Does Khloé Kardashian Sponsor Buying Instagram Followers?

Can’t say no to 10 Gucci bags

Fresh out of a scandal involving Tristan Thompson and Jordyn Woods, Khloé Kardashian’s latest Instagram post finds her atop a Mercedes-Benz surrounded by Gucci. That’s right. Gucci purses, Gucci luggage, Gucci duffel bags and more, estimated to cost around $30,000 (USD) in total, all of which she is giving away to one person for FREE.
The post has since garnered over 2.9M likes and 169K comments, which leaves us all but wondering: what’s the catch?

UPDATE March 8th: As her post was deleted from her Instagram account after the publication of this article, the link to Khloe’s Instagram post was replaced with this screenshot of her post which was still available in the cache of Google. Also, @curated_giveaways_  has deleted the 81 influencers from its following.

The rules of the giveaway seem simple: (1) go to an account called @curated_giveaways_, (2) follow them, (3) like the giveaway post, (4) follow all 81 accounts that @curated_giveaways_ follows, and (5) return to Khloé’s page to tell her what you would do with the spoils (that likely explains all the comments). A total of 141K people have liked the giveaway post, which means 141K people are in the running to win these luxury goods.

Popular Chips

This excerpt from our platform, Popular Chips, shows us a steady but steep spike in the number of people following @curated_giveaways_. People are interested (but then again who wouldn’t be for $30,000 worth of Gucci) and they aren’t fussed about following 81 (presumably) new accounts.
This means that all 81 featured accounts gained 141K followers–and here I mean real people, not bots or fake accounts–overnight. This had my interest piqued. A number of the accounts on the @curated_giveaways_ page are verified, and most of them already have a large following.

So who are they and what have they to do with the Khloé Kardashian Gucci Giveaway?

A quick comparison of Khloe’s Instagram posts with the ones on the featured accounts poses many similarities. Take the account @whatmomslove for example. Aly B, who runs the account, identifies as a mother of four and is the founder of What Moms Love — a fun and innovative site for modern moms. Ever since the birth of Khloé’s baby girl True, we’ve been seeing much more of a ‘modern mom’ side to the middle Kardashian. Her posts are not dissimilar to Aly’s, though definitely maintaining that Kardashian edge.

Next I looked at @salleswim which, as the handle suggests, is a swimwear label. How often have we seen Khloé posing in swimsuits or athleisure? Very.

@SalleSwim presents a similar aesthetic, which is our second clue to the mystery of these 81 accounts. And because third time’s the charm, I picked @GlossAndCo, which is a brand of vegan nail polish. After scrolling through their feed for a bit, I popped back to Khloé’s account to find that her nails are perfectly manicured in every picture.

While some accounts already have a following, a market, and a brand, others seem to be just starting out. For example, @Bthelabelofficial does not have existing content or an existing following — who owns this account? Could this be another one of the Kardashian business ventures under cover? The word ‘label’ in the handle suggests that it is likely a fashion enterprise, but we can’t be sure.

Now while this is all beginning to sound like one massive Kardashian conspiracy, the point I am actually trying to get at is that Khloé’s Instagram account is pretty much an amalgamation of these 81 not-so-random accounts. Be it fashion, beauty, fitness, or modern motherhood, both these groups of Instagram accounts have a lot in common. This steadily leads us to the conclusion that the 141K people who already follow Khloé and have just followed these accounts are unlikely to unfollow whether or not they win the Gucci merchandise. If each of the 81 accounts had a stake in this giveaway, that means every one forked out at least USD370 for a definitive chance of expanding their follower base.

A classic situation of follow/unfollow. Or not.

Let’s take a look at the growth of some of the 81 accounts to glean a better understanding of this interesting giveaway.

Popular Chips

This is a chart generated from @bondibeachbaby which reflects their audience growth over the last quarter. Engagement is evidently stagnant till this year, where the account witnessed a 220% increase in number of followers. @bangn.body is a lot more impressive: the quintessential story of 0 to 100.

Popular Chips

Statistically, their audience growth over the last 30 days adds up to 6687%. Try wrapping your head around that numeric. These accounts have clearly suffered from a lack of exposure for much too long, and have now decided that the best way to gain their followers is to buy them. Honourably. So there we have it: a motive.

But buying followers has long been frowned upon in the Instagram community: insta-frauds, insta-scams and fake followers are buzzwords we hear all the time. The deal with Khloé and @curated_giveaways_ is clearly not the typical case of buying followers, however. They seem to be gifting the community instead–an expensive thank you to people for following, even if it was just for a chance at winning the bags.

Buying Followers vs Gifting Followers

Buying Gifting
A large number of these accounts are bots which is fraudulent All accounts are authentic and active, managed by real people  
Instagram eventually removes them during their cleaning They are unlikely to unfollow because of the curated and relatable content
Constantly requires additional purchasing   One time ‘purchase’
Basically an immense scam Pure genius

Concluding Thoughts

I have to admit that the future of fake followers has suddenly gotten real, and boy is it clever. Not only has @curated_giveaways_ successfully reached out to potential followers who are more than likely to be genuinely interested in the content of the 81 accounts, they have also ensured that these accounts/personalities are spared from the shackles of fake followers, bots, and follow/unfollow patterns — the slippery slope that influencers long on the scene are all too familiar with. Getting a celebrity like Khloé to endorse this (especially in the wake of all the pity she’s gotten vis a vis the cheating scandal) is a sure-fire way of normalizing the new advent of purchasing (or, gifting) followers.

One thing is definitely for sure: can I be bought over with $30,000 worth of Gucci bags? Hell, yes.

(scroll for more account comparisons!)

@SalleSwim vs @KhloeKardashian

@GlossAndCo vs @KhloeKardashian

View this post on Instagram

❣️

A post shared by Khloé (@khloekardashian) on

Written by Deesha Menon

Influencer Marketing at Popular Chips. Interested in social issues, narratives, books, social media, and machine learning.

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