Twitter followers and Facebook ‘likes’: To buy or not to buy?

Better to buy or earn followers?

If money can’t buy you love, it can at least buy you Twitter followers and Facebook fans.

Companies that get users to follow you in exchange for a price are increasingly popular. Appropriately named websites like BuyRealTwitterFollowers promise up to 100,000 Twitter followers for a price between $77 and $247. BuyRealFansAndLikes will get you as many as 100,000 “likes” on Facebook for somewhere between $27 and $1597. Similar sites exist for just about every platform, including YouTube, Tumblr and Vimeo.

The concept behind “buying” followers is to boost your standing in the world of social media by appearing more popular. Authors, wannabe celebrities or new companies will often buy followers to seem more established in the hopes that it will translate into a real following.  

“It’s common with anyone who wants to present themselves to the public in a certain way,” said Eric Yaverbaum, associate publisher of SocialMediaMags.com.  “The more popular you look, more popular you become.”

The rules of the game are simple. The companies that provide followers set up a mutual agreement with their users. If you pay for 1,000 followers, you have to follow those users, too. The followers aren’t always real people — they can sometimes be accounts programmed to follow any users who follow them. And if you stop following them at any time, you’ll lose them as a follower, too.  

But is it worth it to buy followers or “likes” just to seem more popular? Yaverbaum says no, comparing social media to the no-rules era of the Wild West. The concept also doesn’t do much for your Klout, which is your measurable influence on social media. While you’re getting plenty of followers, they’re not interacting with you through comments, “likes,” or retweets. 

“It’s like building a reputation on quicksand,” Yaverbaum said of buying followers. “If you want to be viral, it’s got to be pure.”

While buying followers is a quick way to appear more embedded in the world of social media, it’s no substitute for garnering an audience that is genuinely interested in interacting with you, Yaverbaum says.

“You’re only worth following if you’re putting out interesting information every solitary day,” he said. “I think if you want influence, you want it from people who actually want to hear what you have to say.”


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
National

Florida man charged with murdering son to play…

A Florida man annoyed that his 16-month-old crying son was preventing him from playing video games suffocated the toddler, police said on Friday.

International

Powerful 7.2 magnitude earthquake rattles Mexico

A powerful earthquake struck Mexico Friday, shaking buildings and sending people running into the street, although there were no reports of major damage.

News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

Entertainment

Whoopi Goldberg makes her debut as marijuana columnist

"It helps my head stop hurting, and with glaucoma your eyes ache, and she takes the ache out. It's wonderful," she said.

The Word

Kate Middleton made fun of Prince William's bald…

Kate Middleton and Prince William are in Sydney, Australia, right now, and it sounds like that brash Aussie sense of humor might be rubbing off.

The Word

Is Tom Cruise dating Laura Prepon?

"Mission: Impossible" star Cruise is said to be dating Laura Prepon, star of "Orange is the New Black."

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

NHL

Rangers' speed versus Flyers' size makes interesting playoff…

Among the myriad aspects that will make this Metropolitan Division semifinal series fascinating will be the battle between the Rangers' speed and the Flyers' size,…

Tech

VIDEO: 'Vein-scanning' may become the future of paying

Designed to make transactions quicker and easier, the technology works by scanning the unique vein patterns in each person's palm.

Tech

#FollowFriday: 10 of the smartest Twitter accounts

Spending lots of time on Twitter? You might as well learn something. Here are some of the smartest accounts to follow.

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.