Wow, some pretty startling research from GhostProxies (h/t @) about fake users on the internet. Evaluating 1.45 billion users on 20,000 sites, they determined that just north of 61% were NOT real people. Even more disturbing is the rate at which it’s increasing, from 50% in 2012 to 61% in 2013…
A few years ago, I ran an experimental service for the film industry called @Siteroll (RIP) which was designed to help people post trackable links to Facebook and Twitter. Part of the algorithm I created was to differentiate human clicks from robot clicks. What was remarkable to me was the sheer volume of non-human clicks from these services. On Twitter the ratio was 24:1 (24 bot clicks for every one valid click); on Facebook the ratio was a slightly more palatable 22:1, both out of control and overwhelming.
This strikes me as a problem. What do you think? Seems like a pretty damning revelation for anybody’s user acquisition strategy.