6 Reasons Random People Follow You on TikTok (& What to Do)

Do random and weird accounts keep following you on TikTok? Unfortunately, this happens way more often than you think, and it affects most social media platforms. 

The random people who keep following you on TikTok are usually bots, scammers, fake businesses, or account resellers who grow TikTok following lists using follow-for-follow schemes. Most random followers are harmless, but avoid answering their comments or direct messages to avoid scams or malware.

Why Random People are following you on TikTok

1. Bots

Most of the random people that keep following you on TikTok are usually bots. 

These bots are essentially automated programs designed to impersonate real users for various purposes: scamming, growing follower counts, trolling, spamming content, manipulating the algorithm, etc.

Unfortunately, these types of bots infest every single major social network, including TikTok.

There’s also not much you can do about them. It’s pretty much TikTok’s job to find, detect, and delete any automated bot tools and networks.

2. Follow-for-follow schemes

The second reason you keep getting random TikTok followers are so called follow-for-follow schemes.

In a follow-for-follow scheme, a random person will follow you on TikTok in the hopes that you will reciprocate and follow them back.

If you do follow that person back, then that other person has “won” one more follower. Finally, after a week or so, the person who followed you will quietly unfollow you so they can follow someone else.

It may not seem like much, but if a random spammer follows 10,000 TikTok users and 2000 of them follow back, then the spammer has “won” 2,000 TikTok followers.

While this might seem a bit ridiculous, these follow-for-follow schemes happen way more often than you think, for multiple reasons:

Reselling accounts. 

TikTok has a thriving black market where people buy and sell “popular” accounts. The more followers an account has, the higher the price a seller can ask for.

Unlocking the TikTok Live feature

TikTok allows users to do live streams; however, they first have to reach 1000 followers to activate this feature.

Many aspiring TikTok creators want to unlock this live feature as quickly as possible, so they resort to follow-for-follow schemes to get there quicker.

Social media agencies pretending to increase follower counts

Lots of incompetent social media agencies grow the TikTok follower count of their clients through follow-for-follow schemes instead of true quality content that brings in real users.

3. Scammers

A common scamming tactic is to impersonate a famous TikTok account as a way to sell fake products, courses, or services.

To do this, the scammer will usually create a fake account that looks almost identical to a famous account and then begin commenting or messaging people and directing them to scammy sites, Discord groups, payment sites, etc.

The image below shows a real TikTok account (Humbled Trader) and three impersonator accounts.

Impersonator accounts are especially popular for finance or product influencers since most of their followers trust them to provide good buying advice.

These fake accounts will often reply to video comments or even follow and DM users that comment on the original video.

Besides impersonators, there are other types of scammers that roam around TikTok, following people left and right:

  • OnlyFans and adult site promoters.
  • Fake dropshipping businesses.
  • Fake business accounts.

4. Algorithm manipulation

Some users might randomly follow you on TikTok as a way to manipulate the video recommendation algorithm.

The clearest examples of this involve follow-for-follow schemes, where a creator builds a small initial audience through reciprocal follows, which they then use as a “spark” to catch the algorithm’s attention. 

The idea is that a video from someone you follow has a much higher chance of appearing on the “For you page” than one from someone you don’t follow.

This tactic is usually used by small creators that are just starting out and don’t quite know what to do yet, so they try cheap tactics as a way of manipulating the algorithm.

5. Hiding accounts they don’t want others to see

Sometimes, random people might follow you on TikTok as a way to hide embarrassing accounts they are following. 

This is because a person’s following list on TikTok is usually populated chronologically, starting with the most recent account they’ve followed.

Thus, some users will follow 30–40 accounts as a way to “bury” the embarrassing account in their following and make it hard to spot.

Ironically, these types of people usually target users who don’t post any sort of videos, since there’s no risk of them publishing videos that can ruin a person’s for you page or recommendation algorithm.

6. People trying to use TikTok as a dating app

TikTok is most definitely not a dating app, but some people do actually try to use it as one.

Usually, the person will like a few of your comments or videos and then wait to see if you like them back. 

Sometimes they’re more straightforward and just do the follow/direct message combo. 

Most of the times this happens to clearly female TikTok users, but it can happen to men as well from time to time.

How to stop random people from following you on TikTok

Simply having TikTok followers (bots or actual humans) doesn’t harm you in any way, unless you answer their direct messages or comments. 

However, if you don’t want them to follow you at all, consider making your account completely private.

By activating this setting, you will have to manually approve the follow request of every person. If you don’t approve a follow request, that person cannot see what you post or send you direct messages.

Another option you have to is to report the bot accounts. Most of the times it won’t stop the random follow requests, but you will help prevent other users from being follow spammed.

Paul Bonea
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