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Instagram users losing millions of followers; fake accounts not the reason

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New Delhi | Updated: February 14, 2019 8:42:01 AM

Singer Ariana Grande also saw her Instagram followers dip from 145 million to 143 million. Reality TV star-turned-entrepreneur Kylie Jenner and singer Selena Gomez also suffered a loss of more than 2 million in terms of followers.

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Instagram is witnessing a purge, with many popular Instagrammers losing millions of followers on Wednesday.

The photo-sharing platform, which enjoys more popularity than its parent company Facebook, saw several popular celebrities experiencing a dramatic drop in their follower count. Many speculated that Instagram might be cracking down on fake or inactive accounts on its platform. However, this is not the case, Instagram has confirmed.

The cause behind the issue appears to be a glitch. “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 said on Twitter.

The Instagram glitch is responsible for demolishing the follower counts of a number of Instagram’s popular users. For instance, Canadian singer Justin Bieber lost 1.7 million followers while reality TV star Kim Kardashian lost 1.9 million.

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Singer Ariana Grande also saw her Instagram followers dip from 145 million to 143 million. Reality TV star-turned-entrepreneur Kylie Jenner and singer Selena Gomez also suffered a loss of more than 2 million in terms of followers.

And it was not just mainstream celebrities. Popular YouTube stars too experienced big drops in their Instagram follower count.

James Charles, a prominent internet personality who is a model and a make-up artist said in a tweet, “Why did I just lose over half a million followers, Instagram wyd sis (sic)”

The YouTube creator has nearly 14 million followers on Instagram. Similarly, another Youtube star, Stephanie Duran, well known for her make-up videos said Twitter, “So I just lost like 4K on Instagram and it unfollowed like 100 people within a matter of minutes? what’s going on ???? like I’m not mad about my follower count cause I’d rather have less spam followers and better engagement but like why is it unfollowing people?!”

And along with celebrities losing millions, users who enjoy a modest couple of hundred followers are experiencing the same, reports say.

Rumours suggested the photo sharing platform was a on drive to delete fake or inactive accounts as WhatsApp has been in a bid to stop fake news and other online offences. Many online platforms undergo routine maintenance or a quick sweep to identify bots and spam accounts which sometimes may or may not include a systemwide bot purge. This was experienced by Twitter users as well.

Although, now that Instagram has officially confirmed that it is a glitch and not a purge, however, it still remains unclear whether the Instagram bug is obliterating the fake accounts, causing genuine followers to unfollow or problems in reflecting the number of followers.

This comes after Twitter had a problem with its ‘like’ count leading many if its users to think that the microblogging website was suspending accounts.

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