Millions of Instagram Accounts Lost Followers Today

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A lot of Instagram users woke up to drastically reduced follower counts today.

It seems like the great Instagram purge that the company long promised is finally upon us.

Or is it?

Photo by Pixabay from Pexels.

Not according to The Verge, which reports that Instagram is looking into the disappearing accounts phenomenon. That means this isn’t a planned event.

The social media platform took to Twitter to comment on the issue, saying to its followers, “We’re aware of an issue that is causing a change in account follower numbers for some people right now…We’re working to resolve this as quickly as possible.”

The issue began rearing its head last night according to various reports, with huge YouTube stars and then bonafide celebrities like Ariana Grande and Selena Gomez started losing tons of followers as well.

As teased in the beginning of this article, many people thought this was the beginning of the coming deletion of fake accounts. We reported in November 2018 that Instagram was going to do a sweep of its user base and begin deleting fake accounts.

Instagram outlined its plans on its blog last year, writing: “We will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity…We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use these services and remove the inauthentic activity.”

Of course, one of the main reasons for this is that Instagram advertises to its users and influencers are paid by third parties to hock products and show them off. In other words, Instagram is a huge business and fake accounts jeopardize that.

But the numbers involved in this incident were too large to be spam accounts. Once Instagram reveals the issue, we’ll be sure to bring you an updated report on that.

Have you seen your follower count decrease on Instagram? Let us know in the comments.

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Kehl is our staff photography news writer and has over a decade of experience in online media and publishing and you can get to know him better here

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