagrammers. I have never seen so many people so desperate to be liked online. To be famous online. It’s getting crazy.

Buying followers

This one is self explanatory but yes, lots of people buy followers. You used to be able to easily tell who did this because their engagement level was low compared to their following.

E.g. 100k followers but just 5 comments and 100 likes? Not possible and something shady is going on.

Instascam

Buying likes/Comments

Again self explanatory but yes people are pretty much buying their popularity on the app. High engagement (comments and likes) equals more brand deals for them.

Comment Pods

This is basically a group of Instgrammers who all make a group chat (on Instagram, Telegram or another group chat app) and they have strict rules to comment and like each and every new photo of everyone who is in the group.

Rules can include:

  • Comment can be no less than 5 words and they can’t be just emojis.
  • Comment and like within 24 hours of someone posting
  • Follow everyone that is in the group (even if you don’t like their content and you wouldn’t usually follow them)

Don’t get me wrong and I will be 100% honest, I used to use these comment pods briefly but after a couple of weeks I would leave because it was too much and too fake. I was commenting on these accounts that in reality, I wouldn’t comment on and I wouldn’t follow.

Loop Giveaways

These giveaways are my MOST hated. Somebody will host these fake giveaways which will be something like “A trip to the Maldives and $10,000” all you have to do is go to the main prize account and go and follow EVERYONE that that account is following. Sometimes it’s over 50 people.

Then you have to go and tag friends in the comments of the photo.

These are all growth tactics for the accounts doing the giveaways. They don’t “love you” and want to “thank you and give back”. They want more followers.

Loop giveaway cost money to be a part of (so you’re basically paying for followers). The rule is that each account that is taking part has to post a photo on their feed with the giveaway prize but…

If you pay extra, you don’t have to put a photo on your feed and you can be a part of the giveaway without your followers knowing. This way your are growing but your fans think it is genuinely when it is NOT.

Below is an email I received recently, asking me to be a part of a giveaway.

Instascam
Instascam

Follow and Unfollow Tactic

This is a very common one and also very self explanatory. This happens daily and unfortunately to most people. People will follow a load of accounts with similar interests and then if they do not follow back, unfollow them.

Tip: If you notice the same account following and unfollowing over and over again, block them.

Content

The problem is, many people turn to Instagram for inspiration, to scroll through nice pictures of holiday destinations they long to go, clothes they long to buy, or cute men and woman (or both) they long to date. This is a part of the reason many accounts post the same kind of photos and content.

Because it works. It’s what people want to see, or at least that is what the Instagram algorithm wants you to think.

It creates high engagement, so in return brands are more likely to work with them and bingo. They’re on their way to Insta success and money.

The problem is the platform is OVER saturated with this type of content and originality and authenticity is near impossible to find or to get recognition. 

Instascam: The Truth Behind the Lies

Overview

There are many accounts I could call out for using these cheat growth tactics. One who I saw recently, who has bought lots of followers, who is also in comment pods and now sells a Instagram course called “IG growth tips”. 

It’s time we stopped letting ourselves be scammed.

You may think. Wait. I am smart and I know what I am doing but the thing is, many of these accounts know how to play dirty. They can manipulate you so well that you believe that they are real.

For example the recent drama regarding a well known influencer who I will not name but you can choose to read about it here:

Influencer Scandal : https://medium.com/@wannabe.influencer1/i-was-scammed-by-a-celebrity-influencer-6612d61e1a9e

These stories are more common than you think and is happening all over Social Media, this influencer was just caught out.

We need to be so careful who we look up to or aspire to. Many of the huge accounts are fake and have built their audiences by cheating.

Please PLEASE be more careful with who you follow and look up to. Fast growth does not mean success. Accounts growing fast usually mean they are doing alternative things to grow.

Unless you are lucky enough to go viral that is.

6 Replies to “InstaScam: The Truth Behind The Lies”

  1. The honesty in this post is too real. I honestly love the honest and openness and this is someone hoping to join the influence world even though I’m pretty certain I’ll be only influencing myself lol.
    I’m in some of these groups and the comment you see is so emotionless and not involved.

    The world is moving towards that direction sadly, no one cares about authenticity anymore and it’s sad.

    Sidenote, you write beautifully I could read your work all day.

  2. Thank you so much! I try to be honest and open with everyone in my life. I think it’s important to show that many of these people who are “successful” are not actually. Many who are starting blogging and so on are putting themselves down with the lack of likes, followers and engagement on Instagram. Putting so much love and effort into their content and seeing not much in return.

    It’s not them, it’s the platform. People are playing dirty, creating an illusion of success and making others feel bad and that’s not ok.

    Thank you for your kind words and for reading!

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