What Percentage Of Your Twitter Following Is Fake? Here Is How To Find Out

How many of your Twitter followers are fake? So why are we all of a sudden, talking about fake accounts on social networks so much?

Well, a few weeks ago we were hit with this: Facebook has 83 million fake accounts.

First you thought, who cares, how does that affect me, right? But 15 minutes later you started wondering if it would be possible that some of your Facebook Page fans are in fact fake accounts. And the smile of your face slowly vanished.

The same happens with Twitter.

Why is this important?

You work hard to reach real people and engage with them, not bots. Unless you only care about the pretty fan/following count.

If you have a Twitter account or a Facebook Page to market your business, chances are you do look at the size of your following, regardless what everybody says about “numbers” (yes, picture me doing air quotes). How else are you supposed to have an idea of how many people will potentially see you when you post content.

What if today you realized you are talking to only 65% of the following you thought you had? Robots, spam and all that crap is part of the Internet and you will not eliminate it but, it will be nice to have digits that are closer to reality, don’t you think?

Here is how to put your Twitter account to the test

Fake Followers Check is a free service by Status People that analyzes your Twitter following to see if they are real or fake (spam) accounts.

Criteria

The app takes a sample of about 500 followers and assess them against a number of simple spam criteria. It looks for accounts that have very few or no followers or very low to no activity (number of tweets), to calculate a percentage.

It is more accurate if your Twitter account has 10,000 followers or less but, it claims to provide a good insight of the possible number of fake accounts if you have a larger following. Most of the analytics you use to measure activities online are based on sample data anyways.

How it works

You simply connect to your Twitter account and let it run its process, it will typically take a few minutes to gather the necessary data.

Fake Follower Check

And it will provide you with percentages for “Fake”, “Inactive” and “Good” accounts within your following. Check out the below image:

SocialMouths Fakers Scores

I think I’ll consider the results for @SocialMouths to be normal, specially because it’s not a huge following (shy of 23k at the time I wrote this). This means that approximately 230 accounts are fake and 2,760 are inactive.

Of course we all know very popular Twitter accounts tend to have a larger percentage of dead accounts, it has always been that way. To check if Fake Follower Check will pick on that, I ran a test for Mashable, an account with close to 3 million followers. Here are the results:

Mashable's Fakers Scores

51% good. Ouch.

Now What?

Don’t panic, this is a simple exercise to get a better idea of how healthy your Twitter following is. I guess if your numbers reflect an extraordinary number of fake accounts then you’ll have to see what you’re doing wrong but otherwise, it’s good to know what kind of potential for reach your account has.

This also provides a reality check on what the social networks claim when it comes to user count. Google+ for example opens an account automatically when somebody gets a Gmail account… that’ll give you an idea.

Have you run the test yet? What did you find?

  • Janeth Duque

    It won’t be long before you see someone come out with a tool to remove the fakes. It’s going to be another hit to the blackhatters as everyone’s getting tired of the spam.

  • That tool is very accurate. I know because I just bought a bunch of followers for one of my accounts so I new exactly how many were fake, and the numbers were right on.

  • Robin Thomas

    I had 0 fakes and only 2%inactive..98% wonderful followers, one at a time 🙂

  • Good to know I only have 1% fakes, 6% inactive, and 93% good! Thanks for sharing. 🙂

  • @kikolani:disqus You have an excellent blog by the way, subscribed and followed. 🙂

    @Fransico Rosales
    Its seems I didn’t do too badly but honestly. I don’t believe that is entirely accurate, there are a lot of fake accounts on twitter. Many i have checked back on a recent follower only to be dissapointed. I guess there is spam in all areas of our lives… LOL

  • Thanks Geoffrey! 🙂

  • I agree with you Geoffrey, spam is everywhere and we can’t eliminate it but we can get a ballpark idea of the field we play in.

    Thanks for your comment.

  • Awesome.

  • Good for you Robin.

  • blogomomma

    It took their system FORever and I had to refresh a few times – but…. (drum roll please)
    0% fake, 3% inactive and 97% good!

    Thanks for sharing

  • Good News: 2% Fake 11% inactive

    Bad News: My followers just aren’t engaging me yet.

  • I was actually surprised to see how fast it worked the 3 times I ran it, considering that this type of apps that rely on a Twitter connection usually have these problems.

    But good news on your diagnostic, I see…

    Thanks for comments!

  • Once you suspect (or know) how many fake followers you have, you can “clean” them by using @manageflitter. Great tool to unfollow the irrelevant, and analyse your twitter community. http://www.manageflitter.com

  • Steven

    About 15,000 of mines are fake and I know that because I paid for them. Whether you’re for or against fake followers the reality is they give new or lagging accounts ‘social proof’ and help bring in real fans, no one was interested in my account until I boosted it with 15k in followers, it’s grown fast since then. :

  • Rachel Stanwood

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  • Deandra Valerio

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  • talkk.net

    Better in twitter to choose followers or follow some body account with picture, twitter is a good tool to reach audience i think!

  • Sa’lean

    @thes600 follow me i follow back!

  • Mark

    83 Million fake Faceookb accounts! wow! Where did you get this number from? Do you know how many Twitter accounts are fake in total? I’d love to have the source of these numbers, so I could add it as reference on my website http://www.fakefollowerstwitter.com

  • Mhairi

    What a great tool! As a new twitter user, I have been working hard to build a following, and also determine who I should be following. Everybody should use this because if the percentage of fake followers starts to overwhelm an account, the promise for great followers in the future is out the window.

    Can’t wait to share this on my blog!

  • Joy14

    This tool is amazing! I am a new twitter user since I had to create an account for my social media class and I wasn’t sure about the fake or real accounts I was following or the one who were following me. It is good to know that now we can determine which one we can erase from our social networks to ensure a good use of this social media.
    Thanks a lot !
    Joy Machado – Tulane

  • Laura

    Thanks for the write up. I remember buying a couple thousand followers from Wizish.com since they were so cheap…but Boy Oh Boy, I do not recommend buying fake. It starts to become obvious after awhile that you have thousands of fake followers when you have 5000 followers but don’t ever get any retweets or favorites lol Never doing that again

  • Thank youuuu 🙂 I have 6% fakes, 45% inactive, and the rest are all good! Thanks for sharing. 🙂