Not a day goes by when our inboxes aren’t spammed by people wanting to sell us fake Twitter users. Turns out, there’s a good reason. It’s insanely profitable.
James Clegg, who operates a fairly large-scale fake follower business, raked in $128,000 in profits in the last 10 months, reports PC World’s Christopher Null.
He’s done so well in this business, he quit his day job as an accountant, he told Null.
Clegg offered the inside skinny on his operations:
He runs 13 follower-sales websites, he says. He needs many websites because Google dislikes the fake-follower business. So each site has to use a constantly changing search-engine optimization scheme to show up in search results.
(It works though. We just typed in “Twitter followers” and low-and-behold, the first search result was for “Twitter Followers | Buy Twitter Followers | Free Twitter Followers …”)
The fake follower business is a numbers game. The going rate is $11 for 1,000 Twitter followers and a typical order is for about $30. A server with a high search result could pull in 80-100 orders per day, he says. (It might also charge more. The fake follower site we found from our Google search charges $17.50 for 1,000 followers.)
It’s not all profit. Clegg hires programmers in India to produce the “bots” (short for robot) that creates the fake Twitter accounts. Out of every $6,000 in revenue, he makes about $2,000 in profit, he says.
Buyers include minor celebrities, big corporations, practical jokers, but it’s mostly small companies who don’t want people to know they’ve only got 20 or so real Twitter peeps, Clegg says.
Just so you know, buying or selling Twitter accounts is a clear violation of Twitter’s rules. If Twitter finds these fake accounts, it will delete them.
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