Kate Middleton and Prince William could be 'using bots' to 'cheat' on Instagram and ensure they’re never eclipsed by ‘Insta rivals’ Meghan Markle and Harry a bombshell report claims.
In a report by The New York Times, social media analysts have dissected the two Instagram accounts @KensingtonRoyal and @SussexRoyal hoping to figure out why Meghan and Harry have failed to overtake Kate and Wills’ followers despite their soaring popularity.
They concluded that while there are varying factors, @KensingtonRoyal could be ‘receiving follower boosts in the form of bots’ to ensure the monarchical hierarchy of Wills being 'more important' than Harry is maintained.
Instagram bots are services which allow any company or any Instagram account holder to get more followers, likes etc. – you can either pay for them or be gifted them.
Ever since Harry and Meghan ‘split’ from Kate and Wills household and created @SussexRoyal, the pair taking the ‘Insta Crown’ is something royal fans have been following closely.
Everyone speculated the arrival of baby Archie in May 2019 would be the moment Meghan and Harry’s following would sky-rocket leaving Kate and Wills behind, but no, it didn’t happen.
In fact, the only time they came close was when the Sussexes took to their Insta to wash their hands of royal life in January 2020.
It was news that stunned and divided the world – and yes, the Sussexes' following did overtake the Cambridges' – but surprisingly, a month later, after Kate and Wills have peppered their feed with tasteful photos of their charity work, @KensingtonRoyal has regained its follower lead.
But how, in the weeks when you couldn’t move for mutterings of the word 'Megxit' – and as Google search interest in Meg and Harry continues to tower over William and Kate – are @KensingtonRoyal on top again?
Is someone, or something, ensuring the monarchical hierarchy stays in line like The New York Times alludes to?
"From the outset, @SussexRoyal was runaway popular," journalist Caity Weaver writes, adding that within a month and a half, Harry and Meghan's account amassed as many followers as @KensingtonRoyal had managed in four years.
And yet "it seemed, from the outside, that no matter how many followers @SussexRoyal gained, it could never quite catch up" with William and Kate's account
She also cites that data generated by the media monitoring software Cision, which tracks online media mentions, found that from the date of the announcement of Harry and Meghan’s engagement in November 2017 to January 2020, Harry and Meghan received vastly more global online attention than did William and Kate.
Also from @SussexRoyal’s debut in April 2019 – as a separate account from Kate and Wills’ – until Harry and Meghan’s bombshell announcement to quit royal life the pair had around 13.5 million likes more than the Cambridges.
Of course, followers rise and fall like the tides, but as Anna Gebremedhin, a data analyst specialising in Instagram commerce, explains, Kate and Wills staying ahead, didn’t mirror the popularity of their fan accounts – something it had done before the creation of @SussexRoyal.
“Major fan Instagram accounts for William and Kate, which previously corresponded to the popularity of their official page, did not see growth aligned with their official account,” Anna said.
Followings of Meghan and Harry fan accounts rose in proportion to @SussexRoyal’s following, but @KensingtonRoyal’s numbers grew faster than William and Kate’s fan pages.
Anna called this “a deviation from historical growth.”
So could 'bots' be playing a part in this bizarre social media power play?
Representatives for both royal houses denied strenuously any suggestion that their social media teams had manipulated follower numbers.
But that’s not to say someone else, separate from Kate and Wills’ team, could be playing Insta God.
For roughly £250 users can get a 5000 follower boost by bots in an instant, but you don’t have to be the owner of the account to inflate the numbers.
Anyone from anywhere could be buying bots and send them to @KensingtonRoyal despite having no affiliation with them.
Harry and Meghan are due to officially ‘split’ from the Royal Family on 31st March after various final engagements over the next few weeks.
After a period of hardly any public appearances royal fans will be interested to see how this Insta War plays out.
@KensingtonRoyal and @SussexRoyal are currently neck and neck both with 11.2million followers.
In other royal news, see Prince Harry singing with Bon Jovi at Abby Road studios.
Also, see how Kate is a pro when it comes to trying any sport, even in heels!
And finally, David Beckham opens up about how he's 'proud' of Prince Harry despite the Megxit drama.
Kate Middleton urges the public to fill out her 5 Big Questions survey
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