Fake Followers Report

2024 Fake Followers Report

Published on: January 10, 2024
Last Updated: January 10, 2024

2024 Fake Followers Report

Published on: January 10, 2024
Last Updated: January 10, 2024

How Much Are Instagram Influencers Earning for Their Fake Followers?

From the Kardashian-Jenner business moguls to famous athletes flaunting their luxurious lifestyles on the internet, Instagram is full of certified celebrities and wannabe influencers who have used the platform to catapult themselves into stardom.

Being an influencer is much more than just a hobby.

Instagram Influencers 1003

Many people have turned it into a full-time job earning millions of dollars every year.

Brands are keen to invest in these influencers who organically interact with their customers and can recommend their products between the sea of day-in-my-life videos and OOTD photos.

In fact, as of 2023, Influencer Marketing Hub found that influencer marketing has now become a $21.1 billion industry.

However, not all influencers are as they seem.

The number of accounts with fake or inactive followers has been increasing for years and in 2021, a study by HypeAuditor found that an incredible 45% of Instagram accounts were fake.

That’s a lot of money flying around for it to be lost on people that don’t exist.

At EarthWeb, our data experts wanted to find out which Instagram influencers are earning the most from their fake followers.

So we decided to conduct a thorough study that looked at how many followers each influencer has and how much they’re earning for each advertised post.

Key Findings

  • Bella Hadid has the most fake followers of any Instagram influencer with a whopping 31.25% of followers suspected to be fake.
  • South Korean music artist V has the least number of fake followers with 13.76% of his audience having unreliable accounts.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo makes the most money from his fake followers at $879,699 per Instagram post.
  • This is followed by Lionel Messi making $691,590 per Instagram post and Selena Gomez making $646,610.
  • Cristiano Ronaldo also makes the most per Instagram post at a predicted $3,552,905.

The Instagram Influencers With the Most Fake Followers

Of all the influencers on our list of 100 most followed Instagram accounts, Bella Hadid is singled out as the account with the highest percentage of fake followers at an incredible 31.25%.

While the model is just the 76th most followed page on the platform, of her 81 million followers, over 19 million are fake.

Buying fake influencers seems to run in the family with Bella’s sister Gigi Hadid also featuring in the top 10 list.

Gigi finds 28.18% of her followers to be fake which is over 22 million Instagram accounts.

There has been plenty of criticism about how supermodels becoming influencers (or vice versa) has harmed the modelling industry, but it sure does help to have a strong social media following to increase your influence.

The Kardashian clan are also top contenders with the most fake followers.

While the younger Jenner sisters Kylie and Kendall are noticeably absent, Khloe, Kris, Kourtney and Kim all suspiciously have roughly the same percentage of fake followers.

Each Kardashian has about 28% of their following as fake, which might not come as a surprise to many pop culture fanatics.

image 2
InfluencerHandleCategoryTotal FollowersFake Followers (%)
Bella Hadid@bellahadidModel61,000,00031.25%
Justin Timberlake@justintimberlakeMusic72,100,00029.45%
Urvashi Rautela@urvashirautelaActor69,600,00029.38%
Katy Perry@katyperryMusic206,800,00029.28%
Nicki Minaj@nickiminajMusic228,600,00029.19%
Khloé Kardashian@khloekardashianFashion311,400,00028.87%
Kris Jenner@krisjennerBusiness52,800,00028.77%
Kourtney Kardashian Barker@kourtneykardashMedia Personality224,900,00028.57%
Kim Kardashian@kimkardashianFashion364,200,00028.41%
Gigi Hadid@gigihadidModel78,900,00028.18%
Chris Brown@chrisbrownofficialMusic144,200,00028.14%
Miley Cyrus@mileycyrusMusic216,100,00027.89%
Taylor Swift@taylorswiftMusic279,300,00027.60%
Gal Gadot@gal_gadotActor109,400,00027.47%
Demi Lovato@ddlovatoMusic157,500,00027.44%

The Instagram Influencers With the Least Fake Followers

While some influencers choose to buy fake followers to inflate their numbers and secure larger brand deals, others opt for the long and slow option of building their community through hard work and dedication.

Our study generally found that influencers with lower follower numbers had fewer fake accounts.

Explore the full table below:

image 3
InfluencerTagCategoryTotal FollowersFake Followers (%)
Khaby Lame@khaby00Comedian80,600,00014.71%
Will Smith@willsmithActor64,700,00015.55%
Billie Eilish@billieeilishMusic110,300,00015.92%
Raffi Ahmad and Nagita Slavina@raffinagita1717Actor74,400,00015.95%
Tom Holland@tomholland2013Actor66,500,00016.19%
Ayu Ting Ting@ayutingting92Music56,300,00016.21%
Millie Bobby Brown@milliebobbybrownActor63,300,00017.14%
Whindersson Nunes@whinderssonnunesComedian59,800,00017.34%
Prilly Latuconsina@prillylatuconsina96Actor55,200,00017.71%
Karol G@karolgMusic67,100,00017.76%
BTS official@bts.bighitofficialMusic74,100,00017.78%
Robert Downey Jr.@robertdowneyjrActor57,200,00018.32%

South Korean music artist and BTS bandmate, V has the least fake followers from our study of the 100 most followed Instagram accounts with just 13.76% of his followers being disingenuous.

The singer has a relatively conservative follower count from others on our list at over 63.4 million, of which only 8.7 million are fake.

Dubbed ‘The Kind of Instagram’ by his diehard fans, V is the most followed male K-pop idol on the photo-sharing app.

Khaby Lane, an Italian social media personality and comedian shot to fame with his witty social videos where he makes fun of other people’s life hacks.

He not only has a huge audience on Instagram with over 80 million followers, but he’s also the most followed individual on TikTok scoring him brand deals with Hugo Boss and Binance.

Securing these partnerships could be down to how the influencer has very few fake followers at 14.71%.

Billie Eilish stands out on our ranking as her 110 million followers eclipse most other influencers on the list.

Although she is the 28th most followed person on Instagram, her fake followers only account for 15.92% of her community.

With such a high follower count, this reflects how many of her followers are genuine fans, more so than larger accounts on the platform.

The Instagram Influencers Earning the Most From Their Fake Followers

Famed footballer Cristiano Ronaldo has had the most followers on Instagram since 2018 when he overtook singer and actress Selena Gomez for the top spot.

With his army of over 616 million followers, a whopping 152.5 million of these are potentially fake accounts making up 24.76% of his following.

Cristiano Ronaldo

This means that Ronaldo can make almost $879,699 per post from his fake followers alone.

Another sports giant, Lionel Messi comes in second place with 119.9 million fake followers, raking in $691.590 per Instagram post for accounts that are either fake or inactive.

Singer and actress Selena Gomez follows close behind making $646,610 from her 112 million fake followers.

Kardashian Jenner Kids

All of the Kardashian-Jenner kids appear on the top ranking including Kylie, Kim, Khloe, Kendall and Kourtney who all use social media as a marketing tool to promote themselves and their various businesses.

Kylie Jenner, the world’s “youngest self-made billionaire” according to Forbes, earns the most from fake Instagram accounts at $610,690 per post, while big sister Kim Kardashian earns a similar $596,780.

image 4
InfluencerHandleCategoryTotal FollowersFake Followers$ Made From Fake Followers per Post
Cristiano Ronaldo@cristianoSports616,000,000152,521,600$879,699
Lionel Messi@leomessiSports496,100,000119,907,370$691,590
Selena Gomez@selenagomezMusic429,700,000112,108,730$646,610
Kylie Jenner@kyliejennerFashion399,400,000105,880,940$610,690
Kim Kardashian@kimkardashianFashion364,200,000103,469,220$596,780
Ariana Grande@arianagrandeMusic380,900,000103,452,440$596,683
Dwayne Johnson@therockActor395,200,00097,179,680$560,504
Khloé Kardashian@khloekardashianFashion311,400,00089,901,180$518,523
Justin Bieber@justinbieberMusic292,900,00078,995,130$455,620
Kendall Jenner@kendalljennerModel294,700,00077,800,800$448,732
Taylor Swift@taylorswiftMusic279,300,00077,086,800$444,614
Jennifer Lopez@jloMusic253,400,00069,051,500$398,269
Nicki Minaj@nickiminajMusic228,600,00066,728,340$384,869
Kourtney Kardashian Barker@kourtneykardashMedia personality224,900,00064,253,930$370,598

How to Check for Fake Followers on Instagram

Whether you’re a business owner with an Instagram account to promote your product or services, or an Instagram influencer yourself, you might want to find out which accounts have fake followers.

Below we provide some useful tips to find out if an influencer has a disingenuous following:

1. Use an Online Tool 

There are many tools on the internet to help you find out if an Instagram account’s followers are fake.

Often, they’ll provide a lot of additional helpful information such as their engagement rate, the number of fake followers and the rate at which they’ve been gaining followers.

Check out our blog post on the 10 best Instagram fake followers checkers to find out for yourself if an account has fake followers.

2. Click on The Follower’s Profile

Usually, if an account is fake there will be tell-tale signs you can pick up on that give it away.

These tend to be glaringly obvious, so after checking a few of their followed accounts or even the people actively commenting on their profile, you’ll be able to tell they’re not genuine.

A couple of things to look out for include an account with absolutely no posts and no profile picture, if the comments they post on other people’s pictures don’t make total sense or are way too generic or if they’re following a fan-buying service.

3. Check Follower Engagement

Follower Engagement 1014

The amount of engagement a post or reel gets on Instagram is generally directly proportional to the number of followers they have.

This can make it fairly easy to find out if they have a large number of fake followers, or even just followers who aren’t engaged in their content which can be an even worse sign.

To find out you can take the number of comments and likes from a sample of the account’s last ten photos.

Using this number, divide it by the number of followers.

Generally, a good engagement rate is between 1-5%, however, the higher the number of followers you have, the more likely this number will naturally be on the lower end of the spectrum.


To find out which Instagram influencers are earning the most from their fake followers, we first pulled a seed list of the most followed accounts on the platform from StarNgage.

We removed any accounts that weren’t related to a single person such as brand accounts and football clubs.

We then pulled the data on the percentage of fake followers each account has using Modash.

This allowed us to calculate the total number of fake followers for each influencer based on their current follower count.

We found the estimated price per post for each influencer by using Hopper’s 2023 Instagram Rich List to calculate the average amount earned per follower.

We then multiplied this number by the number of known fake Instagram followers to find out how much each influencer is making per post.

The data was collected in January 2024.

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Written by Jason Wise

Hello! I’m the editor at EarthWeb, with a particular interest in business and technology topics, including social media, privacy, and cryptocurrency. As an experienced editor and researcher, I have a passion for exploring the latest trends and innovations in these fields and sharing my insights with our readers. I also enjoy testing and reviewing products, and you’ll often find my reviews and recommendations on EarthWeb. With a focus on providing informative and engaging content, I am committed to ensuring that EarthWeb remains a leading source of news and analysis in the tech industry.