A social media click farm is a room full of computers or phones that are set up to either manually or automatically generate clicks, comments, likes and other social media engagement for platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and the like. The ABC has an excellent 5 minute video discussing click farms and more interestingly fake followers. Check it out here
Why is this a thing?
Social media companies realise the damage fake followers and fake engagement does to their platform. They have been increasing their efforts to wipe out the fakers and clean up their social media platforms. Typically bots are used for social engagement, a bot being a software based program that is run from a server on the internet to interact with the social media platform. It has become increasingly more difficult for bots to fool Instagram and other social media platforms that they are human. One way around this is to actually use real people and / or real devices rather than software programs. This makes the connection and interaction that the social media platform detects look legitimate, and you are less likely to get blocked.
Doesn’t this cost more than bots?
Yes, using physical devices connected to the internet and utilising power creates more overhead and would require a larger upfront investment than purely using software bots for your fake social media engagement, but, the resulting engagement is more valuable because it appears more genuine. Basically the software bots are like a Hyundai type service and the click farms are a more expensive Mercedes type service!
Can it scale as well as bots?
The problem with click farms is you need more devices, space and / or people to scale up to produce more clicks, likes and social engagement. This takes time and money, which means it cannot be done quickly. With software bots, the fake engagement service providers can simply click a few buttons and spin up hundreds more bots to start posting, liking, clicking and commenting. This is a trivial feat once the initial scripts and accounts are set up. Likewise you can scale bots down easier than in a click farm just a few more clicks and they’re gone. With a click farm, you’ve got to physically turn devices off and tell people to go home!