You have to know that not everyone on Twitter is REAL. Yeah, I bet you already knew that. There are hundreds of Peter Griffin accounts on Twitter but we all know Peter Griffin is just a fictional character from Seth MacFarlane's mind, right? But there are actually millions of other Twitter followers out there who are quite fictional in some sorts of way. Uh, how fictional you ask? Well, prepare to sell used iPhone people because you’ll drop yours after reading these factoids.
How It All Began
We all know how easy it is to actually create a fake Twitter account and most of you readers would probably be thinking that this space is being wasted on a no-brainer thought. And while fake accounts can’t really harm anyone unless they’re doing something illegal through Twitter, it is still worth noting that Twitter following has become a full blown business now. So much so that some people would be willing to sell iPhone units to make more followers.
The first ever fake Twitter account detected on Twitter was named Kevin Railsback or @krails on January 15, 2007. Because of the growing numbers of impostor accounts and the confusion it brings, about two years later, Twitter launched the Verified Account tag on all Twitter accounts from REAL people who really own the said Twitter account. Some of the first few people who got a Verified Account on Twitter were Stephen Fry, Ashton Kutcher and Britney Spears. But due to the overwhelming requests for a Verified Account, Twitter was forced to limit the tag to people who were at “high risk of impersonation” and “highly sought after users”. Because of the privacy issues however, Twitter still was not able to take down fake accounts. Is the faking business really out of hand or is it because the social networking giant is largely benefitting from it?
The Faker Fact Sheet
We could all agree that the fake accounts on Twitter seem so unimaginable, it’ll be impossible to deal with it with more than 70,000 users signing up every day. But the former question actually makes a lot of sense too. Did you know that of all the organization-based accounts studied by Social Selling University, Twitter and Facebook are the two social networking sites with the most fake followers? (*gasp!*) Out of Facebook’s more than 4 million Twitter followers, about 39% of these are fake accounts while 42% are inactive. Twitter is no exception, out of its more than 12 million followers, about 37 % are fake followers while 38% are inactive.
Other famous Twitter maniacs with overwhelming fake followers are Lady Gaga with about 34% out of 28 million followers. Justin Bieber fans don’t actually amount to 27 million; apparently 31% of his followers are fake. Oh and Mr. President, Barack Obama has 18 million followers but 29% of these are fake. But rival to 2012 U.S. Presidency, Mitt Romney would probably be considered worse than Obama, where 1 in every 10 follower accounts were suspended because his Twitter followers increased by 17% in just one day! I’d say he’ll prolly never sell iPhone 4 now that he has so many Twitter friends.
The Faker Business and How to Detect One
Where exactly do all these accounts come from? Apparently, there are ‘Twitter follower stores’ out in the open on eBay and Google Shopping! You can actually buy a Twitter follower for 2 bucks to 55 bucks per 1,000 followers! How do you know if this person you follow buys fake followers? Take a cue from Mitt Romney who obviously gets more than a thousand followers in just one day. Not everyone in America logs in on Twitter at the same time, sir! And how do you know if a certain account is a fake account? If the ‘person’ randomly follows famous celebs AND average Joes and if he/she/it posts and re-tweets more than a dozen posts from the Twitter stream, that’s definitely a faker.