Instagram Vending Machine

1 April 2018

How Popular Is That Instagram Post? No, Really? Meet The “Likes” Vending Machine…

by Freddy Tran Nager, Founder of Atomic Tango LLC; photo and video by Vasily Sonkin

It’s no secret that most social media data can be faked. Likes, followers, views, even comments — name it, you can buy it. What most people don’t realize is how easy it is to do so. How easy?

Well, if you’re in Moscow, just pop a few rubles into a vending machine and — da! — instant Instagram popularity, as journalist Vasily Sonkin shows you here..

Of course, if you’re trying to identify true influencers on Instagram, the ease of fraud makes your job a bit more difficult.

Just remember: never base “influence” on one number alone, particularly numbers of easy actions, like “likes.” Look for engagement that takes more effort, such as THOUGHTFUL comments, and compare that number to the person’s overall number of followers or likes. That’s still not proof of true influence, but it’s one way to gauge how many of a person’s followers truly like them, and how many are bought like so many Snickers bars.

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Freddy is the Founder & Creative Strategist of Atomic Tango. He also teaches at the University of Southern California (go Trojans!), shoots pool somewhat adequately, and herds cats. Freddy received his BA from Harvard and his MBA from USC.

2 Responses

  1. Takes “influence peddling” to a whole new level! Quite the rude wakeup call– great find, Freddy!

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