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It is what it isn't: Love Island contestants' huge fake follower numbers exposed

David Murphy

The latest series of Love Island is in full swing, and has brought the issue of fake followers to a head. Research from Instagram influencer marketing firm Takumi has revealed that every contestant bar one has 50 per cent or more fake followers on their Instagram profiles. Amber and Jordan top the rankings, both with 65 per cent fake followers. Only Maura has more real followers than fake (55/45 per cent). 

Amber and Jordan top the rankings, both with 65 per cent fake followers. Only Maura has more real followers than fake (55/45 per cent). Six of the accounts were reported by the investigation for suspicious activity, just weeks before the contestants were publicly announced. For example, the number of accounts following Anna's profile increased by 15,000 between February and March.

Meanwhile, India, Brazil and Mexico featured in the top five most common countries of audience origin among Anton's followers. These are countries, Takumi notes, where bot farms are commonly located.

Here’s a full rundown of the contestants and their followers counts:

1. Amber Rose Gill (@amberrosegill): 535,000 followers – 65 per cent fake   

2. Jordan Hames (@jxrdanhames) – 34,000 followers – 65 per cent fake 

3. Joe Garratt (@josephgarratt): 412,000 followers 64 per cent fake

4. Yewande Biala (@yewande_biala): 365,000 followers – 64 per cent fake

5. Michael Griffiths (@mac_griffiths_): 478,000 followers 63 per cent fake

6. Callum McLeod (@callum_macleod): 243,000 followers 62 per cent fake7

7. Tommy Fury (@tommytntfury): 971,000 followers – 60 per cent fake

8. Danny Williams (@itsdannywilliams): 101,000 followers – 59 per cent fake

9. Amy Hart (@amyhartxo): 447.000 followers – 59 per cent fake

10. Elma Pazar (@elmapazar): 68,000 followers – 58 per cent fake

11. Lucie Rose Donlan (@lucierosedonlan): 857,000 followers – 56 per cent fake

12. Anna Vakili (@annavakili_): 495,000 followers – 53 per cent fake

13. Molly Mae Hague (@mollymaehague): 701,000 followers – 53 per cent fake

14. Anton Danyluk (@anton_danyluk): 342,000 followers – 52 per cent fake

15. Curtis Pritchard (@curtispritchard12): 588,000 followers – 52 per cent fake

16. Tom Walker (@tom9walker): 29,900 followers – 50 per cent fake

17. Maura Higgins (@maurahiggins): 322,000 followers – 45 per cent fake

“The results of our research show the extent to which fraudulent activity can take place on Instagram, yet influencers are still powerful marketing tools due to their ability to resonate deeply with their core audiences,” said Takumi CEO, Adam Williams. “Brands must carefully consider who they work with and how they assess their worth. The scale of someone’s social media following doesn’t necessarily equate to real influence among consumers.

“Data collected from more than 2,000 influencer marketing campaigns shows that micro-influencers (defined as people with less than 10,000 followers or fewer) generate the highest engagement rates and have real peer-to-peer influence. More and more, our clients are choosing to work with them because they value their relatable content and out-of-the-box creative thinking.
“Influencer marketing is now maturing, and brands and consumers are becoming savvier to people who inflate their public image. That’s why we have an 11-step vetting process for influencers and have partnered with HypeAuditor, to identify and eliminate fake followers.”

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