wordpress blog stats
Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Nearly 40% of Indian instagram influencers defrauded by engagement tools: HypeAuditor

Nearly 40% of all Instagram influencers in India were defrauded by software providers offering them tools to boost their follower count and engagement on the platform. A study by HypeAuditor, a platform for influencer vetting and performance tracking, found that 64% of all influencers with more than 1 million followers were defrauded through these fake software services.

In an unpublished reported, titled “State of Instagram Fraud in India”, HypeAuditor said that influencers use software tools and hire social media marketing (SMM) panels because they are promised real followers and organic activity on their account. There are various tools vailable to content creators online, some of which boost the users’ profile and followers called ‘follower growth’, or ‘comment pods’ which increases the number of comments on a post to spike engagement. Some of these tools also offer influencers to “refill” their follower count, in case they lose their account or network size.

According to the report, these content-engagement tools are mostly bots pretending to be real comments and real followers.”They (bots) are later deleted by Instagram, or the SMM Panel gives them the command to unsubscribe from the current account and subscribe to another account,” it said.

Indians have turned to social media platforms to either amplify their SOS messages seeking help in the last few months as the second wave of the pandemic creeped across the country.

MediaNama reported that some Instagram influencers were being paid to amplify messages for a plasma portal run by the Indian Influencer Network (IIN), a platform of 15,000 influencers spanning across over 65 cities. And in turn, they would also amplify SOS requests for blood plasma from their followers or the wider online community. The IIN would charge startups and brands a few, which would flow to the influencer network and NGO partners.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

India slightly below world average

On aggregate, 38.85% of influencers in India are impacted by fraud, the report said. This is less than the world average which is 55%, but still a very high number, it added. HypeAuditor analysed over 132,000 Instagram accounts with more than 1,000 followers using a machine-learning model that analysed more than 53 patterns to detect suspicious content-engagement tools.


Source: State of  Instagram Fraud in India report

HypeAuditor found that 64% of accounts with more 1 million followers, that bought these services, were defrauded by these fradulent software providers. On the other hand, 63% of accounts with 100,000 to 1 million followers were defrauded. The report added that the number of influencers using content-engagement tools was higher in the 100,000 to 1 million bucket compared to the influencers with more than 1 million followers.

The cost of services can range from $25 (Rs 1,818) to $50 (Rs 3,600) for 1,000 real subscribers. “An influencer fooled by the promise of these services to bring real people, not bots, makes a purchase. Then the growth service takes $ 25 for 1000 subscribers from the influencer and buys 1000 bots in the SMM Panel for $3 (Rs 200), which it sends to the influencer’s account,” the report said.

Majority of influencers have inauthentic comments

HypeAuditor said that mega-influencers with over 1 million followers are most likely to have inauthentic comments on their account. “60.97% of this type of influencers in India have inauthentic comments,” the report said. It added that 29% of Indian influencers have more posts where more than 30% of the comments are inauthentic.

Advertisement. Scroll to continue reading.

Take for instance, a tool called “comments pods” which create a micro-community for engagement on a post. These bots ‘like’ and comment on Instagram posts of the influecer to boose audience engagement and numbers. Even though this helps boost the account’s engagement rate, the comments are not from an engaged audience and does not show the level of interest from real users in the content shared by the influencers, the report said.

“Some influencers may deliberately buy comments on services, realising or not realszing that comments are not coming from real people, others can take part in Comment Pods or host Give Away,” the report said.

Also read

Written By

Among other subjects, I cover the increasing usage of emerging technologies, especially for surveillance in India

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.



India and US come to terms on how to deal with the equalisation levy in light of the impending Global Tax Deal.


Find out how people’s health data is understood to have value and who can benefit from that value.


The US and other countries' retreat from a laissez-faire approach to regulating markets presents India with a rare opportunity.


When news that Walmart would soon accept cryptocurrency turned out to be fake, it also became a teachable moment.


The DSCI's guidelines are patient-centric and act as a data privacy roadmap for healthcare service providers.

You May Also Like


Google has released a Google Travel Trends Report which states that branded budget hotel search queries grew 179% year over year (YOY) in India, in...


135 job openings in over 60 companies are listed at our free Digital and Mobile Job Board: If you’re looking for a job, or...


Rajesh Kumar* doesn’t have many enemies in life. But, Uber, for which he drives a cab everyday, is starting to look like one, he...


By Aroon Deep and Aditya Chunduru You’re reading it here first: Twitter has complied with government requests to censor 52 tweets that mostly criticised...

MediaNama is the premier source of information and analysis on Technology Policy in India. More about MediaNama, and contact information, here.

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ

Subscribe to our daily newsletter
Your email address:*
Please enter all required fields Click to hide
Correct invalid entries Click to hide

© 2008-2021 Mixed Bag Media Pvt. Ltd. Developed By PixelVJ