LOVE ISLAND CONTESTANTS’ HUGE FAKE FOLLOWER NUMBERS EXPOSED
The reality TV series, Love Island, has undoubtedly become the nation’s guilty pleasure, with millions tuning in at 9pm each night to catch up on the tears, tantrums and drama of the last 24 hours. Whilst some of its stars claim to already be ‘influencers’ or ‘Instagrammers’ (we’re looking at you Molly-Mae), the programme is undoubtedly responsible for catapulting regular Joes (see what we did there?!) into the spotlight. This is certainly true on social media. A report released by OneBuy.com found that Tommy Fury, the brother of boxer, Tyson Fury, gained a increase in followers of 148% after the first episode of Love Island alone. Whilst it might seem to indicate an increase in popularity, influencer marketing agency Takumi called into question these steep increases in followers – its most recent study has found that every contestant bar one has more ‘fake’ than ‘real’ followers on Instagram.
Amber ranks highest in their list of accounts followed by bots, with a huge 65% of her followers allegedly inauthentic. Surprisingly perhaps, Maura is the only contestant on the current series with more ‘real’ than fake followers.
This is clearly an issue for brands who market through influencers; the vast majority of contestants from previous series have used their huge social followings to promote products and events, and these findings cast further doubt over the effectiveness of this style of advertising. Despite such findings, we’re pretty sure that brands will still flock to these newly-formed social media ‘influencers’ to promote their new products (even if their real follower count isn’t *quite* as the numbers state).