Buying Clout - The Speculators Buying and Selling Social Media Pages

Some users are involved in buying, inflating, and then selling big social media accounts, these Instagram 'flippers' might be a lot more common than you think.
Social media accounts with a high number of flowers can bring all sorts of business opportunities for their owners. Sponsorships and outright ads are the most common for influencers, but there is a slightly shadier side to all of this. Ever noticed a page or person you follow has a sudden change in content? It might be the result of someone buying their account and repurposing it.
The sale of followers to users has been going on for a while and it is pretty well known. Between bots to mass follow or just fake accounts inflating a page's following, this is a big problem for the sites. Sometimes though, those looking to buy their way into social media clout don't have that type of patience. In those cases, they look to buy an account wholesale. This has given rise to a weird career, the social media account speculator.

Buying and Selling Social Media Pages

Instagram accounts are some of the most heavily traded. For some reason, the platform lends itself a lot more to this type of behavior. Popular platforms even exist to facilitate this buying and selling. You can load up sites like Social Tradia or Insta Sale and browse through the accounts on offer like you're shopping for groceries.
The page and its nearly 30K followers can be yours for $700.
The main attraction in buying an Instagram account is that you can continue to post as if nothing has happened. Many of these accounts simply repost the pictures of others in a certain theme. This means the new owner can continue this stream of posts, with an increased frequency of 'ad' post. This would be the basic form of buying and selling a social media account.

The Perils of Facebook Pages

The sensation isn't limited to Instagram either. Facebook has had its share of controversies too. However, the differences in the way people interact can show how this platform isn't as well suited to this.
One purchase that made a big impact was a notable Simpsons shitposting group. Users shared memes about the beloved 90s run of the show amongst themselves. It was sold, the new owners posted ads and tried to sell a subscription to a 'premium' tier of the group. Members made the new owners the butt of their jokes and ignored them until they sold it back for a small fraction of what they paid. This type of reaction is fairly typical of buying a page with an actual following on Facebook. However, this reaction just isn't possible through Instagram, making it a more attractive option.

The Social Media Speculator

The buyers and sellers of these accounts aren't always buying a following, a market of speculators has emerged. These people purchase Instagram pages that they think have some potential to be worth something, inflate it, and try to resell for a profit.
Flipping Instagram pages has become a whole industry of itself. Many huge accounts on Instagram simply travel between one account flipper to another, getting bigger each time. The followers are largely unaware that this account is being passed between various hands.

Do Instagram Pages Have Value?

Speculators buying and selling social media accounts clearly believe there is going to be a return on investment for these accounts. This is often from selling to another social media speculator instead of brands or users of the service. These useless pages exist simply to be bought and sold, with no way of actually making money from using the page itself. While the follower count is high, they won't engage with marketing through it since the page has been hollowly churning followers.
Of course, this is all against Instagram's terms of service. Although, the brazen openness of the reseller market shows they aren't doing anything to stop it. Facebook manages to be a lot tougher on these sellers on their own platform, but are happy to let it flourish on Instagram. Keep in mind when you find a big Instagram page, that the account may actually be switching hands every few months as an investment in clout.