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Erika Icon wrote last week on her blog www.therubpr.com: This morning, I woke up to over 40,000 followers. When I went to bed, I had less than 10,000. I know that I don’t shop in my sleep. After speaking with Twitter and some social media gurus, I found out people can buy followers and add them to your account without your password or your permission. Pretty scary, right? It’s happened to a friend and a client, also.
The good news is that Twitter is looking into it and can pinpoint at what time the followers hit my account, the IP and where the followers were bought from. Once those things are revealed, the person (or persons) who did it will be caught and could lose their Twitter account and have very public legal action taken against them. Like I always say, it never pays to buy followers for your account, and now I have to add other people’s accounts to that phrase.
Read this: London, UK — (SBWIRE) — Since its launch in October TweetFeat.com has been responsible for providing hundreds of thousands of followers to the adult industry, music stars and business leaders.
Though the ability to buy Twitter followers has been available for years, the industry courted worldwide controversy in July when Barracuda Labs suggested that the Mitt Romney campaign may have purchased followers. In August TheNew York Times reported that around 70% of both Lady Gaga and President Obama’s Twitter accounts contained fake followers.
The market is unsurprisingly secretive, a phenomenon that Harry Smith, TweetFeat’s co-founder, is keen to dispel: “At the moment we are able to offer 250,000 followers for $350, but I know other dealers, such as FanMeNow charge above $500 for the same package. We are able to supply Twitter followers now at almost two thirds of the price we could a month ago. Other dealers might too, but we’re not seeing this reflected in their prices.” Smith estimates the market to be worth around $50m a year.
While the practice is not illegal, Smith accepts that users are likely to be coy about the source of their followers: “It’s an amazing feeling to empower people with extra followers, but I’m certain they’d change the topic of conversation if their friends asked them for tips on how to increase their following! It’s the online version of hiring an escort to accompany you to a party – the aim is to boost your social standing, but you’re not going to publicise what you’ve done.”
In August 2012, The New York Times reported that the comedian Dan Nainan boosted his Twitter following by 220,000 for $414 dollars