I wanted to create a community in a particular sports niche. As I do this sport regularly and I'm obsessed about it. So just a month ago I opened a new account and started posting highlights, photos. 100% manually without using any bots or any black hat methods. Slowly built up around 200 real followers with pretty good engagement ratio. All of the posts were getting around 40/50 likes and noticed that one video had over 5000 views as it was in explore page (I know it's not much but it's a particular niche) Then I got greedy. I decided to buy 1000 fake followers to make my account "look good" and was hoping that I'd have more followers quickly if non-followers see I have lots of followers. How wrong I was. within 7 days the average likes per posts crashed down to less than 10 and less than 20 views per videos. It was like a penalty. (I haven't changed any styles, timing of my posts or tags, all are same.) I got curious and after doing a bit research I realised that those fake followers simply aren't interested to get engage with my contents. They aren't fan of that sport, it made the Instagram algo think that my contents are boring, since most of my followers aren't liking or commenting on them. So they decided to push down most of my new posts even from the 200 real fans I had. Lesson learnt Take away: Don't buy fake followers if you want to build a community and a fan base, only buy them if you want to sell your account to someone who's not bothered about engagement after few months.