- Social Media
How to remove fake Instagram followers
Virtually everyone has a few non-active Instagram followers – the trouble is, they can seriously damage your chances of earning money as an influencer.
Sometimes, fake followers just happen – but lots of people have paid to have a few extra followers added to their account. For anyone who wants to be taken seriously today, buying fake followers is a bad idea – but it hasn’t always been this way. Back when Instagram was fairly new, spending a bit of cash to boost your follower count gave instant authority and appeal – so there are plenty of accounts out there with more than their fair share of inactive or bot followers.
Whether you’ve bought followers in the past – or you’ve just picked up lots of inactive followers on Instagram, we’ll help you put things right.
This guide covers a handful of helpful points, including:
- Why inactive followers on Instagram are bad news for brands
- How to find your inactive followers on Instagram
- How to get rid of ghost followers
- Deleting ghost followers with an Instagram app
When you’ve finished reading, you’ll understand what you need to do to make sure your account is exactly what brands are looking for.
What is a ghost follower on Instagram?
On Instagram, ghost followers are fake or inactive users who don’t engage with any of the content you create.
Generally, these accounts have been created by an application referred as a ‘bot’ – a piece of software that automatically goes through the Instagram sign-up process in order to send spam messages and comments to other users.
Most fake accounts are easy to spot. They tend to have names that make no sense – often with numbers thrown in for no reason. When you look at the profile, you’ll normally see very low follower numbers – but they’re usually be following a huge number of accounts .
Of course, it’s not just the numbers that do the talking. Their content is usually poor quality or obviously stolen from other, legitimate accounts – and all their content will tend to have very few likes or comments.
Bot accounts aren’t the only ones to watch out for though. Sometimes, in an effort to get more followers, account owners hand over their password to spammers - who then hi-jack the profile. These hi-jacked accounts can be trickier to spot – but if you see a sudden change from ordinary pictures to promotional posts, it’s a good indication that it’s now a spam account.
Any account that’s been created purely to boost numbers or distribute spam is bad news, and you’re better off without them if you want to use your account to work with legitimate brands.
Why do ghost followers on Instagram cost brands money?
What harm are a few fake followers, really?
Well, to the brands that invest in influencer marketing – the answer might surprise you.
According to a report by an international cybersecurity firm, 2019 saw around £6.9 billion ($8.5 billion) spent on influencer marketing worldwide . The authors of the report calculated that 15% of the audience that ‘saw’ the posts that brands had paid for were actually bot accounts – meaning over £1 billion ($1.2 billion) worth of that budget was lost on fake followers .
For influencer marketing to make sense to a brand, it has to represent a solid return on investment (ROI) – essentially, it should create more money from sales made through influencers than was spent on the advertising in the first place.
This means two things for influencers. Firstly, brands will be very, very cautious about working with you if it looks like you have (or have ever had) fake followers. Secondly, if fake followers are a problem that influencers don’t tackle in their own accounts, then influencer marketing will rapidly decline in popularity – closing the door on your opportunity to make money online.
Fake followers are bad news for brands – which makes them bad news for anyone looking to work with those brands as a paid influencer.
How many Instagram followers are real?
So, how many ghost followers are there on Instagram?
A definitive answer is hard to find – but top cybersecurity firms say there are likely to be around 100 million fake accounts that are being used to circulate spam on the platform. When you consider that Insta has around 1 billion active users each month – that’s around 10% of active accounts being used to distribute spam.
The good news is, the legitimate accounts on the platform still represent one of the very best ways for brands to connect with potential customers. 10.7% of all referrals to e-commerce sites come from Instagram – and brands spend around 69% of their influencer budgets on the platform too.
For now, Instagram is a marketing favourite; so there’s no better time to be establishing yourself as an influencer with a high-quality, engaged audience.
How to stop Instagram spam followers
Before we explain how to do a fake follower check and get rid of any ghost accounts you find, it’s a good idea to make sure you’re not doing anything that will attract new spam accounts.
Rule 1: Don’t buy followers
It’s perhaps an obvious thing to say – but the quickest route to getting low quality, ghost followers is to pay for them. Don’t be fooled into thinking you’re ever going to get legit followers if you sign up to buy them – and don’t be under the illusion that you’ll be able to specify the type of followers you get.
Plain and simple – don’t buy followers. They’re a vanity metric, and they will only ever cause you problems.
Rule 2: Don’t buy an existing account
Despite the fact that it’s against Instagram rules, there are marketplaces out there that offer to sell established accounts – complete with followers.
Well, unfortunately, it’s an offer that’s just too good to be true. You won’t get to see the account before you buy it – so there’s no opportunity to check for fake followers. What’s more, the chance of buying an account with a legitimate audience that’s going to be interested in what you do is very low – so when any good followers have left, it’ll just be you and your bot accounts.
Rule 3: Don’t buy likes or comments
If you’ve got a lot of followers but you’re getting very little engagement, it can be a red flag for brands who might otherwise be keen to work with you.
With this in mind - why not buy some engagement to even things out a little?
There are quite a few reasons this is a bad idea – not least because the comments you get will often be completely irrelevant and will come from accounts that are very obviously bots.
However, the biggest reason is down to how these bought likes and comments work. The apps and services that promise all this engagement will post pictures on your feed and other users to follow you and like them. You’ll get engagement – but you’ll also get a flood of dodgy-looking followers – making absolutely certain that brands stay well away from you.
Why is buying inactive followers is a bad idea?
We’ve talked about how you’re almost certainly going to end up with thousands of ghost accounts if you buy followers – but we know those impressive follower numbers are tempting – so it’s worth looking in a little more detail about why it’s such a bad idea.
1. Your engagement rates will nosedive
Lots of people wonder what the harm is in having a few fakes numbers to make you look a little more popular than you are – but ‘followers’ is fast becoming a useless metric as far as marketing teams are concerned.
Instead, brands are going to be keen to look at your engagement rates – and if no one’s interested in what you’re posting, then you can forget about working with them on their next campaign.
Think about it this way. If you’ve got 500 followers and you’re regularly getting 50 likes or comments on your posts – then you’ve got a 10% engagement rate.
Now, add 5,000 bought followers.
Your account looks more impressive at first glance – but those fake accounts aren’t going to engage – so you’ll still get the same 50 likes or comments that you got before. The trouble is, with your new fake followers, these 50 likes now represents an engagement rate of around 0.9% - so all that hard work that you put into getting a great engagement rate from 500 legit accounts is totally wiped out.
2. You’ll get plenty of spam
Ready to have your DMs flooded with automated messages and attempts to get you to click out to external websites? If you buy followers, this is exactly what’s going to happen – and in the worst cases, it can lead to fraud and identity theft.
Bot accounts are designed to generate money – and they often do this by getting people to click through to sites that require credit card sign-ups, dodgy app downloads, or engagement in equally dubious cash-for-likes type scams.
Even if you don’t fall for the scams – it’s really annoying.
3. Brands know how to tell if someone has fake followers
You might be able to splash the cash if an impulse purchase jumps out at you from the sale rail when you’re shopping – but marketing teams just can’t.
Every penny or pound spent on an advertising campaign needs to be justified – and when it comes to paying influencers, a big part of that justification is proving that the account they’re planning to use represents a good ROI.
You know what ghost followers look like – and so do the marketing teams that take a look at your follower lists. You could get in touch with your favourite brand with the best email and look like the best influencer that’s ever knocked on their door – but if your followers look suspicious, they won’t waste their time on you.
4. Kiss goodbye to your reputation
When it comes to your own personal brand, there’s a big difference between stretching the truth and out-and-out ‘Instafraud’. We’ve all shoved a pile of clutter out of the way to take the perfect selfie – and there’s no harm in applying a little filter here and there – but having fake followers is just deception when you’re working with a business.
If you’re caught out (and trust us, you will be), the brand will almost certainly blacklist you for future collaborations. Word spreads quickly through professional networks too – and you can bet that your competitors won’t hold back in letting people know about you’ve been caught with fake followers.
You could get your account banned
As if being blacklisted by brands and publicly shamed isn’t enough – you could find yourself with no Instagram profile at all if the platform detects suspicious activity relating to your following.
Sophisticated AIs are used by social media services to detect activity that is considered abnormal. Since very few people suddenly get 1,000 new followers, your account is likely to get flagged if you do – and these algorithms are developing all the time – so even if you feel like you’ve got away with it in the short term, Instagram is always working to make its service high quality for the brands that use it for advertising.
How to remove Instagram followers
Ready to get rid of those fake followers?
If you’re going to make yourself as attractive as possible for potential collaborations, cleansing your followers is an absolute must – but be warned, there are no real shortcuts that are as effective as rolling up your sleeves and doing it yourself. What about apps that automatically unfollow ghost followers on Instagram?
There are ghost follower apps out there that promise to help you remove fake Instagram followers – but it’s important that any third-party apps and sites you use are just used as a rough guide.
Well, deleting ghost followers is something you’re going to want to dedicate a bit of time to – to ensure you’re doing it thoroughly and safely. The battle between bot accounts and detection tools is very real – and unless you’re willing to put in some hard work yourself, you’ll never be absolutely certain the spammers haven’t managed to avoid detection.
Make sure you follow Instagram’s platform rules
When you use third-party apps alongside Instagram, you also need to be aware of the rules that they are subject to – because if you use an application that breaks those rules, you could find that your account is disabled.
Section 23 of Instagram’s platform policy explains clearly that an application must not enable more than one action at a time. An ‘action’ is the network’s way of describing anything you can do through your profile – including liking posts, commenting – and crucially; deleting followers. If you use a mass Instagram unfollow app, you might find that the app you’re using breaks this rule – and you could risk losing access to your account.
How to get rid of ghost/fake followers on Instagram for good
The best way to unfollow ghost Instagram followers is to work through your follower list in a systematic fashion. It’s time-consuming – but it’ll leave you 100% confident that your profile is completely cleansed.
We’ve put together a ‘How to Get Rid of Spam Followers on Instagram’ checklist that’ll help you do the best possible job:
Step 1 : Grab a pen and paper – or open a note on your phone. If you’ve got a lot of followers, you’re going to need to know where you’ve got up to if you (inevitably!) get distracted when you’re working through your list.
Step 2 : Scroll through your followers. Obviously, you can ignore people you know or people who you frequently engage with – but it’s a good idea to check the profile of anyone you’re not familiar with. Remember the key factors to keep a lookout for:
- Instagram names/handles that don’t make sense or contain a lot of numbers
- Accounts with low followers but high following numbers
- Low-quality content – or content that seems to have suddenly become spammy
- A lack of engagement – low likes and comment numbers on their posts
Step 3 : Get deleting. It’s a good idea to go with your gut feeling about whether or not an account is a bot – if something doesn’t seem right, it’s probably not. Remember, don’t get hung up on numbers – it’s quality that counts.
If you’re deleting directly from your followers list, just hitting the ‘remove’ button then confirming your choice on the pop-up will get the job done. If you want to remove the follower from within their own profile, you’ll need to tap the 3 dots at the top right, then choose ‘Remove follower’ from the pop-up.
How long will it take to remove ghost followers from Instagram?
Depending on your attention span, you might find it takes a few days of revisiting the task to delete all your ghost followers from Instagram – but it’s worth it.
In fact, every time you hit that ‘Remove’ button, imagine the noise of a cash-register in your head – because by working out how to get rid of spam followers on Instagram, you’re putting in solid foundations your influencer business.
When your account is cleansed, it’s a good idea to keep on top of it – deleting any new spam followers that crop up every week or so. Since your followers are listed in chronological order, it’s fairly easy to do this – as you’ll only have to work through the top of the list each time.
When it comes to followers, above all else, you should ask yourself – Does this account belong to someone who will add value to my Instagram community? Your answer is likely to be the same as any brand that you’d collaborate with – so don’t let a desire for a few more followers ruin your chance to make money as an influencer.
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How to identify and remove Instagram ghost followers — and why you should
Amplify content , Drive conversion
Marketing Communications Manager
February 23, 2021
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It’s easy to assume that, when it comes to Instagram, the more followers you have, the better. But that’s not always the case.
In fact, Creative Impact Collective, a consulting membership for small-business owners, recently deleted 20,000 of its Instagram followers . That’s a quarter of its followers.
Why? Because after conducting a quality audit of its account, founder Fab Giovanetti made a startling discovery: Its engagement rate — the percentage of followers who engage with its posts — was a mere 0.1%. Meanwhile, the average engagement rate for an Instagram business profile is 4.7%.
The problem? Lots of Giovanetti’s followers weren’t liking and commenting on her content. But not just because they were infrequent users or were uninterested in her posts — thousands weren’t real followers at all. They were fake accounts created by bots. Essentially, they were ghosts.
Odds are your brand’s Instagram also has ghost followers that can hurt your credibility and lower your engagement rate. So here’s everything you need to know about ghost followers, including how to find them, remove them, and avoid them.
What are Instagram ghost followers?
Ghost followers are inactive or fake Instagram accounts that may follow you, contributing to your overall follower count. However, they never interact with your content.
Sometimes these accounts are created by real people who simply don’t use their account. However, they’re often social bots with no actual users behind them.
These accounts exist because people are willing to pay for followers, which has created a market for follower accounts. All those fake followers must be created though, and this process is often automated.
Just because you didn’t purchase them doesn’t mean these fakes aren’t lurking in your follower count. In 2019, the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance conducted an audit of 100 of the most successful Instagram accounts and found that up to half of all the accounts following celebrities like Taylor Swift, Ellen DeGeneres, and Ariana Grande weren’t real at all.
“All large Instagram profiles have some percentage of ghost followers,” says David Dundas, founder of influencer marketing agency HelloConvo . He estimates that 10% to 20% of brand accounts’ followers are fakes.
How do you identify them?
The Instagram ghost followers that are easiest to spot have no profile picture, no posts, and a high ratio of people-they-follow to followers. They may also have a username that looks like gibberish or is composed of random numbers.
In the example below, this account has no profile photo or posts, and it’s following more than 2,000 people but has no followers. Most likely, we’re looking at a ghost account.
However, a fake Instagram account can sometimes appear to be real. They may have a more convincing username and even a few actual photos posted.
What’s so bad about ghost followers?
If you’re concerned only about your number of Instagram followers, ghost followers won’t harm your account. In fact, you might even be grateful for the boost. But if you’re an influencer or if you manage a brand account like Giovanetti, those fake followers could potentially hurt your bottom line.
They can harm your credibility
Anyone can appear to be influential on Instagram these days by purchasing a few thousand followers. However, it’s not uncommon for businesses to analyze an account’s following to ensure they’re teaming up with the real deal, a person or brand that can deliver a worthwhile return on investment.
“When we evaluate influencers on behalf of brands, we use sophisticated tools to understand the makeup of your audience,” Dundas says. “We also do a ‘spot check’ looking at the comments on posts, as well as a quick scroll of your followers to see whether they’re real or not. If things look strange or they don’t have real conversations in the comments, we’re not likely to work with the influencer.”
Because Instagram users are typically paid based on the size of their audience, companies that team up with businesses and influencers that have fake followers are often paying to reach people that don’t even exist. In fact, a report by cybersecurity firm Cheq estimates that fake followers cost brands $1.3 billion in 2019 alone .
That’s why companies like social media marketing firm Hello Society now include language in their contracts that addresses Instagram ghost followers.
So, if you’re working with other brands, it’s important to ensure that your followers are legit, so you can establish and maintain an honest and mutually beneficial partnership.
They can lower your engagement rate
Just as Giovanetti discovered, Instagram ghost followers can make your content seem less engaging because fake followers don’t interact with your content. For example, let’s say you have 10,000 followers, but you’re getting only 30 likes per photo. In this case, it’s obvious, at a glance, to any savvy Instagram user that your engagement rate is incredibly low.
An account with many followers but low engagement likely has a lot of ghosts contributing to that high follower count. And if your posts aren’t getting enough attention from followers, they’re certainly not going to attract advertisers.
To calculate your account’s engagement rate, divide the number of likes and comments your 10 most recent posts received by your number of followers. Then, multiply the value by 100. (engagement rate = likes + comments ÷ followers x 100)
You can also monitor your engagement rate by using Instagram analytics .
Fewer people will see your content
Instagram’s algorithm predicts what kind of posts users want to see in their feeds based on what they’ve liked and commented on previously. And it’s more likely to display content based on how engaging it is.
So, if your brand announces a new product and the post generates a lot of interactions, the algorithm is likely to place this post in more of your followers’ feeds. This could also land it on Instagram’s coveted Explore page, where users are recommended posts from accounts they don’t follow.
A post that doesn’t attract many likes or comments, however, won’t have as much reach because Instagram’s algorithm deems it less relevant to users’ interests.
When your account has a lot of ghost followers that don’t engage with your content, this lack of interaction affects your post’s visibility. Not only is it less likely to appear in your fake followers’ feeds, but it’s also less likely to show up in your other followers’ feeds.
This can create a vicious cycle: your engagement rate drops, so fewer people view your content. And the fewer users who see your posts mean your engagement rate will decrease again.
How to remove ghost followers
It may seem daunting, especially if you have thousands of fake followers, but the best way to remove Instagram ghost followers is to do so manually. “I would literally go through our followers list and click on anyone who looked suspicious,” Giovanetti writes . “I would look for potential bots as well as people who have not posted since 2017 or beyond.”
Removing 20,000 followers one by one? Isn’t there an app for that? Well, yes…but we wouldn’t recommend it.
While apps exist that claim to identify and remove bot-created accounts, Instagram has banned apps that identify and remove ghost followers in bulk. Connecting one to your account can result in Instagram flagging your account and you potentially losing access to it. You also won’t have full control over which accounts are removed from your followers’ list.
Luckily, there are services that streamline the ghost follower-removal process, such as abetterinsta.com, which has a team of people who manually assess each of your followers and assigns them a “Ghost Follower Score.”
Plus, there’s an upside to manually removing those Instagram ghost followers. “A great perk of doing this is that I got to re-engage with active followers who may forget about us by liking some of their pictures, which also sparked up our engagement,” Giovanetti says.
Once you’ve purged your account of those fake followers, Dundas suggests being proactive and doing a bit of “house cleaning” every three months to remove ghost followers.
How to avoid Instagram ghost followers
The only way to completely prevent bots and fakes from following your Instagram account is to set your profile to private, so you have to approve each new follower. Obviously, this isn’t an option for brands. However, there are steps you can take — or not take — to keep those ghostly followers to a minimum.
Don’t purchase followers
Paying for followers is essentially purchasing ghost followers, so forego the temptation and focus on growing your Instagram following organically .
“Don’t buy followers,” Dundas advises. “It will forever impact your performance with the Instagram algorithm.”
Instead, he recommends making “audience reactivation” part of your ongoing social strategy. “Reply to all comments on your posts, engage daily with existing followers by leaving comments on their posts, and engage with new accounts in your niche that aren’t following you. This practice generates authentic conversations that give positive signals to the Instagram algorithm, and will increase your engagement rate.”
Need a little help engaging users and acquiring new followers? Check out a third-party service like HashtagsforLikes , which can help you grow your following with real people — not ghosts.
Don’t buy an existing Instagram account
There are companies that sell Instagram accounts that already have a following, but purchasing an existing account won’t actually give you a head start. More than likely, all those followers are exactly the kind you want to avoid: bot-created accounts.
Don’t pay for engagement
Instead of taking the time to manually delete all those ghost followers, some users opt to improve their engagement rate by purchasing likes, comments, and Instagram Story views. But while this may boost your metrics in the short-run, it’s not a sustainable practice, and soon you’ll be right back to where you started.
Create content that attracts real followers and engagement
Unfortunately, ghost followers just come with the Instagram territory for now. While it’s certainly a good idea to do a regular audit of your followers and clean out the inactive users and fakes, the one surefire way to attract real quality followers and get loads of comments and likes is to simply post engaging content.
Of course, that’s easier said than done, but we’ve got countless ideas to help you capture the attention of Instagram users — and secure their follows.
Start by taking a look at your Instagram analytics to determine what kind of content your audience engages with, then see the power of visual content to learn how to capture the attention of a fast-scrolling audience and really win at social.
Check out the rest of our Instagram content for more useful tips and tricks.
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How To Remove Ghost Followers On Instagram
You’re bound to have some ghost followers in your Instagram account. It may sound like it is not a big deals, but the problem is these ghost followers might seriously harm your chances of making money as an influencer/micro-influencer.
Fraudulent accounts will inevitably exist.
Unfortunately, there are individuals that willing to pay for more followers to be added to their accounts, thinking it will optimize their credibility as an influencer. However, buying fake followers is no longer a viable option for anyone that seek to gain credibility in today’s market.
Because of this, there are a lot of Instagram accounts with an outsize number of inactive or bot followers. Same goes to you, you may also have acquired ghost followers in the past or accrued a large number of inactive followers on Instagram.
If you did purchased followers in the past or maybe were randomly followed by many fake accounts, and wanted to get rid of these ghost followers, we’ll show you how to fix it in this post.
Table of Contents
What Is A Ghost Follower?
So what is a ghost followers? On Instagram, “ghost follower’ are defined as any inactive or fake followers who do not engage with any of your content.
These “ghost followers” may also be the work of a “bot” software. As a result, it automatically goes through the Instagram sign-up procedure to post spam messages and comments to other people.
Most of the time, it is quite easy to for you to distinguish which accounts are fake or might be a ghost follower. For fake accounts, it is common for them to have usernames that make no sense and digits tacked on for no apparent reason.
In most cases, the number of followers on this type of accounts is uncommonly low. Yet, at the same time, they tend to follow a large number of people.
How to remove ghost followers on Instagram
The most secure approach to remove ghost followers is to do it one by one. Thus, you will need to screen through all your followers, removed and blocked any accounts that looks suspicious and funny.
We recommend you not to remove more than 30 accounts in an hour. This to avoid flagging Instagram and prevent them from thinking you are a bot.
This method does required a considerable amount of patience, but it is the safest method so far.
We’ve been on the lookout for a tool that can not only identify but also delete ghost followers in bulk without hurting ordinary users. Unfortunately, such tool does not exist. Instagram itself has blocked any tools that do such jobs, hence manual process is the only way.
Why is Important to Cleanse Your Account?
If Instagram detects any suspicious activity in your following, you will risk having your account deleted . Social media sites employ sophisticated artificial intelligence (AI) to identify such behaviors.
If you acquire 1,000 new followers overnight, your account will surely be noticed. The thing is, Instagram’s algorithms are always improving.
Instagram is continuously working to improve its service for businesses that advertise on it. You might dodge away with any trick in the short term, but this situation won’t last long.
Every dime spent on advertising by businesses must be justified. When it comes to paid influencer , one of the most important parts of the argument is proving that the account they are collaborating with has a positive return on investment (ROI).
Is buying followers and engagement worth it?
It’s an easy answer, NO! Buying fake followers, comments and likes on your posts may helps you to improve your engagement, which in return might helps you to get sponsored on Instagram.
However, in the long run, this will have the opposite effect on your organic reach and interaction, especially with your real followers.
Your brand’s value will plummets as a result of this since companies can detect the cheating easily. Besides, it is also a poor idea to utilize automated engagement methods, considering how annoying it is for all the genuine followers of yours to read fake comments in your posts.
They certainly do not want to be notified of fake comments or spam messages whenever they like a post of yours, or being tag by all these ghost followers.
An average Instagram user has a very short attention span . By engaging such practice, it might lead them elsewhere if they feel your post is full of spam.
As a result, your followers may start unfollowing you. Remember how annoying spam comments can be and this would inevitably decrease the amount of organic reach you can get.
End of the day, you could find yourself with 0 followers.
If you still think t’s worth buying Instagram followers and engagement, that such practice is a good Instagram influencer marketing method, we encourage you to read how you might be hurting your organic growth by engaging such practices.
How to avoid Instagram ghost followers
If you want to prevent having ghost followers on your profile, here what you can do:
- Build a community around your Instagram account. Having a large number of real people following and liking your posts is crucial in preventing accounts from getting banned.
- Spammy behavior such as buying likes, comments or shares will bring attention to Instagram’s spam detection and cause your account to be blocked and removed.
- Be wary of how you interact with other Instagram users, on how many likes or comments you receive from certain accounts. If the interactions are low but they do follow a large number of people, these profiles are most likely to be ghost accounts.
- Make use of hashtags relevant to your niche and don’t go overboard with them.
- Using bots to like and comment on your posts will make Instagram think you’re a bot and may cause you problems in the future.
- Engaging too frequently with other users can also be suspicious. Make sure you give yourself some time between each post so as not to raise suspicion of spamming.
Ghost followers are becoming more common on Instagram, and to remove them, it requires patience and effort as you will have to do it manually.
Instagram is aware of how easy it is for anyone to abuse their platform. They have made it difficult for users who make use of automation or bots when following or engaging with others.
It’s unclear how much Instagram actually cares about deleting ghost accounts. But to remove ghost followers on Instagram is still reasonably straightforward, although you will need to remove it one by one.
Nevertheless, cleaning your account certainly benefits you. The more organic your following becomes, the more genuine you seem and the less likely you are to get in trouble for having fake accounts following you.
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Ghost Followers on Instagram
Most of us are probably familiar with the phenomenon of ghosting – when someone disappears without explanation and stops talking to or interacting with another person. Ghost followers are not the people who ghosted you (although they might be some of them).
Similar to the concept of ghosting, ghost followers are people who follow you on social media like Instagram , but never like, comment on, or engage with your posts.
There are differing opinions on whether or not ghost followers are bad for your account, and many apps claim to be able to detect these followers. Read on to learn more about ghost followers and whether or not you should worry about them.
What Are Ghost Followers?
Ghost followers are people who follow you but never engage with any of your posts. Most of us probably have a lot more followers than we do likes on pictures – not all of your followers like every single one of your posts.
While it’s normal that not every person sees and likes everything you share, there are some followers who never like, comment, or engage with any of your pictures or videos. These are ghost followers.
Ghost followers are like ghosts in that they haunt your Instagram, in a way. They linger as followers, but much like ghosts, you don’t actually see or hear from them (in this case, through likes or comments). Ghost followers are typically either fake followers or simply inactive users.
How can I tell if a follower is fake or not? Most fake accounts are fairly easy to spot. A fake Instagram account generally follows a lot of people, but has very few followers. They tend to have very few posts of their own, if any. Fake followers also have pretty obvious usernames: it’s often not a name at all, but a string of letters and numbers.
If you ever bought followers, they are very likely fake. Buying fake followers is a cheap way to boost your follower count, but it ultimately hurts your Instagram. Even if you bought fake followers who were supposed to like your photos, they often only like a few before becoming ghost followers.
Having fake ghost followers is useless: sure, you have more followers, but they never engage with your posts. It’s better to have a smaller, engaged following, whether your account is personal, for business, or if you’re an influencer.
Ghost followers can also be real people who are inactive on Instagram, or who simply don’t like your content enough to engage. These followers are less harmful than fake followers. While it’s not ideal to have followers who don’t pay attention to or engage with your content, real followers will not hurt your account.
Why Are Ghost Followers Bad?
You may be reading this and thinking that you’d like to have the most possible followers, regardless of whether or not they engage with you. Ghost followers are not necessarily the worst thing to have – sure, your engagement rate may be a little lower, but many Instagram users don’t pay attention to that anyway.
If you aren’t aiming for a certain engagement rate or growth for your account, then ghost followers aren’t that big of a deal. Many people only use Instagram to share with friends and family, so they may not care about things like engagement .
Fake followers, who are most often ghost followers, can be problematic, however. Having fake followers, especially if your acquired them by breaking Instagram’s Community Guidelines for authentic interaction, can negatively impact your account.
There are a few reasons why ghost followers may be bad for your account:
Ghost Followers Lower Engagement
Ghost followers do not like, comment, or engage with your posts. This lowers your engagement rate. As we’ve stated, some people may not care about their engagement. Businesses and Instagram influencers, however, should.
When you run a business account on Instagram, engagement is an important metric to track. Having high engagement shows potential new followers and customers that others truly like your brand and enjoy the content you share.
An account with high engagement will be favored by the Instagram algorithm , will be more likely to appear on Instagram explore pages , and looks better all-around. High engagement provides social proof to others that your brand is trusted and well liked, which could lead them to follow your or buy your products or services.
An account with low engagement, on the other hand, may look shady, low-quality, or simply not well liked. Businesses and public figures with low engagement will do worse overall on social media and may lose followers or customers if they are turned away by the lack of engagement.
Influencers, especially, need high engagement rates to secure brand deals. Instagram influencers tend to have higher than average engagement rates, so ghost followers can be especially harmful to those users.
Instagram Cracks Down
Instagram has announced efforts to crack down on ghost followers, although they did not use that term directly. In the past, the platform has purged fake followers, bot accounts, and other inactive users to keep Instagram social and clear of inauthentic usage.
Because of this, Instagram is likely to continue to remove fake or inactive accounts. Buying ghost followers is then pointless, because they may be removed anyway.
The Instagram Shadowban
There are widely accepted rumors of an Instagram shadowban , referring to accounts being blocked for breaking Instagram’s Term and Conditions. Your account will not be deleted, but it is believed to be possible that your posts will be blocked from appearing to new users. One action that can incite a shadowban is having a lot of fake, ghost followers.
The shadowban will further hurt your engagement, and could result in more issues with your account. Holding onto fake ghost followers just for the number could potentially harm your account due to the shadowban.
Should I Remove Ghost Followers on Instagram?
Ultimately, it is your decision to keep or remove ghost followers. If they don’t bother you and you don’t mind the drop in engagement, they are mostly harmless.
Fake, bot followers should probably be removed, however, to ensure that your account is not penalized for having fake followers. You can choose to block Instagram followers , or learn how to remove Instagram followers without blocking or alerting them.
Ghost Follower Apps
There are apps that claim to be able to detect ghost followers. Most do so by looking at your last few posts and finding the followers who did not like or comment on those posts. This does not always give an accurate representation of who is actually a ghost follower.
Be wary to trust apps that claim to know which followers are ghosting you. Many users have reported that the names given are somewhat random, with apps telling them that their close friends are ghost followers. If you do choose to try one of these apps to get rid of ghost followers, proceed with caution.
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How To Remove Ghost Followers On Instagram (2023)
Last Updated on December 31, 2022
Do you know It isn’t just about the number of followers you have when vast majority of them are ghost followers that aren’t contributing anything to your brand?
Are you also aware that every inactive Instagram followers significantly reduces the visibility of your posts?
When an inactive or bot account views your content without engaging, Instagram’s algorithm deems that it isn’t worthy of interaction, reducing the number of people that can see it.
In this post, we’ll go over everything you need to know about ghost followers, including how to safely remove them from your Instagram account.
Table of Contents:
What is a Ghost Follower?
Ghost followers are users on social media platforms who remain inactive or do not engage in any activity whatsoever. No liking, commenting, messaging or posting, Nothing!
They’re basically lurkers, made by real people who don’t use their accounts for whatever reason. However, they’re frequently social bots that don’t have any real users behind them.
At some point, every account will attract a certain number of ghost followers. Hence, why you need to get rid of them to increase engagement and grow your account organically.
How To Remove Ghost Followers on Instagram?
Follow the methods mentioned below to identify and learn how to get rid of ghost followers on Instagram in 2023:
1. Hire a professional
Without providing any login details, you can hire a professional to safely remove ALL of your Instagram ghost followers.
I personally use the Fiverr marketplace, and I’ll be sharing the freelancer that handles my ghost removal projects.
Tom is a social media expert and content creator with over 200 positive reviews. He is a level two seller with a team that specializes in creating valuable and industry-leading insights based on public data, which eliminates the need for login information and ensures that his services are completely safe and thorough.
His gig includes a detailed report on ghost followers that aren’t engaging with your account without requiring any login information; all that is required is your Instagram username.
After placing an order for one of the packages, they’ll use their self-developed algorithm that is 100% safe for your account to analyze all of your followers and show up every user who hasn’t interacted with at least one of your recent 40 posts.
Upon completion, you will receive a detailed datasheet with all the data needed to manually remove within your account.
His prices are quite budget-friendly, ranging from $25 to $70, and delivery takes anywhere from 3 to 7 days, depending on the number of followers on the account, which ranges from 2,000 to 20,000.
Also, he’s willing to work on accounts with more than 20k followers, so get in touch with him for a custom offer. His services are 100% safe as I’ve used them countless times.
Tom stands out from his competitors as he provides manual pure list while other services usually advocate for bots or some type of automation that would require you to hand over your login information, which isn’t SAFE!
Contact Tom today to order his service.
2. Do it yourself
This might sound difficult, especially if you have thousands of Instagram followers, but the best way to safely delete Instagram ghost followers if you’re not looking to a hire a professional is to browse through your followers list one by one and unfollow anyone who appears suspicious.
It’s also ideal to limit yourself to no more than 30 forced unfollows per hour (in order to avoid triggering the app’s sensitive algorithm for suspicious activity) .
The Instagram algorithm is getting tougher by the year. You can also skim through your followers to see who hasn’t liked or commented on any of your photographs and unfollow them.
Removing over 20,000 followers one by one?! Isn’t there an app or anything for that? Yes, indeed, however, we DON’T recommend it.
Avoid ghost follower apps at all cost! While they claim to detect and remove ghost followers, linking your account to that type of software may result in you being prohibited from certain actions or worse, your account being banned, which you don’t want.
Be aware that Instagram despises third-party apps that aren’t verified.
How to Avoid Instagram Ghost Followers?
Setting your profile to private, which requires you to accept each new follower request, is the only way to entirely prevent bots and fakes from following your Instagram account.
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this, probably because you run a business or something. There are other steps you can take (or avoid) to limit the number of ghostly followers on your account:
1) Stay clear from buying / using an Instagram account with pre-existing followers
Although there are agencies that sell Instagram accounts with followers, buying an existing account will not give you a head start. All of those followers are most likely bot-created identities, which you want to avoid.
2) Avoid paying for followers
As I made mention in the beginning of the article “It isn’t just about the overall number of followers you have”.
Paying for followers is essentially buying inactive Instagram followers, so resist the urge and focus on organically growing your account.
3) Don’t pay for engagement
Some users choose to buy likes, comments, and Instagram Story views in order to increase their engagement rate. While this may temporarily improve your KPIs, it is not a long-term strategy, and you will soon find yourself back where you began.
Does Removing Ghost Followers Help?
Yes, removing ghost followers can help in multiple ways. Any increase in your organic engagement (that goes down the more inactive and bot accounts you have following you), would result in growth and fast expansion of your account’s audience reach.
Brands and businesses that are focused on producing authentic engagement and gaining actual followers must solve their ghost follower issue in order to improve their outcomes.
How Ghost Followers Affect Influencers?
Ultimately, brands partner with influencers to reach an audience that is interested in their product and, hopefully, willing to buy it.
Having a large number of followers may first attract different types partners. Reputable brands, on the other hand, will definitely notice the difference in engagement rate to followers count.
If an influencer’s numbers appear to be polluted by ghost activity, they may lose out on partnership opportunities.
As a result, if you’re just getting started as an influencer, it’s best to grow your account organically in order to secure lucrative partnership offers.
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How to lower your profile on Instagram
Learn how to use Instagram's privacy settings to limit who can see your photos, block followers, and delete comments. Plus, discover a tool that lets you remove ghost followers in bulk.
If you've been on Instagram long enough, you've likely acquired a few followers whom you don't know. Of course, if you are trying to build your Instagram brand, you'll take all comers. If you are like me, however, and use Instagram primarily to share pictures of your kids with friends and family, you are wary of strangers in your midst. Thankfully, Instagram provides some privacy settings that can help you gain better control of who can see your photos.
In this post, I'll show you how you can use Instagram's settings to restrict who can follow you, block current followers, and delete comments. I'll also show you a Web site that lets you remove ghost followers -- those people who lurk in the background, following you but never liking or commenting on your photos.
Set photos as private When you first sign up for an Instagram account, it is set up so that anyone can see your photos and follow you. Instagram offers one privacy setting, however, that requires you to approve people before they can start following you.
To access Instagram's settings, tap the button in the lower-right corner to view your profile and then tap the button with the gear icon in the upper-right corner. Go to the last line in the Account section and tap to turn the toggle switch to ON for the line labeled, Photos Are Private. Now, when someone taps to follow you, they'll send you a request, which shows up on the News page of the Activity section of Instagram. Tap on their name and tap Approve or Ignore.
Block current followers Setting your photos as private in the step above doesn't change anything for your current followers. I have a couple of followers who started following me before I set my photos as private, for example, and they like nearly every photo I post, perhaps in an effort to boost their Instagram profile and land on Instagram's popular page. For such followers, I suggest you block them.
From your profile page, tap on the followers button at the top and then tap on a follower you'd no longer like to have access to your photos. When viewing this person's profile, tap the share button in the upper-right corner and choose Block User. Now, they will not be able to see, like, or comment on your photos (if you also took the other step of setting your photos as private). And they will not be notified that they've been blocked.
Delete comments If you block a user, their previous comments will still remain. To delete a comment, tap the comment button for the photo and swipe on the comment. Tap the garbage can icon and then tap the gray delete button to confirm. You can also use the red Delete & Report Abuse for any particularly offensive comments.
Remove ghost followers If your account is public or was for any stretch of time, I bet that when you go to your list of followers, there will be a few names you've never seen before. These are people who follow you but have never popped up to like or comment on a photo. You could simply block these ghost followers, but if you have amassed a substantial Instagram following, there is a Web site that lets you remove such followers in bulk.
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Point your browser to the IGExocist Web site and log in to your Instagram account. Click or tap (there is a mobile version of the site) on the big, green Request Rebuild button. After a few seconds, it will spit out your stats, including the number of inactive followers you have over four time periods (60+, 90+, 120+, and 180+ days). Click or tap on one of the four time-period links for your inactive followers and you'll see a list of these followers, complete with profile photos. At the top of this list is a big, red button that will cull all of the people on the list.
For more, check out Sharon Vaknin's Five essential Instagram tips .
Influencer Resources By TRIBE
How to Cleanse Your Account of Ghost Followers
Every account attracts a degree of ghost followers (bot or inactive accounts), but if you want to submit to brands on TRIBE, you’ll need to remove them. TRIBE’s AVS (Audience Vital Signs) scan , not only places a block on new accounts that don’t live up to the highest standard, but scans every existing account four times a day to detect any that have been compromised.
My account has been flagged, what does this mean?
If you see the below pop up, our AVS scan has detected ghost followers on your account. Once a flag has been raised, your account is automatically suspended.
What is a ghost follower?
How do I cleanse my account Of g host followers?
We’ve searched long and hard for a program that not only identifies ghost followers, but can remove them in bulk without fear of blocking those real followers who don’t post regularly. Sadly we’re yet to find a safer process than simply manually browsing your followers one by one and blocking any that appear suspicious. If you think this process requires patience, you’re right. However, we’ve seen influencers who have cleansed their account successfully rejoin TRIBE and have even more success as a result of their improved engagement.
I found a site to help me
We’d recommend you use third party sites that give you an online “inactive follower percentage” as a guide only, and work through your audience to check each account for accuracy. For larger accounts, it’s worth splitting up the followers into smaller groups. This may help you accurately ‘pick up where you left off’. Also worth implementing what we call ‘the alphabet strategy’ and utilise the handy search bar in your ‘followers’ to go through every follower from A to Z.
Why cleanse my account?
Not only will you be able to make money on TRIBE again, but manually vetting any inactive followers will boost your engagement which we display to Brands on each of your submissions. You’ll not only have more success on TRIBE, but the more people your content is reaching, the more opportunity there is for your follower base to grow organically.
Is automated engagement okay?
To put simply, no! Purchasing fake comments and likes on posts will inflate your engagement short term, and have the opposite effect on your organic traction. This makes you less valuable to brands, who now have the tools to identify this behaviour as well. Using automated engagement tools is also a no no, mostly because we find it really annoying and so will your audience. It’s also easy to identify, especially since bots aren’t that smart.
If you find yourself annoyed by this type of engagement, block the page and report them for spam.
When can I re-apply for TRIBE?
We would love you to apply to rejoin TRIBE once you’ve sufficiently cleansed your account, but we recommend waiting at least 30 days to properly review your followers. Simply contact [email protected] to re-apply to TRIBE. It may take our Risk & Compliance team up to two weeks to review your account, but rest assured we want you back in as soon as possible.
Now, fight the good fight.
Once you’ve given your account the spring clean it deserves, keep monitoring it as new followers join your community. A healthy tribe is an engaged tribe!
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How to Find Inactive Instagram Followers (And Remove Them)
Finding and removing inactive Instagram followers is important if you want a good engagement rate.
If your engagement rate is low , you might have a lot of inactive or ghost Instagram followers.
If you’re not consistently removing inactive Instagram followers, your engagement rate will start decreasing as your followers are increasing.
This will negatively affect your account.
However, finding inactive followers can be quite a hassle.
Hence, this article guides you on how to easily find inactive Instagram followers, how to remove them , and more.
What are inactive Instagram followers?
So, what are inactive or ghost Instagram followers?
Inactive Instagram followers, also known as ghost followers, are followers that don’t like or comment on any of your posts.
Inactive/ghost Instagram followers are followers that don’t engage on your posts. These are the type of followers that you want to get rid off.
In other words, inactive followers are following you, but they are not engaging on your posts.
A majority of these followers are bots that utilize the follow/unfollow strategy to grow their followers.
If you don’t know what the follow/unfollow strategy is, it’s basically the act of following a bunch of users with the intention for them to follow back.
However, some of these inactive followers are real people.
Either way, it’s a good idea to find and remove these followers as it will benefit your account.
It’s always better to remove a follower than to have an inactive one.
This is because even though you lose a follower, your engagement rate will be maintained , or even be increased.
Engagement rate is the most important metric on Instagram.
You can have tens of thousands of followers on Instagram, but if your engagement rate is low (under 3%), your account is poor.
In order for brands to work with you, your account has to have at least 1,000 followers and decent engagement rates.
Hence, likes is an important factor to determine whether your account is of quality.
At the end of the day, the more inactive or ghost followers you have, the lower your engagement rate.
How to find inactive Instagram followers
There are two different types of inactive Instagram followers.
The bots and real people that are inactive.
To find inactive Instagram followers, you need to be able to detect bots on your list of followers and people that are inactive , or don’t use Instagram anymore.
There are two types of Instagram followers you need to remove. Bots and real people that are either inactive or are not using Instagram anymore.
How to find and remove bots
Bots can be easily identifiable on Instagram.
Here’s what a bot account looks like:
- No profile picture
- Little to no posts
- Posts have little no engagement
- Not many followers
- Odd username
These are the number of factors you should take into consideration to identify a bot.
However, you need to make sure to go through each person meticulously.
This is because there could be real people that have all of these factors but bots that don’t.
So, you shouldn’t jump to conclusions.
Real people vs. bots
Using the above comparison, it’s easy to determine real accounts against bots or fake followers.
When you’re looking at these bot followers, you’ll need to keep the end goal in mind.
It’s all about getting people to engage in your content.
So if you’re looking through your list of followers and you think that someone might be a real person but you don’t think that they are going to engage in your content, then you should remove them.
How to find and remove real but inactive people
Now that I covered on how to find bots, how can you find real people who are just inactive followers?
How do you identify these people?
You can find real but inactive people by looking at the people that are consistently liking or commenting on your content.
If you know that you have followers that are not liking or commenting on your posts, that’s how you can find people that are inactive.
Additionally, you can use Instagram’s ‘Least Interacted With’ feature to find out who you interact with the least which means that the person might not have engaged on your posts as well.
The ‘Least Interacted With’ feature is great if you want to mass-unfollow or unfollow people on Instagram fast .
Since the feature is quite new on Instagram, you can use it to unfollow people without getting action blocked.
The feature is Instagram’s way of telling you that you should unfollow these people based on your low interaction with them.
Use a third-party app
Using a third-party app is one of the easiest ways to find inactive or ghost Instagram followers.
Simply search for “Instagram analytics/followers/unfollowers” on the App Store or Google Play Store.
However, viewing your inactive or ghost followers is usually a premium feature in these apps.
So, in order for you to view these followers, you’ll have to be prepared to spend some money.
However, if you’re utilizing these apps, make sure to never unfollow or remove followers in the app itself.
Otherwise, your account will be action blocked.
This is because Instagram is able to detect that you’re using a third-party app because you can carry out actions faster than normal.
Instead of removing/unfollowing people from the app itself, do it manually.
How to find inactive Instagram followers: Next steps
Now that you know how to find bot followers and inactive people, you have two options next.
The first option is to go ahead and engage with these people by going through their content, liking, and commenting on it.
However, you should only do that if you really enjoy their content. Don’t just do it for the intention for them to reciprocate.
By engaging on other’s content, they are more likely to engage back.
This is because once people know that you’re liking their posts, they may return the favor by liking your posts back.
It’s sort of a like for like thing.
Alternatively, you can remove these people from your list of followers.
Let’s dive into this in the next section.
How do I remove inactive Instagram followers?
There are a couple of ways you can use to remove inactive Instagram followers.
Here are the ways you can use to remove inactive Instagram followers.
1. Remove inactive followers from your list of followers.
The first way to remove inactive or ghost followers is to remove them from your list of followers or from their profile.
Instagram released a new feature where you can directly remove people from following you.
Not everyone has this feature, but if you have it, it’s incredibly useful.
You can remove followers by going to your list of followers.
On your list of followers, find bot or inactive people and then tap on ‘Remove’ to remove them from following you.
After you removed someone, they will no longer follow you.
They will not be notified that you removed them as a follower.
Also, they won’t be able to see your new posts or stories unless they happen to visit your profile and follow you again.
Secondly, you can remove someone from following you by going to their profile.
Search for their username on Instagram and visit their profile.
Then, tap on the triple-dots icon on the right-hand corner of your screen.
Lastly, tap on ‘Remove follower’ to remove them as a follower.
Again, the person will not be notified that you removed them as a follower unless they happen to visit your profile.
2. Block them
The second way you can remove inactive or ghost followers is by blocking them.
I do not recommend doing this, but if you do not have the feature to remove followers, then you should go ahead and block these users instead.
Here’s how you can block users.
Simply visit a user’s profile and tap on the triple-dots icon on the right-hand corner of your screen.
Then, tap on ‘Block’ to block them.
After you blocked someone, they will be removed from following you, your account will be removed from following them, and they will not be able to find your account.
The person will not be notified that you have blocked them.
Why are inactive Instagram followers bad?
If you have a bunch of inactive or ghost followers on Instagram, it can negatively affect your reach.
What happens is that you will get lesser engagement on your newer posts as they are not being shown to everyone.
For example, if you have a lot of followers on Instagram that are not engaging, Instagram will think that your content is bad.
Here’s how the Instagram algorithm works.
In the past, the posts on your feed are shown in a chronological order.
However, in the present, posts are being shown based on how likely you are to engage on it.
This means that if you recently posted something and people are not engaging on your post, Instagram will think that your content is bad and prevent it from being shown to more people.
Instagram’s algorithm works this way because they only want to show you the best content to get you to stay on the app.
Imagine if your feed is filled with low-quality images. You’re more likely to leave the app and not come back.
However, if your feed contains great content, then you’re inclined to stay on the app for a longer period of time.
In some occasions, having a low engagement rate does not mean that your content isn’t good.
It just means that you have a lot of inactive or ghost followers that aren’t interacting with your content.
Why is it important to remove inactive Instagram followers?
Inactive followers will decrease the reach of your posts and the engagement rate of your posts drastically.
It’s important to remove inactive Instagram followers to maintain your engagement rate.
As mentioned in the earlier sections, your engagement rate is the most important metric on Instagram.
Using an analogy, inactive followers are just followers that sits on your list of followers and do nothing.
They don’t like or comment on your posts.
This is unfavorable if you’ve been liking someone’s posts for a really long time but the person never engages back.
These are the type of people that you want to unfollow or remove as a follower.
By doing so, your engagement rate will either increase (if you get rid of a lot of inactive followers) or be maintained.
Why do people not engage on your posts?
People might not engage on your posts or you’re getting less likes because of several reasons.
Here is a list of reasons why people don’t like your posts or why you’re getting less likes on Instagram:
- They don’t bother to
- You are muted
- They are uninterested in your content
- Insufficient time
- They have way too many posts on their feed
- You are shadowbanned
- Your content is bad
- They don’t use Instagram anymore
- You’re using bad hashtags
- You’re not engaging on their posts
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why people don’t engage on your posts.
It could be because they are no longer interested in your content, they don’t use Instagram anymore, you’re not engaging on their posts, and so on.
Otherwise, it could be because your content is just low in quality. If that’s the case, you’ll have to create better content.
Benchmark your posts against others’. Is the quality of your content comparable to the users that have millions of followers/likes?
If not, you need to rethink on your content strategy or increase the quality of your content.
Removing inactive or ghost followers is crucial if you want to maintain or increase your engagement rate.
To find inactive Instagram followers, you can either do it manually or use a third-party app.
You can remove inactive followers using the ‘remove’ feature or by blocking them.
Engagement rate > followers.
After all, it’s better to lose a few followers than to have a poor engagement rate.
Remember, inactive or ghost followers are not helping your account — they are only harming it.
Further reading (related articles)
> Hot ? How to Unfollow People On Instagram Fast
> Why Do People Unfollow Me on Instagram?
> How to Unfollow Users on Instagram Who Don’t Follow You Back
P.S. If you liked this article, feel free to join our follow for follow community for Instagram: https://www.followchain.org — it’s free!
Grow your Instagram audience
Self-promote your Instagram link on Followchain — a follow for follow community for Instagram.
Author: Lim How Wei . Lim How Wei is the founder of Followchain , a community that simplifies growth and networking for Instagram users. Feel free to follow him on Instagram .
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About the author.
Lim How Wei
Lim How Wei is the founder of followchain.org, with 8+ years of experience in Social Media Marketing and 4+ years of experience as an active investor in stocks and cryptocurrencies. He has researched, tested, and written thousands of articles ranging from social media platforms to messaging apps.
Lim has been quoted and referenced by major publications and media companies like WikiHow, Fast Company, HuffPost, Vice, New York Post, The Conversation, and many others. One of his articles about the gig economy was quoted by Joe Rogan who hosts The Joe Rogan Experience (arguably the most popular podcast in the world), in the This Past Weekend podcast by Theo Von.
In his free time, Lim plays multiple games like Genshin Impact, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Hearthstone, RuneScape, and many others. He creates guides, walkthroughs, solutions, and more on games that he plays to help other players with their progression.
The Best Ghost Followers Apps In 2023 To Remove Ghost Followers’ Instagram
- Cyrus Nambakhsh
- July 30, 2023
If you have more than 3K followers but only 100 of them like your posts, it means that most of the followers of your account are ghost followers. So, you definitely should be in search of ways to remove ghost followers on Instagram . Here Insta ghost followers apps can come in handy!
Rather than being a pain in the neck, fake followers on Instagram can severely damage your engagement rate. So, what should you do with your ghost followers on Instagram? How do you remove ghost followers Instagram accounts?
Would you prefer using IG unfollowers apps designed to remove fake Instagram followers altogether? Or, you might consider using the best Instagram management services to safeguard your account from the threat of fake followers!
In this article, we will show you how to remove ghost followers on Instagram, find the best ghost followers app, and even stop ghost followers from invading your account and growing your account using the best instagram growth service, AiGrow .
So, let’s know how to get rid of ghost followers on Instagram!
Why Remove Ghost Followers Instagram?
You may ask why you should consider removing ghost followers when these ghost followers can be beneficial to your social proof.
As you may know, according to Instagram algorithms that are constantly changing, the engagement rate indicates the success of an Instagrammer or type of influencer on Instagram, not the number of followers.
Before we get into why you should remove ghost followers on Instagram, let’s define ghost or fake followers.
What Are Ghost Followers on Instagram
Ghost followers , or as some people call them, ghost accounts or lurkers, are users on Instagram who don’t engage with your account and stay inactive all the time. These are fake followers mostly generated by dangerous bots or for many other reasons.
Fake followers on Instagram or bots only help you to have a higher number of followers written on your profile. They don’t engage with your content, and if they do, which is rare, the result might be embarrassing, and your engagement rate will always be down .
The most common ways that accounts may gain ghost followers are by buying IG followers , using free or paid Instagram followers apps , or taking part in Instagram giveaways. Some people create so many fake accounts only to involve Instagram giveaways or social media campaigns.
They use these accounts for one week or two, then abandon them without even bothering to delete them. Another reason is that there are simply some people who just don’t like to engage with any other Instagram accounts and enjoy snooping.
Also, some people forget the password or have issues that they can’t log in to their IG accounts . So, they created another new account and stopped using the old one. So the only way to increase your engagement rate is to remove ghost followers’ Instagram accounts. You may wonder how to identify ghost followers. Keep reading to find out how.
How to Identify and Remove Ghost Followers Instagram
Sometimes ghost followers look so real that you may be unable to tell them apart. However, it is very easy to check your followers and identify some ghost followers on Instagram.
Fake Instagram followers usually don’t have profile pictures. Also, they have no followers or have only a few followers as opposed to their number of following.
Also, their usernames can contain meaningless numbers and letters. If you find such things, remove ghost followers’ Instagram accounts as soon as possible, as they will damage your account.
Why Should I Remove Ghost Followers on Instagram?
What is wrong with ghost followers on Instagram is still an open subject. Ghost followers don’t seem like a major problem; however, they can tremendously affect some aspects of your IG account. So, now that you know what a ghost follower on Instagram is let’s see why you should remove ghost followers on Instagram.
Here are some reasons that show how fake followers on Instagram affect your efficiency and should be removed.
#1 Remove Fake Followers’ Instagram as They Lower Your Engagement Rate
Well, if you’re familiar with the Instagram algorithm , you know that your IG rate is the ratio of your likes, comments, saves, and shares to the total number of followers multiplied by 100.
On the other hand, based on your activities on the app, your engagement rate, and the algorithm the app uses to determine it, are different from other users.
This algorithm depends on your activity, the accounts you follow, the posts that you like, and the people who follow you. When your account is filled with ghost followers who won’t interact in any way, your engagement rate decreases.
#2 Ghost Followers Damage Your Credibility
While you may thank Instagram ghost followers for boosting your follower count, they can destroy your credibility and lower your engagement rate. These fake followers can hurt your bottom line, especially if you are an Instagram influencer or a brand ambassador .
Essentially, brands are looking for ambassadors or micro-influencers on Instagram with high engagement rates. So if your followers don’t respond to your posts by liking, commenting, or saving and sharing your content, brands will never rely on you to promote them.
On the other hand, if you use instagram for your business , follower count provides a key performance metric for your profile, but these metrics can be misleading because of ghost followers.
Fake Instagram followers cause users to have no real way of measuring their reach on Instagram because they don’t know how many followers they have. So having ghost followers makes it difficult to assess your marketing efforts accurately.
For example, imagine you are a customer who wants to buy a brand’s product. If there is a huge number of followers but no likes and comments, can you count on such a profile on Instagram?
Therefore, whether you are an influencer, an individual, or a business, you ought to remove ghost followers’ Instagram profiles to increase your credibility and win the trust of your followers.
#3 Ghost Followers Cause Fewer People See Your Posts
Instagram’s algorithm takes engagement into account when deciding which posts to show to a broader audience. If your content receives more genuine engagement relative to your follower count, it’s more likely to be displayed to a wider audience.
If your account is full of fake followers that act as a ghost, not even Instagram hides your posts from them, but it also hides your content from other followers who are actually real and engaged.
This will damage the reputation of brands and even individual accounts on Instagram. Also, it causes lower ROI for businesses that invest tremendous time and energy in social media.
#4 Removing Insta Ghost Followers Lead to Targeted Marketing
When you remove ghost followers Instagram, you get a clearer picture of your real audience’s interests and demographics. This information is valuable for tailoring your content and marketing efforts to a more targeted and relevant audience.
#5 Remove Ghost Followers on Instagram to Avoid Penalties
In the past, some accounts with a high number of fake or inactive followers have faced penalties from Instagram. While the platform has taken steps to improve this, it’s still a good idea to keep your follower list clean and authentic.
To fix this problem, you can manually go through your followers and remove any account that seems fake. As we mentioned, fake accounts or bots have weird names and no profile pictures. This way, you can identify fake followers on Instagram or other social media channels.
But if the number of followers is too big to manage and remove them manually, some ghost follower apps will help you get over this issue.
What would you do with your ghost followers on Instagram? Do you like having an Insta ghost followers app to delete them all? Or you may want to hire an Instagram account manager who won’t let fake followers threaten your account!
In the next section, we introduce you to top Insta ghost followers apps.
Remove Ghosts Using The Top Insta Ghost Followers Apps
Luckily, by using Instagram ghost followers apps, you can remove ghost followers on Instagram and get rid of these inactive followers. If you wonder how to get rid of fake followers, you can use the following Insta ghost followers apps.
1- Unfollowers & Ghost Followers APK for Android
Unfollowers & Followers app for Instagram is popular among users. It scores 2.7 on Google Play. It gives you a list of your ghost followers that you can simply remove from your account and make space for more active ones. It also shows unfollowers and you can unfollow them directly on this app.
However, numerous users expressed dissatisfaction with the app’s effectiveness. This could be attributed to Instagram’s strict prohibition of third-party apps or bots for executing actions on the platform, as such usage may result in account suspension or termination.
2- My Ghost Followers Instagram APK for Android
My Ghost Followers Instagram is an APK file designed for managing or detecting ghost followers on Instagram, and it is available for free. Unlike apps found on Google Play, this particular app is not listed there. Instead, you can find and download it from alternative sources like apkfab.com by searching its name.
If you are considering using any third-party app related to Instagram, it is essential to exercise caution and ensure the app is legitimate, safe, and compliant with Instagram’s guidelines. Always verify the source and legitimacy of any app you intend to use, and be aware of the potential risks involved.
3- Unfollowers Ghost Followers Follower Insight
Unfollowers Ghost Followers Follower Insight is a free Android application developed by Bad Raccoon. This app is designed to identify ghost followers. It is available in English and was previously available on Google Play . However, currently, you can find and download it from websites like apkfab.com and softonic.com .
As previously said, it is normally advisable to manage your Instagram account through official or trustworthy channels in order to maintain a safe and legitimate online presence. So, before you use this Insta ghost followers app, do some research on it.
Utilizing third-party apps, particularly APK files from unknown sources can be dangerous and may violate Instagram’s terms of service.
4- Reports + Followers Analytics For Instagram (Mobile X)
This Insta ghost follower app helps you to find your best Instagram fans and get rid of the others. Using its free version, you can get a comprehensive report of your account performance and even see who unfollowed you. Teaching engagement is another great tool that this app offers.
It used to be a good app for removing fake Instagram followers, but after looking at the reviews, we noticed the app has been glitchy and not working correctly. It is ineffective, like other ghost followers apps, therefore consider another solution to remove ghost followers on Instagram.
5- Ghost Followers Apps; GhostHunter
If you are an influencer or a business, you can use this online service to find unfollowers, mutual followers, and more. This app also allows you to protect your Instagram profile from ghost followers, bots, and hackers.
The application gives you an anti-spam to monitor your account and block unwanted comments and ghost followers. Using this app you can delete spam profiles and remove users that aren’t active.
Note : Based on our last information on this app this Insta ghost followers app is no longer available.
6- App For Fake Instagram Followers; Cleaner for IG
This app allows you to delete or block unwanted followers on Instagram. Using Cleaner for Instagram you can do these activities on the app. There is also a web version of this app and you don’t need to download the APK file.
This Insta ghost followers app is not available on Google Play, but you may download it from other websites such as Softonic.
7- Ghost Unfollowers For Instagram & Fake I.G. Clean
You might have used this program to eliminate all of the lurkers on your page (eight other Instagram bots or other users). This app also used to allow you to track your last 100 Instagram posts in order to better understand your followers’ behavior and identify those who are the most inactive. Then, utilizing mass unfollowing, unfollow these accounts at a rate of around 60 ghost followers every hour on Instagram.
But according to our last investigation, this app doesn’t exist on Google Play, appadvice, and other websites. Apparently, it is merged with another app with this name.
8- Remove Ghost Followers’ Instagram Using Firing Table
Some Instagram services also provide a ghost followers feature. For example, Firing Table is a social media management service that one of its features apparently was to identify ghost followers.
You can read the Firing Table review to know more about this service. Unfortunately, their site doesn’t work lately.
9- Delete Ghost Followers Instagram Using Phantombuster
PhantomBuster is a solution that provides automation and data collecting for social media networks such as Instagram. It offers options that enable users to gather data from Instagram, such as followers, to determine which accounts are legitimate and which are not.
It’s important to note that using automated tools like PhantomBuster to remove ghost followers goes against Instagram’s terms of service. So, find another way to remove ghost followers on Instagram.
10- SpamGuard Insta Ghost Followers App
With Spamguard, allegedly you can examine, declutter, and fortify your Instagram account. The tool allows you to conduct a thorough scan of your account, pinpointing and categorizing any unwanted elements like bots, commercial accounts, and other potential spam.
Once identified, you can efficiently clean up these undesirable accounts, effectively clearing the path for enhanced engagement rate growth. As you can see, using these Insta ghost followers apps, you can identify fake followers. But most of the time, they don’t operate because Instagram identifies them as bots, and it may hurt your account.
Additionally, suppose you identified ghost followers; how do you mass unfollow them? So, let’s know some ways that allow you to mass unfollow ghost followers and prevent your account from ghosting Instagram followers.
In the following, we examine one of the best third-party Instagram management apps that will help you have sustainable growth on Instagram and never use ghost-follower apps again.
Use AiGrow; All In One Instagram Growth Tool to Delete Ghost Followers Instagram
AiGrow may not be an app for ghost followers, but it can help you prevent your account from them, and mass unfollow those ghost followers that you have identified.
AiGrow is one of the best Instagram growth services and organic Instagram solutions that help you save time and energy by using effective Instagram marketing methods that’ll keep your account safe.
AiGrow offers a comprehensible set of tools to manage Instagram page(s); however, one of its most popular services is Instagram growth packages. Using AiGrow you will access a complete dashboard with a lot of capabilities.
AiGrow has received positive feedback on Trustpilot and other reliable websites, like this AiGrow review on the Hoothemes . The following are the features of AiGrow:
- A Dedicated Account Manager
- Manual Growth Activities
- Instagram Post, Story, and IGTV Scheduling Tool
- Content Repost Tool
- Mass Delete Feature
- AI-Powered Targeting Options
- 24×7 Customer Support
- Social Monitoring + Analytics Tool
- Hashtag Generator Tool
- Mass Unfollow Tool
Additionally, the AiGrow PostMate feature assists you in content creation strategies. And its Link-In-Bio Tool allows you to add as many links as you wish to your profile.
How to Remove Ghost Followers on Instagram Using Aigrow Mass Unfollow Tool
AiGrow is a secure and hands-on Instagram growth service that offers a range of functionalities to assist you in boosting your engagement and growing your followers organically . This comprehensive Instagram management solution establishes a connection between you and a team of skilled Instagram experts, including content creators, designers, and growth managers.
With AiGrow’s round-the-clock management, your Instagram account will be diligently looked after, shielding you from the acquisition of ghost followers. Moreover, the adept managers can detect and delete ghost followers Instagram accounts.
What are you waiting for?
This proactive approach ensures that you won’t face any blocking or suspicion from Instagram, safeguarding the integrity of your account. They possess in-depth knowledge about the most up-to-date Instagram algorithm and updates, ensuring that your account is well-taken care of and optimized for growth.
To use AiGrow , you can choose between its incredible packages. These packages come at different prices and purposes, but the main advantage of AiGrow’s packages compared to other services is that they get you 100% real and engaged followers. As a result, you don’t get any ghost followers on the app!
What To Do After Using The IG Ghost Followers App
Now that your account is clear and empty of ghost followers, you need to start attracting real and engaged followers! These ways are also functional after you cleanse your account from fake followers.
Use The Best Ways To Get Real Followers For Instagram Organically
There are many paid and free ways to gain followers, such as writing engaging captions, scheduling posts, using the right hashtags, and of course, using a good Instagram growth service .
As we mentioned before, ghost followers are not useful for your credibility and decrease your engagement rate. So try to get real followers on Instagram and other social media channels using these methods:
- Create and share high-quality videos and images with the best size
- Include hashtags and geo-location tags in your post
- Interact with your followers or subscribers on the app you use
- Use a quality Instagram growth service
- Host Instagram contests
- Use t he best Influencer marketing platforms and marketplaces to find influencers and do influencer marketing
Do Manual Audit and Block or Remove Ghost Followers Instagram
Regularly go through your follower list and look for accounts that seem suspicious or inactive. Check for accounts with no profile picture, very few posts, no followers, and little to no engagement on your posts.
Once you’ve identified ghost followers, you can manually block or remove them from your follower list. Keep in mind that this process can be time-consuming if you have a large number of followers.
Remember, using third-party ghost followers apps to remove ghost followers Instagram can be risky, and Instagram actively discourages such practices. It’s always best to follow Instagram’s guidelines and use legitimate methods to grow and maintain your audience.
So, use legitimate third-party tools like AiGrow to help you find and delete Instagram ghost followers.
Use Ainfluencer Marketplace to Attract Real Followers
You may be wondering how to get rid of ghost followers on Instagram using influencer marketing. The answer is simple. By working with the right influencers you can promote your account and reach targeted followers who will actively interact with your content.
Ainfluencer is the best marketplace that allows you to find the best influencers. To get rid of ghost followers you can find a micro-influencer with a high engagement rate and start your collaboration to attract targeted followers in your niche.
Whether you are a brand or an influencer, you can use Ainfluencer. This marketplace allows you to find influencers as a brand or find brands as an influencer to get paid. They have a vast database of large-quality influencers with the most engaged followers.
Ainfluencer provides you with an easy-to-use dashboard. Using this service, you can filter influencers based on their types, location, gender, and more. You can also analyze their engagement rate and monitor the performance of your collaboration.
Final Words On Using Ghost Followers Apps
‘Remove ghost followers Instagram’ as a keyword refers to the action of eliminating inactive or fake followers from an Instagram account. This process is undertaken by users, influencers, or businesses to improve their account’s credibility, engagement rate, and overall authenticity. By removing ghost followers, they aim to foster genuine connections with their real audience and build trust among their followers.
This article explained how to get rid of ghost followers and what apps you can use to find and remove them. Don’t forget that after cleaning your followers’ list from ghost followers, start using an Instagram service such as AiGrow to keep your account safe and active on the platform.
Additionally, by using the best Influencer marketplace like Ainfluencer , you can increase your targeted followers.
FAQs on Insta Ghost Followers Apps
There may be more questions that we didn’t cover in this post. Here we answer some of the queries about fake followers and everything related to it.
Q1. How Can Removing Ghost Followers Help You Grow Your Account?
According to Instagram’s algorithm, engagement rate is more important than follower count. Instagram will remove your ghost followers if it detects them and losing followers on Instagram lowers your engagement rate. This will result in fewer users seeing your content and stories. So, removing ghost followers will help you to increase the engagement rate and grow your account.
Q2. How To Prevent Your Account From Ghost Followers?
By following some tips you can prevent your account from having fake followers on Instagram and other social media channels. Some of them are: Never buy followers because they include ghost followers or are generated by bots Never purchase a pre-existing account for your instagram or other social media marketing channels Buying likes, comments, and views are also can be harmful
Q3. Can I Remove Ghost Followers Manually?
While you can manually review your followers for suspicious accounts, removing them individually can be time-consuming. Using third-party tools or ghost followers apps can streamline the process.
Q4. Are There Any Risks Associated With Using Third-Party Apps to Remove Ghost Followers?
While some apps are reputable and safe, others may violate Instagram’s terms of service and put your account at risk. It’s essential to use trusted apps and read reviews before proceeding.
Q5. How Frequently Should I Clean Up My Follower List?
Regularly monitoring your follower list and removing ghost followers is beneficial. Aim to clean up your list at least once every few months or as needed.
- social media
Should You Remove Ghost Followers on Instagram?
- WRITTEN BY: Chalene Johnson
- 28, September, 2022
Should you remove/delete ghost (or inactive) followers on Instagram? Or — anyone you think might not be real or part of your ideal audience?
The short answer: No.
There has not been shown to be any benefit to blocking or deleting or removing ghost followers.
Now, there has been a hypothesis, if you will, circulating about that if you remove ghost followers, you’ll improve your engagement rate — that ultimately, it’ll help you grow.
And on paper, that theory makes sense.
However, the problem is you would have to block and remove so many followers to make a substantial difference in your engagement rate! Regardless of your follower count.
The truth, though…
When you remove ghost followers on Instagram, you’re actually hurting your account.
The reason being: If you’re blocking that many people, Instagram is like,
“Whoa, what’s going on here? Why Did Chelsea just lose 300 followers?”
And the algorithm concludes that:
- it’s your content
- people aren’t liking your stuff
- your page has just gone bananas
Meaning, Instagram and the algorithm will limit showing your posts and they’ll stop recommending your account to new potential followers!
Hence (to reiterate), not only does getting rid of ghost followers not help you, it actually dings your account and, not to mention, wastes your flipping time.
Why would you spend hours of your time combing through your list of followers to block people who you think might be ghosting or not part of your ideal audience?
Now, of course, there are exceptions to every rule, like:
- someone’s following you and it makes you really uncomfortable
- you run an Instagram account for your child who’s under the age of 18 and a creepy random dude starts following
- your new follower has no profile, no pic, no posts, no followers
In such situations, then, by all means, block and remove them!
But to remind:
From an algorithmic/growth/sales perspective, it does not benefit you at all to delete a ghost follower.
Also, may I add…
You don’t know if that follower (you’re about to block) with no profile picture — who hasn’t posted in seven years — is actively engaging with other people and might be your next customer.
For much more related to Instagram, like:
- Should your IG handle be your name?
- Why carousels and photo posts aren’t getting as much engagement as they once did
- Engagement on weekends vs weekdays
Then, you must check out this episode of Build Your Tribe :
And don’t forget to subscribe to BYT for weekly shows dedicated to your social media and biz growth!
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Is There an Instagram Ghost Followers Remover App?
Explore the possibility to remove ghost followers using third-party apps.
Instagram has become one of the most popular social media platforms in recent years, with millions of users worldwide. As a result, many users are looking for ways to optimize their accounts to attract more followers and increase engagement. One of the most common issues faced by many users is the presence of ghost followers. You might ask if is there an Instagram ghost followers removal app. Don’t worry! In this article, we will explore the various options available for removing ghost followers on this platform.
Table of Contents
Ghost followers are accounts that follow you but do not engage with your content. These accounts may be inactive or fake, affecting your engagement rate and overall reach on the platform. To solve this problem, many users are searching for an Instagram ghost followers remover app that can help them delete ghost followers in bulk. You will get to know if there is an Instagram ghost followers remover app further in this article. Keep reading to learn more about it in detail.
Should I Remove My Ghost Followers on Instagram?
Whether or not to remove ghost followers on Instagram is a personal decision . Ghost followers are accounts that follow you but do not engage with your content. They may be inactive or fake accounts . Removing them may improve your engagement rate, but it will not necessarily improve your overall reach or visibility on the platform. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to remove ghost followers is up to you and what you hope to achieve with your Instagram account.
Also Read : When did Instagram Come Out?
Is There an App to Delete Ghost Followers on Instagram?
Yes , there are several third-party apps and websites that claim to help you identify and delete ghost followers on Instagram. Some of these apps may also provide additional analytics and tools to help you manage your account.
Yes , there are several apps that claim to be able to identify and remove ghost followers on Instagram, like AiGrow , SpamGuard , etc.
How to Find Ghost Followers Instagram Online
Once you know if there is an Instagram ghost followers remover app, there are several online tools and websites that claim to help you identify ghost followers on Instagram. Some of these tools may use different methods to detect ghost followers, such as analyzing engagement rates or identifying inactive or fake accounts from websites that offer ghost follower detection such as Social Audit Pro.
1. Add the INSSIST Web Client for Instagram extension to your browser.
Note : You will have to buy the Pro version to use this extension.
2. Navigate to your Instagram profile which you want to check for ghost followers.
Note : Make sure to log in to your IG account on the same browser.
3. Now, click on the INSSIST extension from the browser’s top nav bar.
4. Then, click on the Insights tab from the left pane.
5. Click on the DETAILS option from your profile section.
6. Locate the spam followers section to see the percentage of spam followers on your IG account.
7. Then, choose Unfollow or Block to remove the ghost followers.
Also Read : What Happens When You Remove a Follower on Instagram?
How to Remove Ghost Followers Instagram Free
To remove ghost followers from your Instagram account for free, you can manually investigate your follower list by utilizing a set of defined criteria.
- One method for identifying potential ghost followers is to examine their usernames for any nonsensical characters or excessive numbers , as these may indicate the presence of an inactive or fake account.
- Additionally, evaluating the profile picture and bio of a follower , as well as their follower-following ratio and their last postdate, can provide further insight into the authenticity of the account.
What is the Best Instagram Ghost Cleaner Online?
It’s difficult to determine the best Instagram ghost cleaner online as the quality and reliability of these tools can vary greatly. But the most widely known application in this regard is Social Audit Pro . This website claims to help you identify and delete ghost followers on Instagram. It provides detailed analytics and the ability to unfollow or block ghost followers in bulk.
Note 1: It is important to note that, using any third-party apps or websites may require you to provide your Instagram login credentials, which could potentially compromise your account security. Therefore, it’s always best to do your research and read reviews before downloading or using any third-party app or website.
Note 2: It is also important to note that Instagram limits how many actions you can perform within a certain time frame, so it’s best to do this in small batches and wait for some time before continuing to avoid getting your account blocked or flagged.
Also Read : What are Best Instagram Birthday Story Ideas?
How Can I Delete Ghost Followers in Bulk on Instagram? How to Delete Ghost Instagram Followers in Bulk
As mentioned in the article, Instagram officially does not allow you to remove your ghost followers in bulk . However, there are many third-party services that take for you by charging a price like Social Audit Pro which helps you remove all the ghost accounts in bulk with the tap of a click.
What is the Best App to Remove Inactive Instagram Followers?
Some popular options to remove ghost followers include Unfollow Users Cleaner . This app is available on both iOS and Android. It helps you identify inactive followers and provides detailed analytics and the ability to unfollow or block them in bulk.
What is the Best App to Remove Fake Followers on Instagram?
As mentioned above in the article, it is not easy to find the best app to remove inactive and fake Instagram followers as users’ experiences may vary from app to app. However, we have mentioned a few apps above in the article for you to check out.
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So, we hope you have understood whether there is an Instagram ghost followers remover app. You can let us know any queries or suggestions about any other topic you want us to make an article on. Drop them in the comments section below for us to know.
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Can You Hide a Child’s Face From A.I.?
Parents have been stressing out for at least two decades about what to share about their children online. Powerful new technologies present a more urgent risk.
- Share full article
By Kashmir Hill
Kashmir Hill has covered privacy and technology for more than a decade, has written a book about facial recognition, and has young children whose online footprints she still struggles to protect.
There are two distinct factions of parents on TikTok: those who will crack eggs over their kids’ heads for likes and those who are trying desperately to make sure the internet doesn’t know who their children are.
For the 35-year-old TikTok star who posts under the name Kodye Elyse, an uncomfortable online experience made her stop including her three children on her social media. A video she posted in 2020 of her young daughter dancing attracted millions of views and creepy comments from strange men. (She requested that The New York Times not print her full name because she and her children have been doxxed in the past.)
“It’s kind of like ‘The Truman Show’ on the internet,” said Kodye Elyse, who has four million followers on TikTok and posts about her work as a cosmetic tattoo artist and her experiences as a single mother. “You never know who’s looking .”
After that experience, she scrubbed her children’s images from the internet. She tracked down all of her online accounts, on sites such as Facebook and Pinterest, and deleted them or made them private. She has since joined the clamorous camp of TikTokers encouraging fellow parents not to post about their children publicly.
But in September, she discovered her efforts hadn’t been entirely successful. Kodye Elyse used PimEyes , a startling search engine that finds photos of a person on the internet within seconds using facial recognition technology. When she uploaded a photo of her 7-year-old son, the results included an image of him she had never seen before. She needed a $29.99 subscription to see where the image had come from.
Her ex-husband had taken their son to a soccer game, and they were in the background of a photograph on a sports news site, sitting in the front row behind the goal. She realized she wouldn’t be able to get the news organization to take down the photo, but she submitted a removal request , via an online form, to PimEyes, so that her son’s image would not show up if other people searched for his face.
She also found a toddler-aged photo of her now 9-year-old daughter being used to promote a summer camp she had attended. She asked the camp to take down the photo, which it did.
“I think everybody should be checking that,” Kodye Elyse said. “It’s a good way to know that no one is repurposing your kids’ images.”
Beware of ‘Sharenting’
How much parents should post about their children online has been discussed and scrutinized to such an intense degree that it has its own off-putting portmanteau: “sharenting.”
Historically, the main criticism of parents who overshare online has been the invasion of their progeny’s privacy, but advances in artificial intelligence-based technologies present new ways for bad actors to misappropriate online content of children.
Among the novel risks are scams featuring deepfake technology that mimic children’s voices and the possibility that a stranger could learn a child’s name and address from just a search of their photo.
Amanda Lenhart, the head of research at Common Sense Media, a nonprofit that offers media advice to parents, pointed to a recent public service campaign from Deutsche Telekom that urged more careful sharing of children’s data. The video featured an actress portraying a 9-year-old named Ella, whose fictional parents were indiscreet about posting photos and videos of her online. Deepfake technology generated a digitally aged version of Ella who admonishes her fictional parents, telling them that her identity has been stolen, her voice has been duplicated to trick them into thinking she’s been kidnapped and a nude photo of her childhood self has been exploited.
Ms. Lenhart called the video “heavy-handed” but said it made the point that “actually this technology is really quite good.” People are already receiving calls from scammers imitating loved ones in peril using versions of their voices created with A.I. tools.
Jennifer DeStefano, a mother in Arizona, got a call this year from someone who claimed to have kidnapped her 15-year-old daughter. “I answered the phone ‘Hello;’ on the other end was our daughter Briana sobbing and crying saying, ‘Mom,’” Ms. DeStefano said in congressional testimony this summer.
She was negotiating to pay the kidnappers $50,000 when she discovered her daughter was at home “resting safely in bed.”
What a Face Reveals
Obscure online photos and videos might be linked to someone’s face with facial recognition technology, which has grown in power and accuracy in recent years. Photos taken at a school, a day care, a birthday party or a playground could show up in such a search. (A school or day care should present you with a waiver; feel free to say no.)
“When a child is younger, the parent has more control over their image,” said Debbie Reynolds, a data privacy and emerging technologies consultant. “But kids grow up. They have friends. They go to parties. Schools take pictures.”
Ms. Reynolds recommends that parents search online for their children’s faces using a service like PimEyes or FaceCheck.ID. If they don’t like what comes up, they should try to get the websites the photo was posted on to take it down, she said. (Some will, but others — like news organizations — might not.)
In a 2020 Pew Research survey , more than 80 percent of parents reported sharing photos, videos and information about their children on social media sites. Experts were unable to say how many parents are sharing those images only on private social media accounts, as opposed to publicly, but they said that private sharing is an increasingly common practice.
When I share digital photos of my daughters, I tend to use private messaging apps and an Instagram account limited to friends and family. But when I searched for their faces on PimEyes, I also discovered a public photo I had forgotten about — that accompanied a story I had written — of my now 6-year-old daughter when she was 2. I requested that PimEyes remove the image from its results, and it no longer appears in a search.
While a public face search engine is a potentially useful tool for a parent, it could also be used nefariously.
“A tool like PimEyes can be — and likely is — used as easily by a stalker as it is a concerned parent,” said Bill Fitzgerald, a privacy researcher, who also expressed concern about overbearing parents using it to monitor their teen children’s activities.
PimEyes’ owner, Giorgi Gobronidze, said more than 200 accounts had been deactivated on the site for inappropriate searches of children’s faces.
A similar face recognition engine, Clearview AI , whose use is limited to law enforcement, has been used to identify victims in photos of child sexual abuse. Mr. Gobronidze said PimEyes had been used similarly by human rights organizations to help children. But he is worried enough about potential child predators using the service that PimEyes is working on a feature to block searches of faces that appear to belong to minors. (Mr. Fitzgerald, the privacy researcher, is concerned that parents using the tool to look for their own children, might be unintentionally helping the PimEyes algorithm improve its recognition of those minors.)
Mimi Ito, a cultural anthropologist and director of the Connected Learning Lab at the University of California, Irvine, said facial recognition technology makes the otherwise joyful sharing of children’s photos online more challenging.
“There’s a growing awareness that with A.I., we don’t really have control of all the data that we’re spewing into the social media ecosystem,” she said.
The Right to Control an Online Footprint
Lucy and Mike Fitzgerald, professional ballroom dancers in St. Louis who maintain an active social media presence to advertise their business, refrain from posting images of their daughters, ages 5 and 3, online, and have asked friends and family members to respect the prohibition. They believe their daughters should have the right to create and control their own online footprints. They also worry their images might be used inappropriately.
“The fact that you can steal someone’s photo in a couple of clicks and then use it for whatever you want is concerning,” Ms. Fitzgerald said. “I understand the appeal of posting your kids’ photos, but ultimately, we don’t want them to be the ones to have to deal with potential unintended consequences.”
Ms. Fitzgerald and her husband are not experts who were “informed about what’s looming on the horizon of tech,” she said. But, she added, they “had a feeling” years ago that there were “going to be capabilities that we can’t foresee right now that will eventually be problematic for our kids.”
Parents more likely to know specifics about what’s looming on the tech horizon, including Edward Snowden, the National Security Agency contractor turned whistle-blower, and Mark Zuckerberg, the Facebook co-founder, conceal their children’s faces in otherwise public social media posts. In holiday-themed posts on Instagram, Mr. Zuckerberg used the clumsy emoji method — posting a digital sticker on his older children’s heads — while Mr. Snowden and his wife, Lindsay Mills, artfully posed one of their two sons behind a balloon to obscure his face.
“I want my kids to have the option to disclose themselves into the world, in whatever form they choose, whenever they are ready,” Ms. Mills said.
A spokeswoman for Mr. Zuckerberg declined to comment, or to explain why his baby’s face didn’t get the same treatment, and whether it was because facial recognition technology doesn’t work very well on infants.
‘An Online Ghost’ for Future Success
Many experts noted that teens think a lot about how they curate their digital identities, and that some use pseudonyms online to prevent parents, teachers and potential employers from finding their accounts. But if there is a public image on that account that features their face, it could still be linked back to them with a face search engine.
“Your face is very hard to keep off of the web , ” said Priya Kumar , an assistant professor at Pennsylvania State University who has studied the privacy implications of sharenting.
Dr. Kumar suggests that parents involve children, around the age of 4, in the process of posting — and talk to them about which images are OK to share.
Amy Webb, the chief executive of Future Today Institute, a business consultancy that focuses on technology, pledged in a Slate post a decade ago not to post personal photos or identifying information of her toddler online. (Some readers took this as a challenge, and found a family photo Ms. Webb had inadvertently made public, illustrating just how hard it can be to keep a child off the internet.) Her daughter, now a teenager, said she appreciated being an “online ghost,” and thought it would help her professionally.
Future employers “are going to find literally nothing on me because I don’t have any platforms,” she said. “It’s going to help me succeed in my future.”
Other young people who have grown up in the age of online sharing said they too were thankful to have parents who did not post photos of them publicly online. Shreya Nallamothu, 16, is a high school student whose research on child influencers helped lead to a new Illinois state law that requires parents to set aside earnings for their children if they are featuring them in monetized online content. She said she was “very grateful” that her parents didn’t post “super embarrassing moments of me on social media.”
“There are people in my grade who are really good at finding your classmates’ parents’ Facebook and scrolling down,” she said. They use any cringeworthy fodder for disappearing birthday posts on Snapchat.
Arielle Geismar, 22, a college student and digital safety advocate in Washington, D.C., described it as a “privilege to grow up without a digital identity being made for you.”
“Kids are currently technology’s guinea pigs,” Ms. Geismar said. “It’s our responsibility to take care of them.”
Kashmir Hill writes about technology and how it is changing people’s everyday lives with a particular focus on privacy. She has been covering technology for more than a decade. More about Kashmir Hill
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