Fame is a fleeting phenomenon and most celebrities fade into obscurity before long. Curiously, most of the Kardashian-Jenner clan has managed to harness that elusive star power for years now.
Kim Kardashian West helped drag the family into the spotlight where they’ve remained since the 2007 launch of the reality series Keeping Up with the Kardashians. Now, each sister has a famous status in her own right, with billions of dollars being made on product lines, endorsement deals, appearances, and more.
One of the most lucrative cash flows for any Kardashian or Jenner comes from posting on Instagram. However, they might be earning money they don’t deserve from sponsored posts.
The Kardashian-Jenners are plagued by fake followers
Even the Kardashian sister with the least followers still has just shy of 100 million. Kourtney Kardashian boasts 99.7 million Instagram followers as of August 2020. And the sister with the most fans is Kylie Jenner with 190 million. Meanwhile, Kim Kardashian West has 185 million and Khloé Kardashian has 120 million. Kendall Jenner is currently at 137 million.
Of those many millions of fans and followers, not all are seeing or reacting to every post. Still, the total follower count is what’s used to calculate revenue from sponsored posts — regardless of how real those accounts truly are.
Kim and Kourtney are two of many celebrities plagued by a high percentage of fake follower. Both of them landed in the top 25 celebs on a Celebrity Fakes Report compiled by 777. According to their analysis, 27% of Kourtney’s and 26% of Kim’s followers aren’t real people.
Kim Kardashian West makes millions looking more popular than she is
Who really cares about fake followers? The brands coming up with sponsored posts probably do.
One study found that Kim can make up to $900,000 for a single Instagram product endorsement, depending on who’s paying. Kylie makes slightly more earning $983,100 for posting. These numbers are all based on follower counts.
So, the brands the Kar-Jenners partner with are likely overpaying if so many of the social media following is fake. It must be a risk they’re willing to take considering how many millions of eyes those posts will reach regardless of fakes.
Fans don’t always love brand collaborations on Instagram
There are some sponsored posts that make sense for the Kardashian-Jenners to share.
However, sometimes these high rollers only see dollar signs and are willing to promote anything that comes along. Khloé famously got slammed for her awkward sponsored post about Febreze, complete with a blinged-out bottle of the refresher spray and a few staged photos she put on her Instagram. Fans called the move “desperate.”
It all makes sense when you consider that Khloé makes up to $620,300 for creating a sponsored post like that. For that amount of money, a little teasing from her real fans seems worth the trouble.
And as for all the fakes? Clearing them out would only reduce how much money the Kar-Jenners earn for their Instagram partnerships. It’s more lucrative to just ignore the fakes and keep making that money.