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Twitter Fake Follower Industry Still Thriving

Posted by Michael Bloch in web marketing (Saturday August 11, 2012 )

“We need more followers” the corporate exec cries. More Twitters followers is easy… and cheap. But just because you can do something, it doesn’t mean you should.

A recent study by Barracuda Labs provides some interesting insights into the paid follower industry that still seems to be doing well.

According to the company, there are around 20 eBay sellers and 58 websites in the business of creating fake Twitter accounts and selling followers – and the average buy price for 1,000 followers is a measly 18 bucks.

It seems there is no shortage of people willing to buy fake followers too. Barracuda Labs calls them “abusers” and numbers them around the 11,000 mark. The average abuser has 48,885 followers the company says.

Something disturbing that emerged from the study is authentication is not needed when when buying Twitter followers. This means a malicious party could buy followers not for themselves, but for someone else in an attempt to discredit the other party or to cause other problems. For example, buying followers is against Twitter’s terms of service and it can lead a user doing so having their account zapped.

During their research, Barracuda Labs also noticed a number of patterns that Twitter could be using to slam these follower dealers. It really is a fascinating study and well worth a read.

Buying followers and fans just isn’t worth the risk. For starters, savvy users can tell when a business has done so and in my opinion, that reflects badly on the credibility of the business.

Aside from anything else, I believe it’s better to have a hundred people following you who are actually interested in what you have to say, than a million who simply don’t care and are just following you so you’ll follow back.

So besides keeping clear of buying “popularity”, avoid follow-me-follow-you; it’s really just the same except no cash is exchanged.


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