Monday, June 25, 2018

"It’s Easy To Scam Your Way Into Free Hotel Stays By Pretending To Be An Instagram Star"

If her name sounds familiar, it’s probably because you've already heard of @wanderingggirl before: It’s the handle of an Instagram influencer with 63,000 followers who turned out to be a total fake, a persona created by a team at digital marketing agency Mediakix. They curated a glamorous feed of stock photos and bought followers as an experiment to see how easy it would be to get brand endorsement deals with a fabricated account.

Mediakix came clean to the press last summer about its stunt to make a point about how far a fake influencer could go and show how brands and advertisers aren’t savvy about looking out for fake followers or fake engagement on Instagram. It expected Instagram to shut down @wanderingggirl after it went public about the hoax — but it didn’t. So Mediakix decided to keep going, this time with the travel industry.