60% Instagram Followers Are Fake For 66% Indian Influencers: Rs 1800 Crore Influencers Marketing Industry Is Shocked


Mohul Ghosh

Mohul Ghosh

Apr 24, 2024


India’s booming influencer marketing sector, valued at over Rs 1,800 crore, faces a significant setback due to the prevalence of fake follower fraud. Legitimate creators are grappling with the consequences of this fraudulent activity, as they strive to expand their reach and capture the attention of brands in a fiercely competitive market.

60% Instagram Followers Are Fake For 66% Indian Influencers: Rs 1800 Crore Influencers Marketing Industry Is Shocked

Alarming Statistics: The Pervasiveness of Fake Followers

An analysis conducted by influencer marketing platform KlugKlug has uncovered startling statistics regarding the authenticity of Indian Instagram profiles. The study reveals that nearly two-thirds of Instagram profiles in India boast fake followers exceeding 60 percent. This troubling trend is particularly pronounced in industries such as beauty and fashion, where influencers resort to deceptive practices to inflate their follower counts.

Industry Insights: Impact on Brands and Creators

Kalyan Kumar, Co-Founder of KlugKlug India, expresses concern over the detrimental effects of fake follower fraud on brands investing in influencer marketing campaigns. He emphasizes that such deceptive practices can result in substantial financial losses for brands, undermining the credibility of their marketing efforts.

Furthermore, Kumar highlights the escalating nature of the issue, noting that India has become both the largest supplier and buyer of fake followers in the current landscape. He identifies Russia and Turkey as major sources of synthetic followers, while countries like the UAE and Indonesia also contribute significantly to this fraudulent market.

Financial Ramifications and Industry Challenges

The cost of purchasing fake followers varies, with prices ranging from as low as Rs 8 to Rs 50 per 1,000 followers on Instagram. Kumar underscores the dire consequences faced by brands, citing examples where substantial portions of marketing budgets are squandered on partnerships with influencers boasting inflated follower counts.

Sahil Chopra, Founder & CEO of iCubesWire, laments the complexity and added costs incurred by brands in their quest to identify genuine influencers amidst a sea of fake followers. He stresses the importance of transparency and authenticity in influencer partnerships, urging for greater scrutiny and vigilance within the industry.

The Human Element: Impact on Legitimate Influencers

While brands bear the brunt of financial losses stemming from fake follower fraud, legitimate creators also suffer collateral damage. Kumar points out the unfair advantage gained by influencers with fake followers, resulting in missed opportunities for authentic content creators to collaborate with brands.

Moving Forward: Addressing the Challenge

Despite the challenges posed by fake follower fraud, there is optimism regarding the industry’s ability to combat this pervasive issue. Shivam Agarwal, Co-founder of Kromium, underscores the importance of benchmarking practices and audience engagement metrics in identifying genuine influencers.

Viraj Sheth, co-founder and CEO of Monk Entertainment, acknowledges the growing awareness among brands and audiences regarding fake followers. He anticipates a decline in the prevalence of fake followers among larger influencers, as heightened scrutiny and education foster greater accountability within the influencer marketing ecosystem.


Mohul Ghosh
Mohul Ghosh
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