On February 12, 2019, Instagram confirmed a bug that cost users huge losses in followers.
Large influencers lost thousands (even millions!) of followers overnight.
Other users saw sharp decreases in follower counts.
Some wondered whether follower drops were due to anti-spam measures.
However, Instagram finally confirmed that a bug was at fault.
It was a morning like any other…until influencer and makeup guru James Charles woke up with half a million fewer followers on Instagram. And he wasn’t alone. Ariana Grande lost 3 million followers, Selena Gomez lost 2 million followers, and Nike lost over 1 million followers.
why did I just lose over half a million followers @instagram wyd sis
— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 13, 2019
People took to Twitter and other social media platforms to voice their concerns. Many were puzzled over the sudden drop in follower counts and questioned what had caused this situation. Instagram responded that they were aware of the situation and were investigating the source of the problem.
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.
— Instagram (@instagram) February 13, 2019
Speculation arose whether this was due to an “Instagram Purge.” Instagram’s anti-spam measures could account for the massive takedown of fake accounts, which could cause decreases in followers. This measure would target all inactive accounts that did not post, comment, or interact with others. In addition, paid followers, third-party fake accounts, and bots would be included in this initiative.
However, Instagram confirmed that this episode was caused by an internal bug. While there is still no answer as to the cause of this event, sources say that the situation has been resolved.
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This article was written by Carissa Brones.