It’s one of the biggest misapprehensions common across the vast social media landscape – the appearance of more social media users than there actually are.

In this case, we’re not talking about individuals with multiple accounts across one or more social media platforms. We’re talking about flat-out fake accounts.

The discoveries of a new series of studies conducted on leading social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc.) validate what many have suspected for quite some time. It’s safe to say that there is a ton of fake profiles on these and other social platforms.

Bewilderingly, it is believed that approximately 100 million Facebook users aren’t real.

“While at first this conclusion may not seem relevant, it is of great concern for advertisers who are spending large sums of money on social media marketing campaigns,” says Randy Dahlke of NativeMobile. “One of the primary selling points social media networks have for advertisers is how many ‘active users’ they have on their site. However, with such a high level of bots and fakes, it is nearly impossible to gain an accurate understanding of just how many ‘real’ active users each social media network has acquired.”

While advertisers will still continue to invest in the leading social media networks, Dahlke concludes, the potential for fakes and bots makes it increasingly difficult for new social media networks to generate ad revenue.