How to Remove Fake Followers on Instagram

Instagram has come a long way from being a photo-sharing app to becoming a major marketing platform for brand promotions and community building. No one denies the role of social media platforms when it comes to reaching emerging audiences or young customers. To take advantage of this untapped space, Instagram's early days were dominated by collaborations between businesses and influencers who had a large following. In turn, this led to cheating on the part of digital content producers. In fact, many influencers saw rapid audience growth as their key to success.

In today's marketplace, brands know they shouldn't just look at the followers number when hiring creators, but should also factor in audience quality, engagement, audience demographics, post frequency, etc. In addition, Instagram algorithms favor creators who produce original content without suddenly increasing their social media followers with purchased accounts and follower bots. In spite of never using gray-hat techniques, Instagram bots, and ghost followers are unwelcome elements of the platform that can influence your content performance and therefore can't be ignored. Nevertheless, this article will explain how to check bot followers on Instagram, how you can identify suspicious and inactive users, and how to remove fake followers on your Instagram account.

How Can I Identify Passive Accounts on Instagram?

Ghost Instagram followers are typically stolen or abandoned accounts with a low activity that will never engage with your content and will never contribute to your growth. They exhibit one or more of the following characteristics:

Suspicious or inconsistent profile: Often, these subscriptions seem incomplete, lacking profile pictures, bios, and images, they post gibberish and use incoherent usernames.

suspicious Instagram accountThis Instagram account looks fishy

While some accounts use stock photos as profile pictures, at first glance they may appear normal, but upon closer inspection, you'll discover they've either been abandoned or were created to follow other users.

Unbalanced Follower-to-Following Ratio: The number of subscribers they have is much smaller than the number of users they follow.

Irrelevant interest: Their interests and audiences may be different from your niche and follower profile.

No activity: They haven't posted anything, or published a few posts that received little or no response in the last 30 days.

No or low engagement: An empty account never or seldom engages with your posts.

Strange audience location: Always match the influencer’s country of origin with their followers’ location. If you see that a creator has a significantly big audience from a country where the influencer’s language is not spoken, that’s a red flag.

To detect inactive Instagram follower profiles, you can manually check your audience to evaluate the characteristics and activity level of the accounts based on the information provided above. You may also use free tools and see the quality and engagement of your audience. However, you have the best shot if you check your Audience Type chart in HypeAuditor’s analytical reports. The graph singles out the percentage of real people, influencers, mass followers, and bot accounts in your account's statistics.

Instagram influencers’ audience type is broken down into real followers, influencers, mass followers, and suspicious accounts in HypeAuditor’s influencer reports

Should I Remove Fake Followers on Instagram?

Yes, and we’ll break it down for you why.

Instagram prioritizes content that generates valuable engagement. Having tens of thousands of followers but only a handful of likes on your posts will result in the platform's algorithms gradually reducing your reach. As a result, your posts will appear in the feeds of fewer and fewer users and your account will theoretically disappear. A detailed account analysis will help you identify passive users on Instagram and thus you’ll be able to grow a loyal community and increase your reach and authentic engagement.

Although it may seem easy and tempting to buy follower profiles, it's absolutely not worth the trouble. Instagram will take action against accounts involving fraudulent activities such as purchasing users and using third-party software to amplify their following. It's not worth the risk of your account of Instagram being banned or blocked.

Too many Instagram bots and unreal followers undermine your online reputation and credibility which reduces your chances of brand cooperation. If you consistently analyze account metrics, and statistics on bots and remove followers bots from your active audience, you’ll show that you’re committed to maintaining a genuine community.

Bottom line, you will have a hard time gauging your audience, and therefore your performance will decline, due to ghost followers and Instagram bots. To protect your reputation and sustain an organic and genuine follower base and quality engagement you should definitely eliminate faux Instagram accounts.

How to Get Rid of Bots on Instagram?

Here, you have two options. The first option is to go over your follower list manually, checking each follower’s profile images, bios, and post activity of 20-25 accounts within an hour. Then remove inactive subscribers and spam bots. Although the manual approach requires some time, we strongly recommend following it. The second option is to use a remover or an Instagram cleaning method.

Can I use third-party services for removing followers?

We don’t advise using account cleaning apps, and here’s why.

We already mentioned that Instagram bans users who use a follower and engagement growth service. Since a removal tool uses a similar technology as amplifier solutions, you are likely to get a warning from Instagram, and they may even ban your account if you use them.

A tool can remove accounts that aren't necessarily real bots. Yes, even users who aren't active on social media can fall victim to your mass cleaning efforts.

Overall, you must set up the software so that only bot accounts are removed not active subscribers, and you also need to ensure that too many deletions don't trigger Facebook's attention.

How many suspicious Instagram accounts can I delete at one time?

Although Instagram hasn't actually established an official number, removing about 50 accounts per hour and 150 per day will keep you under their radar. Our suggestion is to check your follower base manually, space out your cleansing strategy and then delete bots. Continuously monitor your account’s performance and audience activity to see how the procedure affects your reach and engagement rate.

Should I Remove Bots on Instagram Regularly?

Absolutely. The fact that you've cleaned up your account once doesn't mean all the bots have disappeared from the platform or that others aren't using fraudulent methods such as follow for follow. Now that you know how to identify and remove ghost followers, keep an eye on your account constantly and use some sort of audience analysis service. Be wary of fake growth tactics like buying users, and increasing your follower base with apps, mass following, or other cheats because they influence your engagement and account quality. This way you’ll be able to build a community of real followers in Instagram, maintain your credibility, account integrity, and reputation, and safeguard your engagement metrics and avoid your posts being buried.

Get to know 9 legit tricks to grow your audience on Instagram.

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Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
Topics:Growing and managing your audience
June 19, 2023
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Anna is an influencer marketing expert and content marketing writer at HypeAuditor. She enjoys discovering new social media trends and features.
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Want to partner with influencers who will be right for your brand?
Find the best creators with HypeAuditor Influencer Discovery and its 139.1M+ account database.