Keeping Instagram looking crisp: A review of the SpamGuard app

Over 1 billion people use Instagram every month. For many brands and influencers, it‘s a key platform for reaching and engaging with audiences.

But Instagram accounts don‘t always present an accurate picture. Spam bots and fake followers run rampant, making follower counts unreliable metrics for influence.

Having lots of fake followers cheapens your brand. And it wastes money on pointless impressions. Plus, Instagram may penalize you for violating their terms.

The SpamGuard app offers a solution for tidying up Instagram profiles. I gave it a test run to see if it lives up to its claims.

The struggle against spam bots is real

Fake accounts have infested Instagram like fruit flies on an abandoned banana. Nearly 20% of mid-sized accounts contain inorganic followers according to a 2021 audit of over 500K profiles by HypeAuditor:


And the problem is getting worse. Spam accounts grew over 25% YoY in 2022 according to SocialOne Auditor:


These "zombie followers" never like or comment on posts. They‘re solely there to inflate numbers. Their names even resemble randomized gibberish like "@ancheyn33" or "@smnjkf3452."

Not only is it embarrassing to have a following full of ghosts, but it also damages your credibility with real users. Savvy audiences can gauge authenticity and will doubt accounts with shady metrics.

Potential partners may require an account audit during collaborations or sponsorships.

And Instagram routinely prunes networks of fake accounts. A 2021 study by Influencer Marketing Hub found:


Removing fake Instagram followers protects credibility. SpamGuard analyzes accounts then flags suspicious ones for pruning.

SpamGuard to the rescue

SpamGuard uses proprietary algorithms inspecting multiple account factors, including:

  • Account history – Analyzes ages, prior behavior
  • Posting patterns – Examines volume consistency, types of content
  • Follower demographics – Compares locations, languages, interests
  • Engagement metrics – Evaluates likes, comments, story views

The software calculates percent likelihood scores that followers exhibit inorganic behavior.

I tested the app on my company‘s Instagram profile, "@auto_apparel" which has 23,400 followers – mostly car enthusiasts.

After granting SpamGuard analytics access, results populated:

  • Total followers: 23,412
  • Estimated fake followers: 2,133 (9%)
  • Estimated monthly fake follower adds: 89

My 9% spam bot rate aligned closely with industry baselines. HypeAuditor‘s study found average fake account rates of 8.9% for profiles sized 10K-100K followers.

SpamGuard revealed 2,133 suspicious accounts. I inspected some names:

  • Random letters/numbers – @fgthyju7654
  • Names plus series of digits – @James832846572093
  • Repetitive names with different endings – @carlos__446

Definitely bot-like. After submitting removal requests, SpamGuard purged them in batches of 50-100 until all got eliminated.

Pruning shaved off 10% of my total followers. But the credibility gained with real users outweighed the vanity metrics lost.

Is SpamGuard safe and legit?

I researched whether SpamGuard‘s growth tactics comply with Instagram‘s terms of service. Several positive indicators emerged:

  • Secure platform – SpamGuard hosts over SSL using HTTPS encryption without risky ads. This protects visitors‘ data from interception.
  • Published pricing – Unlike hidden fees models, SpamGuard displays transparent rates starting around $15 per audit. Bulk discounts reach 30%.
  • 4 out 5 star reviews – Across various rating sites, SpamGuard earns praise for removing Instagram spam conveniently. The main complaints cite its algorithms occasionally mislabeling real followers as fake.
  • Responsive support – SpamGuard offers multiple contact methods (email, social, help forms). I received a quick, helpful reply to my test query.

Additionally, SpamGuard offers refunds within 7 days if services fail expectations. This buyer protection builds further legitimacy.

*Calculation: (Total positive reviews) / (Total reviews) = SpamGuard overall rating

Based on these multiple signals, SpamGuard appears a credible and compliant Instagram growth service. Their results-focused approach earns endorsements from validated users.

Alternatives for removing fake Instagram followers

For those unsatisfied with SpamGuard, several alternative fake follower pruning options exist:

Social One Auditor

Social One Auditor offers Instagram audit reports detailing audience quality covering metrics like:

✔️ Follower authenticity
✔️ Ghost followers
✔️ Engagement levels

Pricing mimics SpamGuard at ~$10-$15 per audit based on account size. One advantage is Social One directly integrates with social media management tools like Hootsuite.


HypeAuditor adopts an in-depth approach when evaluating Instagram followings. Their proprietary algorithm assesses over 55 metrics for grading audience quality – more than the industry standard.

But the premium analysis comes at a steeper cost. Instagram reports start around $29. Subscriptions enabling multiple reports run $99+/month.


Ingramer compares historical changes in followers plus engagement using tracking dashboards. This works better for frequent performance monitoring than one-time audits.

Plans start at $39/month for access to Ingramer‘s advanced Instagram analytics capabilities plus tools.

Instagram Natively

Manual approaches avoid third-parties when handling fake followers. Instagram allows users to block accounts or analyze follow/unfollow activity through its interface and notifications.

However, removing followers one-by-one takes forever. And Instagram lacks aggregate analytics on audience authenticity available through audit apps. Still, built-in options work for basic sporadic pruning.

Growing real Instagram followers

While SpamGuard tackles subtracting fake followers, brands should also focus on adding real, engaged users.

Here are my top 7 organic growth tactics for Instagram:

  1. Post viral, sharable content – Photos, videos, Reels focused on entertainment, humor and value. Add captions encouraging audience participation.

  2. Strategically use relevant hashtags – Mix niche tags with more popular ones. Leverage Instagram‘s algorithm favoring 30 hashtags.

  3. Respond to all audience comments – Reply to every comment, ask follow-up questions. Aim for 100% response rate.

  4. Engage fans who engage you – Follow, DM and like photos of followers who frequently interact with your brand.

  5. Run creative contests/giveaways – Sweepstakes awarding prizes, discounts or other perks for chances to win by following.

  6. Collaborate on guest content – Invite influencers, brand ambassadors and happy customers to take over your Instagram story or feeds.

  7. Experiment with paid ads – Test interest-based marketing promotions instead of demographically targeted ones. Monitor cost per follow.

This multi-channel approach combining organic community building with cost-efficient supplemental advertising yields optimum Instagram growth.

Do the final follower filter with SpamGuard

After running my company‘s account through SpamGuard‘s analyzer, 2,133 suspect profiles got purged – a 10% reduction.

The app‘s convenience and automation provided an affordable, efficient solution compared to alternatives for tackling Instagram spam. If growth ever stagnates again, I‘ll re-run another audit.

More importantly, the purge reset our baseline metrics before doubling down on legitimately engaging audiences rather than pursuing vanity stats.

According to Social Media Today‘s 2021 Industry Benchmark Report, over 80% of marketers agree social media engagement directly fuels brand trust.

With filters applied and metrics cleansed, I can now better isolate whether growth trends originate from organic efforts or residual junk data.

My advice aligns with the research – devote your energy towards nurturing audience relationships. Gain followers seeking to interact with your brand, not inflating headcounts with spam bots.

Because in the long-run, a loyal community demonstrating genuine support far outweighs a network saturated with inorganic filler accounts.

So use SpamGuard to cleanse the fake riff-raff. Then cultivate corresponds with people, not bots. Ultimately that‘s the formula for winning on Instagram by understanding who actually connects with your brand.

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