What Are Instagram Ghost Followers & Are They Harmful?

what are instagram ghost followers

Everyone wants to get more Instagram followers. Many apply “Follow for follow” and other techniques to gather new followers, however, majority of followers gathered will be just ghost followers.

Also, ghost followers can appear on your account even if you are not using any shady marketing techniques, it is just a matter of time! The more followers you have the more probability there is that you have ghost followers on your account.

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What are Instagram ghost followers and are they harmful to your account? Should you get rid of them or leave them untouched? All these questions are going to be answered in this article.

Let’s get started!

What are Instagram ghost followers?

Ghost followers are inactive users that are following your account. They don’t like, comment, message or engage at all. They also can be referred as fake accounts, that are created by people or bots. Usually you can instantly notice whether account is a ghost follower or not. If account has no profile picture, not many followers & follows a lot of people, has just a few posts published long time ago, then it is a clear sign that account is inactive ghost account.

In other words, ghost follower is an Instagram account which never engaged with your account. He just followed your account and that’s it. Ghost followers are fake, bot generated or just abandoned Instagram accounts.

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How ghost followers harm your Instagram account?

At first it may seem that ghost followers don’t cause any harm to your Instagram account. Many users don’t even consider removing them because they don’t want to decrease their followers count. But in reality ghost followers does one thing that harms your account’s overall performance. They simply don’t engage. They don’t send DMs, they don’t like or comment on your posts, they don’t view your stories.

The more ghost followers you have the worse your audience engagement rate is. One thing to notice here is that Instagram’s algorithm pays a close attention to each account’s audience engagement rate. The higher engagement rate account gets from his audience, more his posts are pushed by Instagram. Consequently, account grows much faster.

If algorithm noticed low engagement rate on your profile, it won’t push your posts. Just think of it, if your own audience doesn’t like your content (don’t like or comments on your posts), then why should other people like it? Seems logical, isn’t it?

You even risk of getting shadow banned on Instagram if majority of your followers are ghost followers. If you are shadow banned, your account won’t be banned or deleted, but your new posts certainly won’t appear on your audience feeds. That means further drop in engagement rate.

This is why you need to get rid of all ghost followers immediately. Less ghost followers you have, the higher engagement rate you get and faster you grow.

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How to get rid of ghost followers?

So, there is no question why you should constantly track and remove ghost followers from your Instagram account. The question is – how to do it? There are two different ways to remove them.

1. Manual removal. You can start from scrolling through your followers and tracking the ones that have no profile picture or some shady/spammy usernames (nonsense names or names with a lot of digits). Then, click on that user’s profile and remove him from your followers list. You will need to do it manually one by one.

2. Automatic removal using third-party app. There are many free applications that you can download to your iPhone or Android smartphone. These third-party apps analyse and automatically detect inactive users. But you should keep in mind that these apps can remove real & organic users too if they have been inactive for a while.

Overall, these third-party apps do a great job and you should definitely use them if you have many followers (as it increases number of ghost followers accordingly). But, if you have up to 500 followers, then consider removing ghost followers manually, as it won’t take long and you will be sure that none of the real & organic followers were removed.

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I hope this article made clear what are Instagram followers & why they are harmful for your Instagram account. If you have anything more to add to this article, leave a comment in the comment section below.

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