The Dark Side of Instagram with Negative Effects

What is the Dark Side of Instagram?

Instagram is a popular platform used by corporations and companies to market their brands and reach a larger audience with their goods and services target audience. Instagram may be the most popular social media platform worldwide, but this popularity might not last very long. In recent years, many brands and regular Instagram users have complained about getting scammed by fake influencers. The proliferation of phoney Instagram followers and likes is a major contributing factor to the rise in false influencer activity in recent times.

We’ll discuss the drawbacks of Instagram likes in this blog, including how they contribute to the rise of phoney influencers and followers. This post on Instagram’s new policies has helpful advice for handling this problem as well. Read this post through to the end if you’re a business owner and want to know how to tell a real influencer account from a phoney one. 

Finally, we will also discuss the psychological impact of Instagram likes on people’s mental health, which can help us analyse and understand different users’ behaviour on Instagram because Instagram likes are a powerful social media tool that might be underestimated so very far.

The Impact of Instagram Likes and Followers

Instagram likes can affect a brand’s success while promoting their product or service, or they can influence an individual’s decisions while trying to purchase a product or service. Consequently, Instagram likes have the power to sway people’s opinions regarding private choices and have an impact on a company’s ability to succeed. 

However, influencers are equally conscious of how Instagram likes affect businesses and individual decisions, and sometimes they exploit user’s trust by buying fake followers, creating fake engagement and interaction to trick other users and even brands into believing in them because they understand Instagram’s algorithms and they know how to trick others without getting caught.  

The Psychology Behind Instagram Likes

Instagram intends to impact human behaviour, influencing mental health and leading to negative emotions. Users and influencers are always looking for more Instagram likes because of the need for social validation nowadays; everyone is looking for digital gratitude to boost their self-confidence.This influence on mental health serves as evidence for the necessity for additional study on the psychological impacts of social media validation.

The Emergence of Fake Followers and Influencer Fraud

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Influencer fraud is rising every day because of the emergence of fake followers and unreal social media engagement rates. Social media bots and fake accounts are huge in this process, affecting user trust. The growing number of fake followers in the digital era can negatively influence social media marketing because nothing more than inauthentic social media users and accounts can harm this industry. Future research should focus more on finding methods for facing the emergence of fake followers and influencer fraud to increase the authenticity and reliability of the social media marketing industry.

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How Fake Followers Are Generated

The continual need to receive social media approval can increase fake followers. Instagram is considered a platform that different generations are using, and unfortunately, sometimes, it can create unreal authenticity and make people constantly compare themselves with fake users. Getting familiar with this dark side of social media is necessary for facing its negative impact on brands and businesses.

Identifying influencer fraud is vital for facing the negative impacts of fake followers. Brands and businesses should keep their eyes open to avoid the negative psychological impact that may arise from influencer fraud. Recognizing influencer fraud can provide valuable insights into users’ behaviour and human psychology because the consequences of influencer fraud can expand to social communications and other networks.

Consequences of Fake Followers and Influencer Fraud

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Fake followers and influencer fraud can affect social media marketing and reduce users’ trust in social media. This negative impact can affect social media users and create an opportunity for the increase of false information. Brands and businesses should be able to identify these effects to decrease the amount of damage to social media marketing.

Impact on Businesses and Marketing Campaigns

Brands and marketing campaigns are the most vulnerable because influencer fraud can affect their ROI, and the business might face many complicated problems. Identifying the effect of fake followers and influencer fraud is necessary for marketing strategy; therefore, companies should be able to recognize fake followers and fake influencers when it comes to their marketing campaigns and other branding efforts. 

Damaging Trust and Credibility

Identifying fake followers and influencer fraud is vital for gaining back users’ trust because the digital era is witnessing a significant decrease in the level of users’ trust because of the emergence of influencer fraud. Businesses should be able to recognize the harmful effect of fake followers on user’s trust and credibility. The main consequence is that users don’t trust influencer marketing and always question the authenticity of an influencer account or marketing campaign.

Instagram’s Efforts to Combat Fake Followers and Fraud

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Instagram has been using different policies to decrease the effect of fake followers and influencer fraud. Instagram is using different methods to identify and remove fake influencers. Instagram’s main goal with these continuous efforts is to protect the influencer marketing industry and bring back trust among Instagram’s users. Instagram is also trying to encourage users to trust the platform again. 

AI technology is helping Instagram to find and remove fraudulent accounts easily and create a safe and reliable social media platform. These measurements will help Instagram to be recognized as a reliable platform while fighting fake followers and influencer fraud. Instagram is trying to use updated tools to show that this platform is committed to fighting fake followers and motivating users to engage more within the platform. 

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Strategies for Brands to Avoid Influencer Fraud

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To protect the social media marketing industry, brands should use safe strategies to face the consequences of fake followers and influencer fraud. Instagram should look for methods to increase user trust and avoid creating a negative platform. 

It is necessary to analyze the engagement rate of influencers to investigate their authenticity. Real influencers are honest in their posts. You can find relevant and high-quality content on a real influencer account. Moreover, real influencers have real interactions with their followers. Moreover, the number of influencers’ followers isn’t the only factor that proves an influencer is fake or real. Brands and businesses should analyze these factors to protect their marketing campaign when it comes to influencer fraud.    

Signs of Fake Influencers

An Instagram account with fake followers has a low engagement rate with comments that don’t make sense or are written by fake accounts with no profile picture or normal profile names. When you notice the number of followers, likes, or comments suddenly increase in an account, you should report the account to Instagram as soon as possible and the platform will decide if this account is fake or real.

The Role of Users in Fighting Influencer Fraud

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Users can always identify and report fake influencers. Users should know how to recognize real and fake influencers to eliminate fake influencers for good. By knowing the signs, users can identify fake followers, likes, and fraudulent influencers. Instagram users should keep an eye on the influencer’s account and learn how to report fake followers, likes, or suspicious accounts to the platform. 

The Psychological Influence of Likes

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Many social media users might gain or lose trust in different social media platforms because of Instagram. The number of Instagram like can affect many individuals mentally and emotionally as they believe people might not like them because their post didn’t receive enough likes or they are loved by other users because of the huge number of likes they have received on a post. 

This obsession can affect people’s self-confidence and even mental health as they are always looking for others’ approval through Instagram likes, and this can get very serious, especially for younger people. This constant need for approval might lead to destructive behavior among teenagers or adults in different age groups.

The Need for Social Validation

When people are in desperate need of receiving approval from others through Instagram likes, they might experience different feelings such as anger, shame, jealousy, or rage, and these feelings could go further than just social media platforms and disrupt a person or even a family’s life. Therefore, understanding the dark side of social validation is necessary because each like on social media profiles might change a life.

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The Future of Influencer Marketing on Instagram

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Influencer marketing can take advantage of possible future research to grow as an industry. Fighting influencer fraud can help social media platforms such as Instagram to become a safe space for users who are spending time on this platform for entertainment and even for influencers who are using the platform for financial goals. Data analysis tools can also help influencer marketing become a trustworthy industry among users again. The future of influencer marketing depends on social media users. If brands and businesses decide to keep trusting influencer marketing, this industry should expect significant growth in coming years, or, everything might go the other way around, and we might never hear of influencer marketing again.

The Experiment of Hiding Likes

One of the last Instagram updates involved hiding the number of likes on Instagram posts. The main goal of this update was to eliminate the feeling of jealousy and approval that some users might experience. This method can create a positive vibe by encouraging users to pay attention more to the content instead of likes. Social media platforms should look for alternatives to the like system in order to create positive social media platforms for user’s personal and professional goals. 


The increasing number of fake followers and influencer fraud on Instagram is a concerning issue that is affecting many businesses and their marketing campaigns and also leading to many users questioning the credibility of the Instagram platform. Instagram tried to solve this problem by using policies and technological measurements against fake activity to identify and remove fake followers. Brands can also play a major role in identifying fake influencers by analyzing influencers’ accounts and knowing about the signs of a fake account. Users can also fight influencer fraud by teaching themselves and others about the signs of fake influencers and reporting suspicious accounts to Instagram. The psychological impact of Instagram likes on users’ mental health and behaviour, shouldn’t be underestimated. The future of influencer marketing on Instagram might need alternatives for the like system as it can increase the level of authentic engagement rate and real interaction within the platform.