Paying For Instagram Followers: The Pros and Cons

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Karen Lin

Instagram 101 | Jun 07, 2024

Want More Real Instagram Followers?

Let’s be honest. Paying for Instagram followers to get ahead in the followers’ game on Instagram is a very tempting option. A lot of businesses and influencers have done it. Why? Just like filters create the illusion of perfection, high follower numbers create the illusion of popularity. And illusion or not, they get people’s attention. 
On Instagram, where first impressions and appearances are still a powerful currency, paying to get Instagram followers is still common practice. Should you also do it despite the fact that it’s against the social media platform’s terms of use? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of paying for followers on Instagram.

People on their smartphones representing potential new followers on Instagram.

How Does Paying For Instagram Followers Work?

Paying for Instagram followers is a shortcut that’s supposedly taboo but, at the same time, is still widely practiced that an entire industry has been built around it. Growing your brand on the platform one follower at a time is painstaking work. If you’re a startup business or aspiring influencer, having thousands or tens of thousands of followers could mean more profits and lucrative partnerships. 

So how does paying for Instagram followers work? It’s a straightforward transaction. You buy a specific number of followers for a fixed price, and your follower numbers increase by the said number. 

Companies that sell followers may offer “bundles” of 1,000, 2,000, 10,000, 20,000 followers, or much higher. Some services deliver these followers instantly; the followers are added to your account as soon as you complete payment, or within hours after. Others are more careful and deliver the followers in smaller batches over days or weeks. This way, the growth in follower numbers is less suspicious and “spammy.” 

With Instagram’s intense crackdown on bot and fake accounts, vendors of followers-for-sale transfer the “followers” slowly and in small increments to avoid detection.

A team having a meeting about whether or not to pay for Instagram followers.

How Do You Pay For Instagram Followers?

If you’re wondering, “how do you pay for Instagram followers,” here are the basic steps:

  1. Open your browser of choice and type “buy Instagram followers” in the search bar.
  2. Narrow down your choices to the top 3 or 5 popular services.
  3. Compare their packages and customer reviews. Don’t forget to carefully review their terms and conditions, particularly their refund policy.
  4. Pick a plan that fits your budget and needs.
  5. Provide your credit card info and other necessary details to complete your purchase.

Take note that you have the option to choose a company and a plan based on the quality of followers you want to get. Most companies these days claim that they only deliver real followers, and that they don’t use bots and fake accounts. In any case, you’ll most likely see basic and premium plans which may not only offer different numbers of followers at different rates. They may also indicate the “quality” of followers. 

For example, paying for Instagram followers using a basic plan usually comes with followers in the low thousands. These followers are also more obviously fake or bots. They don’t have profile photos. Their pages only have a handful of generic posts, if at all. The posts may be very recent or very old. The plan may not mention “increase in engagement” as part of the package. 

A premium plan typically delivers a higher number of “active followers.” Their Instagram profiles can easily pass a quick inspection due to having profile photos and more posts. However, the photos typically don’t show the person’s face. If they do, they’re most likely stolen or bought. The posts may be generic with only a handful of likes and comments, or none at all. These followers’ comments are either bot-like or simple emojis.

A man and a woman high-fiving each other for their success in boosting follower count by paying for Instagram followers.

Does Paying for Followers Work?

After reading through the awesome feedback from Instagram users, you may be ready and eager to take the plunge and pay to get Instagram followers. Before you click that “Buy” button, let’s take a look at the pros and cons. Let’s answer the question, “Does paying for followers work?”

Pros of Having Paid Instagram Followers

Are there benefits to paying for Instagram followers? Yes, albeit they’re superficial and short-lived. These pros will cost you more harm than good in the long run.

  1. You will get a big and impressive boost in your follower numbers. 
  2. If you get “high quality” fake followers or real and random ones, your account may also see a slight increase in engagement. The new followers will like and even comment on some of your Instagram posts.
  3. Instagram users who discover your brand may be impressed by your high follower numbers and may try to learn more about you by checking out your feed. If they like what they see, they may start following you to see more of your content. They may also start liking some of your past posts and start watching your Instagram stories.

If the stars align in your favor, paying for Instagram followers may actually help you get real Instagram followers who are genuinely interested in your content. This is a big IF, however; and this positive side effect will be far and few in between. 

Beyond your impressive, albeit fabricated, numbers, whether or not real people will start following will still largely depend on the quality of your content.

Two people sitting in front of laptop computers and discussing their Instagram growth strategy.

Cons of Paying for Followers

Now, let’s take a look at the reasons you should NOT pay for more Instagram followers.

1. It’s a big risk. Even if you choose a company that trickles followers into your account in small increments over days or weeks, you’ll be risking account suspension if Instagram gets wind of your fake-follower migration.

Remember that the platform continues to intensify its crackdown on bots and fake Instagram accounts, and users who pad their follower numbers with them. If you get lucky and don’t get suspended, your numbers will still be purged of the fake accounts and you’ll consequently suffer a big drop in follower numbers.

2. Real users can easily spot fake followers. If your current followers and other users find out that your numbers have been inflated with fake accounts, you’ll lose your credibility. Your real and hard-earned followers may unfollow you. You’ll turn away potential new followers. In the long run, you’ll end up with nothing but mere numbers for followers.

3. You’ll lose opportunities for collaboration. No brand wants to be associated with an account that uses fake followers. And any brand worth its salt will do their due diligence and make sure you’re credible and legitimate through and through. This means they’ll be looking into your followers. If they find out you’re artificially inflating your follower count, they will avoid working with you. They may even report your account.

4. Your metrics will suffer. When you pay for Instagram followers and boost your follower count by thousands but don’t get a corresponding increase in engagement, your engagement rate will drop drastically. For most brands and for Instagram’s algorithm, a high engagement rate is more important in determining an account’s relevance and authority. 

The lack of engagement from your bought followers will also make the real engagement you receive from your real followers irrelevant. With hugely lopsided metrics, you won’t get a correct measure of your account’s performance and you’ll also mess up your overall social media content strategy. 

Is It Worth Paying For Instagram Followers?

Paying for Instagram followers may be an effective quick fix if you’re only looking to superficially magnify your follower count. You might even succeed in creating an illusion of popularity among users who may give your account only a quick once-over. If you are asking, “Is it worth paying for Instagram followers?”, it may be worth the investment if you only want to appear popular through sheer follower numbers. But only for a short time. 

Convincing users to hit your follow button will require more than just having tens or even hundreds of thousands of followers. And if you’ve been struggling to build brand awareness and boost account engagement, falsely inflating your follower count will not do you any good. In fact, it will cause you more harm. People have to find your content interesting before they can get persuaded to become a follower. Genuine interest is a must if they’re to give you quality engagement. 

When you pay for more Instagram followers, the only thing you’re really paying for are dormant or spammy numbers. You will not get any meaningful return on your investment. These numbers will not significantly increase your post likes and comments beyond the several automated or random engagement that comes with the package you purchase. These numbers will not become paying customers. They will not help increase brand awareness through word of mouth. Your fake followers will not help enlarge the Instagram community you’re trying to build around your brand. 
At the end of the day, paying for followers on Instagram is not worth it if you’re serious about building a successful and competitive brand.

A team discussing their options to build brand awareness on Instagram.

Best Site to Pay For Followers on Instagram

Fortunately, there’s actually more than one way to “pay for followers” on Instagram. If you’re looking for the best site to pay for Instagram followers, find one that helps you grow your follower numbers the right way. Choose a growth company that doesn’t sell followers but actually engages your target audience and organic content promotion. 

If you have money to spend for Instagram growth, it would be smarter to spend it on a growth strategy powered by AI audience targeting and active and hands-on promotion and engagement. Team up with a growth service company like Path Social to take advantage of their advanced targeting technology and in-house team of social media experts. 

You don’t have to worry about getting bots or fake accounts as followers. Path Social understands the importance of precise audience targeting to find the right followers for your content. Tracking down real accounts who are already interested in the same content you’re creating and putting your content in front of them increases the likelihood that they’ll hit your follow button. When they do start following, you can be sure that they’ll give you quality engagement. 
Path Social ensures compliance with Instagram’s community guidelines. You won’t get a boost in your follower count instantly. This is not how real and lasting growth works. It takes time, dedication, and expertise, and Path Social will do all the heavy lifting for you. Start growing and gaining Instagram followers today!