Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram? The Facts

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | May 29, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Building a following on Instagram is a slow process. People only start noticing your account when it is promoted or prominently on their Instagram. So how do you do that? You need to get followers.

Yes, you need followers to start attracting. Do you need help buying followers on Instagram? The facts behind the fiction followers. It’s a Catch-22 situation and the very reason many look at buying Instagram followers to kickstart things for them.

But is it bad to buy followers on Instagram?

A man pondering "is it bad to buy followers on instagram"

There are a lot of myths and misinformation around this subject. It is not a straightforward answer, but this article cuts through that noise. We tell you the truth about its risks, benefits, and how you can do it safely.

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram: The Pros and Cons

Buying Instagram followers has become common practice for many individuals (and businesses) looking to increase their social media presence. Regarding “Is it bad to buy followers on Instagram?”, you need to consider these pros and cons before buying IG followers.


  • Jumpstart growth: Buying followers can help you jumpstart your growth on Instagram, making your account appear popular and worth following.
  • Build social proof: Social proof means a lot on the platform. Many users wait to see others indicate an account is worth following; indeed, Instagram’s algorithm works on this basis. Buying followers is an effective way to build this ‘proof’ and increase your perceived popularity on the platform.
  • Attract organic followers: The social proof of a huge following makes it easier to attract organic followers.


  • Purchased followers are often fake: They are likely bots or inactive accounts so that they won’t engage with your posts. Your posts won’t appear on Explore Pages or your real audience’s newsfeeds.
  • It’s a bad look: Buying followers can damage your reputation, often seen as a dishonest and unethical way to grow your following.
  • Hidden costs: Even though buying Instagram followers is cheap and easy, the hidden costs can be steep. You can ruin your reputation, alienate your real followers, and even lose your account if Instagram notices your deception.

Overall, you need to consider the decision to buy Instagram followers carefully. While it may seem like a quick and easy way to increase your following, the long-term consequences may not be worth it. Your emphasis should always lie with high-quality and audience engagement. But, if you choose to purchase, ensure you find a reputable provider with real (not fake) followers.

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram: The Impact of Fake Followers on Your Account

When people ask, “Is it bad to buy followers on Instagram,” they often refer to fake followers, as most sellers provide these. Buying fake followers on Instagram is an easy way to boost your numbers, but it can seriously damage your reputation. Here are some of the negative impacts of buying fake followers:

  • Loss of engagement: Fake followers need to engage with your content. They can’t! This can lead to a mismatch between your number of followers and the engagement on your posts. Instagram’s algorithm prioritizes content with high engagement, so having many fake followers can harm your reach and visibility.
  • Risk of getting penalized by Instagram: Instagram has strict policies against buying fake followers. If the platform detects that you have purchased followers, it can suspend your account. This is a significant setback for businesses or individuals who rely on Instagram for promotion and marketing.
  • Damage to credibility: Buying fake followers can damage your credibility and reputation on the platform. Genuine followers can easily spot fake accounts, and your credibility can take a serious hit if they suspect you have bought followers.
  • Waste of money: Buying fake followers is a waste of money. They don’t engage with your content and offer no long-term value to your brand. Investing in organic growth strategies that can help you attract genuine followers interested in your content or products is better.
Picture of four rubbish bins, like the money that's wasted with fake followers

Buying fake followers on Instagram is not worth the risks and potentially damaging your account’s reputation. It is better to focus on creating high-quality content, engaging with your audience, and using legitimate growth strategies to attract genuine followers.

Alternative Strategies for Growing Your Instagram Following

Is it bad to buy followers on Instagram? Not when done right. But in the long run, more effective and sustainable strategies exist to increase your Instagram following than buying Instagram followers. These strategies focus on building a genuine and engaged audience that will support your brand and help you achieve them.

  1. Create engaging content communicating your brand’s personality and values with eye-catching visuals, informative captions, and engaging stories. You can attract new followers and keep existing ones engaged and loyal by consistently posting great content.
  2. Engaging with your followers and other users on Instagram is another strategy. Responding to comments and direct messages, liking and commenting on other user’s posts, and joining Instagram communities and hashtags relevant to your niche are great ways to engage with other users. You can increase your visibility and credibility on the platform by developing relationships with your followers and other users.
  3. Collaborating with other Instagram users and Instagram influencers can also be an effective way to grow your following. You are partnering with other brands or influencers in your niche to create co-branded content or host Instagram takeovers where you share each other’s content with your respective audiences. By leveraging the audiences of other users, you can reach new followers and build your brand’s reputation and authority on the platform.
  4. The Instagram advertising features can also help you reach new audiences and grow your following, so use them to your advantage. You can create targeted ads targeting users based on their interests, behaviors, and demographics or promote your Instagram account through email and social media marketing. Your brand and products can be reached by targeting new followers.
Picture of four peoples hands together, like the collaboration that can benefit your account

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram: The Safest Way to Purchase

Buying followers on Instagram is a popular strategy among influencers, entrepreneurs, and businesses. It’s a fast, easy way to look popular and get more organic followers.

Done right, purchased legitimate followers can fulfill a purpose. They provide social proof to Instagram and other users that your account is worth following. However, you must tread carefully to ensure the followers are real people, adding value and not potentially jeopardizing your account status and reputation.

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram: How Can You Tell if Someone Is Buying Fake Followers?

One of the key indicators to tell if someone is buying fake Instagram followers is the ratio between likes and followers. If someone has a high number of followers but a low engagement rate (or a low number of likes compared to the number of followers), it could be a sign that they are indeed buying Instagram followers. This is a relatively easy-and-fast rule, as having too few likes can be due to factors like post quality or lack of promotion. However, it was purchased if you encountered an account with more than 1000 followers and less than 10-15 likes per post.

Another telltale sign is sudden spikes in follower count. Large follower count fluctuations may suggest that someone uses unethical ways to grow their Instagram profile, such as purchasing bot accounts (profiles). Bot accounts tend only to respond when directly interacted with and provide no real value when engaging on photos or posts.
In contrast, organic growth will often result in slow, gradual increases in follower rate coupled with consistent activity from genuine interactions.

Compared with profiles with steady growth, profiles with spikes may indicate deception due to fake followers. The human eye is wise to tactics like this, as are Instagram’s algorithms.

Again the question of “is it bad to buy followers on Instagram” boils down to how it is done. Fake followers get the attention of Instagram’s algorithms and potentially turn-off your audience. But now we’ll tell you how to do it right!

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram: The Safest Way To Buy

Is it bad to buy followers on Instagram? Not if you do it right. Here are some tips to help you buy them safely:

  1. Research the seller: Before buying followers, research the seller and read reviews from other customers. Look for reviews that mention the quality of followers, delivery time, and customer support.
  2. Look for real-looking profiles: Be wary of sellers offering followers incomplete profiles, no profile picture, or no posts. It’s best to look for sellers who offer followers with real-looking profiles, including profile pictures and some posts.
  3. Start with a small order: To test the quality of followers, start with a small order before buying many followers. This will help you gauge the quality of followers and delivery time.
  4. Avoid sellers who require your login information: Never give your Instagram login information to a seller. Instead, look for sellers who offer followers through safe and secure methods that do not require your login information.
  5. Understand the risks: Remember that buying followers comes with risks, including the possibility of getting your account suspended or banned. It’s important to weigh the potential risks and benefits before deciding.

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram: Can Instagram Ban You for Buying Followers?

Woman blindfolded like Instagram banning people from seeing your account

No, that’s a myth. Buying followers will not get you banned. Millions of users buy followers to boost their following every year, and no one gets banned. Posting inappropriate content or sending too many automated direct messages to other users will result in your ban.

However, it can lead to your account being penalized. It is important to understand that Instagram’s algorithm can detect unusual activity, such as sudden follower spikes or analytics. If they detect suspicious activity on an account, they may suspend or delete it without warning.

Buying followers from third-party providers often results in low-quality and fake follower growth, easily readable by the algorithms. The same applies to bots, which automatically interact with other accounts for abnormal engagement growth related to buying followers or likes.

The primary benefit of organic growth is avoiding issues associated with the artificial manipulation of numbers used to measure success on social media platforms like Instagram. Although there are numerous services available that offer “guaranteed” follower increases, there are usually risks involved with them, such as bans, suspensions, and more. Therefore, the safest way to grow an Instagram following is organically by providing engaging content worthy of being seen and shared by its intended audience resulting in genuine followers and conversations.

Is It Bad To Buy Followers on Instagram: Summing Up

Buying Instagram followers might seem like a quick and easy way to boost your numbers, but it can have negative consequences.

Purchased followers are often bots or inactive accounts, harming your engagement rates and reputation. Plus, Instagram’s algorithms prioritize content from accounts with high engagement rates, so buying followers could hurt your visibility.

The short-term gain is there but brings long-term risks without long-term value.

So, is it bad to buy followers on Instagram?

It’s better to build an authentic following by creating high-quality content, engaging with your audience, and using hashtags and other tools to reach new users. By cultivating a genuine community of followers, you’ll be more likely to achieve your goals on Instagram over the long term.

However, there is a way to get the best of both worlds. Path Social uses our special algorithm and network of influencers to get your content in front of the people who offer the long-term engagement and value your brand needs.

Yes, real people. Targeted, interested, and engaged.

No vanity metrics or fake followers fluffing up your numbers. Customers with genuine lifetime value to your brand to help attract more customers with lifetime value. We don’t ask for your password or tie you to a long-term contract.

Get started and start growing your Instagram following today.