Twitter has over 288 million monthly active users... but how many accounts on Twitter are actually fake, bots and just a waste of time?
This is a question that many Twitter users, advertising and branding experts are always trying to figure out.
3 Recommend Tools to Find & Remove Fake Twitter Followers from Your Account
Below we take a look at three of the different tools out there for getting an idea of just how many fake follow your or other users on Twitter might have.
In each of the screenshots below, we used the @bloggingdotorg Twitter account to keep the numbers universal across the three tests.
SocialBakers Fake Followers Search
SocialBakers is one of the largest and most referenced sites online for social media stats. Through their "fake followers search" you can look up how many fake follow you or other followers on Twitter have.
This search result shows that 99% of the followers of our Blogging.org twitter account are real, and they also listed the 'suspicious' followers list below the search results as well (which only happened to be one).
TwitterAudit does exactly what it sounds like... it audits your account and gives you an idea of how many of your followers are fake, but also looks at the overall quality of your total followers to your account as well.
Again, @bloggingdotorg got a 99% real follower score. However, TwitterAudit did list 51 fake followers versus the one fake follower that SocialBakers listed. Still, pretty consistent with the overall number and percentages.
Status People's Faker App
StatusPeople's Fake App is quite similar to the previous two mentioned, but they also take "inactivity" into affect, which is why we saw a 96% ranking instead of the usual 99% ranking from the previous two reports. The report also shows what percentage of your audience speaks English, how often they tweet and average amount of followers your followers have. Not bad for a free report.
Fake Follower Tools Summary
It was reported by the New York Times and Twitter themselves that up to 4% (or 20 million accounts) on Twitter are fake. (source) What's even crazier is that these numbers are from 2013... so we can expect the actual number of fake and bot accounts to be much higher.
What's even more exciting is this article from WSJ that take a deeper look into the dark and profitable world of fake and bot Twitter accounts. Topic covered include mass following of account, how to quickly grow out celebrity/band followings and also the process of how research teams are trying to crack down on fake/bot accounts.
More than 4% of Twitter is fake and bot accounts! Run a quick report to see your fake followers! http://bit.ly/1KDYQE4
Getting back to the three tools mentioned above, all are great for getting a quick and easy score for your Twitter account and how many fake and bot followers your account might have. Since they are all free and easy to use, I recommend everyone run a test on each site to compare stats.
At the same time, these "free" searches are also a preview of the many other premium features these sites offer. After performing a few searches on these sites you will find they limit your daily limit or the speed at which results can be searched. To get the maximum benefit from each of these sites, you should also consider joining their membership plans.
Top Celebrities on Twitter... with Fake Followers!
Oh no... you didn't! Oh yes we did!
Celebrities are the 'holy grail' of Twitter users and some of them have well over 50 million users. On top of the massive following that each of these celebrities have, they also earn thousands upon thousands of dollars just for sending out single "sponsored" tweets and updates to their audience.
So now the question is... how many of these millions of followers are potentially fake?
Using TwitterAudit.com we ran a few celebrities through their audit just to see what numbers might show up for how many of their followers are actually real or fake.
You can see a full list of the top 100 most followed Twitter account here.
Katy Perry has the most followers of all users on Twitter... however, stats show only 35% of then are actually real! Even with such a low quality score, Katy can still reach 22+ million users every time she sends out a tweet!
Kim Khardashian is also well known for her massive following of 20+ million followers, and also for earning compensation by sending out sponsored tweets as well. I wonder how many of her advertisers know that roughly half of her following is wasted space?
Taylor Swift however comes in at one of the worst levels... with nearly 70% of her following being fake and bot accounts.
Even Barack Obama has his own social media problems... as 51% of his 50+ million followers report to be fake and bot accounts.
For celebrities... it's all about the ego and seeing who can have the largest Twitter following, even if a great deal of them are fake and worthless.
However, what it is like for major brand names? Would we see the same results?
A quick search on Cocacola shows 82% of their followers are real. Good job Coke!
eBay has also proven themselves with a healthy 77% real followers rating.
Even the mega power house YouTube with over 40 million followers still comes in with a much better rating than most of the celebrities in the top 100 most followed accounts.
As we can see, there is a big difference between quality scores between accounts. It would be really interesting to see some backend engagement and click stats, but we can't 🙁
However, this does show that quality scores for brands on Twitter do have a higher standard. If you were to get the attention of a high profile brand and they were to retweet your message, you could end up with a much better response than trying to get a celebrity with a much larger fake audience to retweet your message.
So how many of your Twitter followers are fake?