Does Kylie Jenner Sponsor Buying Instagram Followers?

Cant Say No To 9 YSL Bags Either

New day, new Kardashian (or in this case, Jenner), new luxury brand giveaway. On 6th March 2019, Khloé Kardashian posted a picture of herself atop a Mercedes-Benz surrounded by Gucci bags and while her post has since been deleted, we covered this publicity stunt in an article about buying Instagram followers. Her ‘giveaway’ was followed closely by similar ones by Kourtney, Kim, Scott Disick, and today we find yet another Kardashian surrounded by luxury goods.

Just 3 hours ago 11a.m. GMT+8 (true to the time of writing), Kylie Jenner posted a similar picture with 9 Yves Saint Laurent (YSL) bags at her side.

The post currently has 2.8M likes and 106K comments, which is more comments than on her last 3 posts combined. [Edit: in 23 hours her post has averaged 4.8M likes and 219K comments]

The rules are exactly the same, down to the “(it only takes 90 seconds to enter)” quip. In our previous article, we talked about the merits of this sort of campaign — it is more of ‘gifting’ potential followers as opposed to buying them, which means there is likely to be a higher chance of retaining interest. We also compared the similarities between Khloé Kardashian’s feed and those participating in the giveaway, proving that those who already follow Khloé would likely be interested in the accounts she was helping to promote. Unfortunately, the similarities stopped at her. As the giveaways progressed and other Kardashians + a Disick took part, the congruence between their accounts and the participant accounts were less obvious, making the whole campaign more of a disingenuous publicity stunt than what we thought.

Seeing as a number of giveaways have passed, I’m going to use the Kylie Jenner rendition to answer some questions about Curated Businesses, based on information from Popular Chips.

1 – How much does it cost for someone to participate?

Here is a breakdown of the total estimated cost of this campaign:


This is what it costs for @curatedbusinesses to run a campaign like this with the Kardashians and luxury designer goods. This cost is split amongst whoever signs up to be a part of the campaign, in addition to the Agency Fee, which is usually 20% of the campaign cost — US$227,200 in this case.

Considering 70 accounts are taking part in this campaign, we can assume that each brand/influencer paid approximately US$19,000 to participate.

That is a lot of money.

2 – Are there returning accounts?

Yes, out of the 70 accounts that are participating in Kylie’s giveaway, 11 of them were also a part of Khloé’s giveaway back in March.

3 – What has their performance looked like since then?

To answer this question, I looked at 3 different returning accounts with varying styles and audiences: @talentless, which is a street-style brand by Scott Disick, @snugglehunnykids, which is a brand for babies, and @chamonixrainorganics, which is a skincare label.

Here is the audience growth for @talentless, which experiences it’s most impressive peak on 4th April which was the date of Kim Kardashian’s giveaway. As soon as it was over, however, the account began to lose followers, as seen from the dip.

Talentless lost approximately half of the followers they had gained in the following week, and continued to progressively lose more as time went by. It is now operating at a -4.32% growth rate, and seems to be back where it started at the beginning of March.

We see a similar pattern here with @snugglehunnykids, except that they have lost more followers over time than they had to begin with.

Popular Chips

The only time the account successfully gained followers was during the Kim K giveaway but even then, the 52K increase was insufficient to sustain them over the periodic losses from then till now.

Popular Chips

They are also operating at a negative growth rate of 6.25%. The fact that they lost 26K followers just the week after suggests that at least 26K people followed them just for the giveaway, and made an active effort to unfollow certain accounts post-giveaway. This explains why all the accounts undergo a similar pattern of progressive loss.

Finally I looked at @chamonixrainorganics, which possibly has the least depressing statistics of all the three. That doesn’t say much.

Popular Chips

Their initial participation in the Khloé giveaway really boosted their following and the losses experienced over time never overtook the increases.

Popular Chips

While they are also operating at a negative growth rate, they still have more followers than they started out with, so I guess their repeated payments of approximately 19K were put to good use…?

4 – Is it worth it?

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem so. The accounts talked about in this post have partaken in this giveaway at least thrice based on the graphs, but they haven’t managed to secure a positive growth outcome for their account. While we highlighted the possibility of ‘gifting’ as a means to organic growth, and the low chances of a follow/unfollow situation, things don’t seem to have unfolded that way.

To answer the question posed in the title, I don’t actually think Kylie Jenner takes an enthusiastic role in this giveaway; rather, she is probably quite detached from the entire campaign. Seeing as how all her sisters deleted their posts after the respective giveaways and did not include an authentic voice in their captions (merely a copy and paste from what was given to them), it is obvious that this is not a genuine collaboration, but rather simply for the sake of money — a failure in the rule book of successful influencer marketing.

Written by Deesha Menon

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

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