Investigation Finds Instagram Celebrities Are Virtual Frauds

Instagram Celebrities Are Virtual Frauds

Fake It Till’ You Make It

Our current society is rather obsessed with advertising their lives on social media. Instagram, specifically, is a wonderful chance to connect with strangers based on the #hashtags that you put underneath your photographs. If you are in small town, Nowhere, you can easily check on the latest hot spots in Europe; getting the taste of life you’ve always imagined.

There are a lump sum of people who have gained a gigantic following on Instagram for their bodies, artistic skills, or wanderlust. These people have became known to the world of Instagram Famous, Instagram Celebrities, or Instagram Influencers. They are paid to advertise products on their social media by companies such as Flat Tummy Tea and various teeth whitening strips. If you haven’t seen them, here are a few examples:





In #love with @hismileteeth #hismile #smile #teethwhitening

A post shared by Eva Padlock (@evapadlock) on


Personally speaking, I don’t believe it’s even about the product anymore. Instead, you want the product so you can take a photo, filter it, put it on Instagram, #Hashtag it, and receive a plethora of likes. It sounds silly, but there are genuinely people in the world who instead of chasing their dreams; are chasing likes on social media. Advertisers have used their genius to make Instagram marketing a billion dollar industry. They’ve tapped into fame-seeking millennials who took the bait.

According to Highsnobriety, the marketing company, Mediakix, investigated into how anyone can become Instagram famous, gaining money from advertisers, even if they aren’t living a luxurious life they display on social media.

“The website created two phony Instagram influencer accounts: 1) a lifestyle and fashion-centric Instagram model and 2) a travel photographer. For the first account, Mediakix hired a model and populated content through a one-day photo shoot; meet Santa Monica local, “calibeachgirl310.”

“The second account, wanderingggirl, went one step further and was composed entirely of free stock photos. Amid snaps of the Eiffel Tower and whatever other picturesque vistas they could find, Mediakix peppered the feed with vague stock photos of blonde girls that showed only the back of their heads.”

“Their fabricated personalities now ready to rock, Mediakix set about acquiring followers. Instagram is able to flag accounts which it suspects of gaining followers by foul play — i.e., buying them — so they initially numbered their purchases to “only” 1,000 per day. Soon, however, Mediakix found they could buy up to 15,000 per pop without being suspected of wrongdoing. And the cost per 1,000 followers? Between $3-$8. Of course, it’s all very well having followers, but kind of pointless if none of them are engaging with your content. Mediakix paid around 12 cents per comment, and between $4-9 per 1,000 likes. For each photo, they purchased 500 to 2,500 likes and 10 to 50 comments. Mostly, the paid accounts would leave prosaic compliments like “good job” or “nice!” After a while, the accounts hit the holy-grail 10,000 followers threshold, meaning Mediakix could sign them up for various influencer marketing platforms. Applying for new campaigns daily, the accounts secured four paid brand deals in total between them — two each.  The fashion account secured one deal with a swimsuit company and one with a national food and beverage company, while the travel account secured brand deals with an alcohol brand and the same national food and beverage company. Both accounts were reimbursed with monetary compensation or free product.”

Wow, so an endless amount of these Instagram Celebrities could be completely fraud. I don’t know if I should be upset or give a round of applause.

“The experiment will come as a worrying development for those spending money on influencer marketing programs, with accounts boasting anything over 5,000 + followers known to be targeted by companies. As Mediakix concludes: “Instagrammers with completely or partially fake followings and/or engagement present advertisers with a unique form of ad fraud that’s becoming more and more commonplace and could be siphoning tens of millions of dollars from brands.”

I’m not one of the people who are actively seeking fashion, dietary supplements, or vacation hot spots off Instagram, but I am slightly skeptical of anyone who is. It seems being Instagram Famous could only cost you about fifty dollars and heavy research on stock photos. I’d rather get groceries. I’m completely curious now as to who are the biggest Instagram fakers. Maybe for my next article…

What do you think?