Creating fake profiles, increasing likes, fake followers, fake clicks, fake shares, fake reviews and fake accounts has now turned into a booming business. By 2014, more than 15% of social media reviews on various networking sites like Twitter Inc. (NYSE:TWTR), Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB), Pinterest, YouTube, LinkedIn Corp. (NYSE:LNKD), Instagram, Tumblr and others are expected to be fake. An average faker has 48,885 followers and follows 1800 people. Facebook also regarded as a stalker’s favorite website, has nearly 83 million fake accounts, out of which 97% of fake Facebook profiles which identify themselves as females, only 40% of real users are so.
Spammers and other businesses providing fake reviews in various formats (based on engagement type of a particular networking site) – do so with the help of fake or inactive accounts. Whether it is re-pins on Pinterest, re-tweet on Twitter or shares on Facebook as high as a 6 digit or a 7 digit figure or even more – all of it is possible to attain via the fake reviews business. Politicians, celebrities and famous personalities are keen on building hype by buying fake reviews in the form of followers and likes on their pages. Fake followers hardly add any engagement but only increase buzz or exaggerated hype amongst the networking users on the site.
An Infographic by WhoIsHostingThis reported interesting facts and figures in the vast business surrounding fake reviews. Key points are listed below.
- Comedians, musicians, politicians, actors and other prominent personalities are amongst the most common ones who buy fake followers and fake reviews in the form of likes, shares and re-tweets.
- If we analyze the top 15 Twitter personalities nearly 30.4% of them have fake followers and hardly 28.7% are real.
- Renowned celebrities like Lady Gaga, President Obama, Shakira, and Oprah are reported to have 71%, 70%, 79% and 74% of fake followers respectively.
- Leading video content site, YouTube and San Francisco based 140 character micro-blogging firm Twitter is reported to have 30% and 37% of fake following respectively.
- Average price for generating fake reviews in the form of followers is surprisingly inexpensive and around $10 for 1k followers. Although, the price varies from one site to another.
- On Facebook, 20k likes average for around $699, 5k followers on Pinterest is equal to $95 and on Twitter 1 million follower amounts to $1,750.
- 10k followers on Tumblr are equivalent to $484 monetary units, 250 comments on Blogs is charged $399 and about 100k views on Vimeo average at around $200.
- Fake reviews like followers, likes, comments, shares and re-tweets are generated via fake accounts, hollow or inactive accounts.
- Average age of a fake account is about 5 months and they generally have multiple followers without a profile photo.
- About 75% of fakers are found advertising a website URL in their profile to generate more clicks or traffic.