How are teens able to get more than 10k Instagram followers so fast?

I ran an Instagram account that garnered 10k+ followers in less than a month. ***This was about three years ago. Some information may not be relevant.
My first Instagram account was a typical private, grade school student account. Weekly posts of my friends doing outrageous things followed by what I thought were unique captions. This account got about 500 followers in the first half year I began using it. My followers were mostly friends, friends of friends, and the occasionally suspicious account ran from “Ukraine”. Like many, I found myself wanting more, much more, followers.
So, I created another Instagram account. This one was very public -”artsy” photos, funny sayings, everything that was considered in at the time. This new account didn’t have an identity; it wasn’t easy to get a follow because no one knew who it was. With about a week of work, I figured out a few secrets that skyrocketed my follower count from 100 to 5,000 in three days.
  1. Follow everyone. In principle, it sounds simple. Essentially, I would follow every account I saw (realized there was an hourly follow limit). At the end of the day, I would use a follower tracking app (many are free) to track who followed back and who didn’t. I would then continue a steady stream of ‘unfollows’. This method alone can garner near 1,000 followers a day.
  2. Collaborate. I reached out to a few other accounts with __,____ or ___,____ number of followers. In basic terms, it went something like this: “You want followers. I want followers. S/o for s/o?” That’s really all it took. Upwards of 1,000 new followers from a shoutout.
Once I got the hang of it, I could accomplish these two basic tasks in about three, ten minute increments a day. By the second week, I had near 10,000. By the third week, I was averaging 1,000 new followers a day.
By the fourth week…I deleted this account. The account just became meaningless and too much of a bother, I decided to just stick with my private account.


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