More insights into Instagram users who follow you, then unfollow you after you follow them back!
When I wrote the blog post in July about IG users who follow you, then unfollow you after you follow them back, I wasn't quite expecting it to be one of the most read posts in my blog and I was pleasantly surprised when I got feedback from readers and social media followers/friends on their own experiences and thoughts on this. I guess we all have experiences with such people, huh?
Well, recently I'd posted in IGS that I'd only be following back people very selectively because of too many bad experiences with such follow-unfollow scammers. These days I absolutely do not follow back accounts that display certain traits.
Just to reiterate the traits which I had written about in my previous post. Let's call the offending account 'X'. First of all, X and I have a number of mutual followers - IG does show the names of mutual followers - and by searching the names of these mutual followers (for easy search as I don't have time to search every single person on X's list) in X's follower/following lists, you'll find:
1) X follows NONE of these followers and
2) X only follows those who doesn't follow it (probably in wait of them following it then unfollowing the new followers).
I understand some accounts might show such traits because people follow them for giveaways and of course the account is not obliged to follow them back, so I do discern by the content in the account as well.
So, recently an account with more than 10k followers followed me. I checked the account's follower/following lists and it definitely displayed the traits above. Initially I wasn't going to follow back, but then I thought, why not put my theory to test? I followed back and went back to check almost every day to see if I had been unfollowed (not being psycho, I had a point to prove!).
I know some of you install third-party apps which will inform you who unfollowed you. That would really make my life a lot easier but I rather not do so, because I'm not comfortable giving my IG login details to third parties for security reasons and I know many IG users don't as well, which is why so many of these 'follow-unfollow' scammers get away with their ploy.
Okay back to my story. True to my expectations, I was dropped like a hot potato by said account in a matter of days! I also noticed said account's following numbers dropped after increasing over the past few days, presumably said account had culled people like me who naively followed back. I wonder when people followed back, did the scammer laugh and think, "dumbo!". So, can you blame me if I don't want to follow people back these days?
One who approves of such tactic might argue that what if my following list has already reached the following limit of 7,500? I need to unfollow to get new followers! Firstly, not many people actually reach that limit and secondly, you have the option of unfollowing people who are NOT following you, rather than unfollowing people who were nice enough to follow you back.
Or, one might argue, but it doesn't look good if I'm following thousands of people and I only have a few hundred followers! My answer is there are more honest ways of building followers rather than relying only on reciprocity or using such dishonest shortcuts.
One of my IG followers said this is really the modus operandi of many IG accounts who are trying to build followers. But I like to believe there are also many people who don't do such things. I don't, many of my friends and people I follow don't either. I just don't think my conscience allows me to do such a thing. I truly believe there are people out there who built their followers because of their good content and they need not create a facade of people flocking to follow them without the need to follow people in the first place.
Someone asked me who are usually the offending type of profiles. I've encountered all sorts - sellers/shops/bloggers/influencers. Oh, there were even three authors I had encountered who did the same - one even spoke to me via DM maybe just so I wouldn't expect her to unfollow me days after. As an author myself, sometimes I cannot fathom why people want to do such things but I can guess. Perhaps they want people to think they are very popular authors, that publishers would find their wide social media presence attractive as you have the reach to sell books. But if one built his/her followers this way, I'm sure your followers are really made up of a bunch of people who do not care about your book or product. I rather have a small following of people who care about my work/content than a whole load of people who don't give a rat's ass about me and my content/book. And when you get found out that you employ such a tactic, would I want to purchase your book/product? Nope, because it really goes to show the kind of person you are and the kind of integrity you have.
Honestly, I get the most riled up by accounts of shops/products when they unfollowed me after I followed back. I used to follow these people back even though I don't use their product, or particularly like their stuff. I mean, I don't mind adding to your follower count but when you unfollow me, it's like...hello?! I don't even use or like your stuff much but I was nice enough to follow you back!
So yeah, these days I try not to follow back shops/sellers at all (but I might if I really like your product). I'm sorry if you're a genuine account who don't do such things, but I've had too many bad experiences with such people. And as Taylor Swift sang, "THAT's why we can't have nice things."
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