Some of Instagram’s biggest accounts have lost a huge number of followers literally overnight.
Over the last 24 hours, several Instagram users have taken to Twitter to complain (since Twitter is like the text arm of Instagram).
why did I just lose over half a million followers @instagram wyd sis— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 13, 2019
One user, Princeton Perez, complained that he lost over 32 thousand followers in seconds. James Charles, a makeup artist with millions of followers lost nearly 500,000. While celebrities like Katy Perry, and fellow music star, Ariana Grande have lost millions of followers in the last 24 hours.
Of course when users record huge drops like this, the popular thinking is bots. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter periodically take down fake accounts or accounts used by bots. When this happens, number of followers for many users usually declines, sometimes by millions.
If you've noticed a large drop I your Instagram followers today, it's likely because Instagram did a big ol' bot sweep and deactivated all bot and ghost accounts. It's fine though because you didn't want them following you anyway! .— Maria Carras (@CarrasCreative) February 13, 2019
Idle accounts that follow you hurt your en… pic.twitter.com/GT9BVZfU0h
However in this case, Instagram has effectively ruled out any speculation that this was an attempt to crackdown fake accounts. Writing on its Twitter handle, the company acknowledged the problem but has come out to say it is actually a bug.
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 explained that the problem was being fixed and later announced the problem would be put to bed today.
Update: we’re expecting to have this issue resolved by 9 a.m. PST tomorrow. We understand this is frustrating, and our team is hard at work to get things back to normal.— Instagram (@instagram) February 13, 2019
However, many users have already fallen for rumours that Instagram was taking down inactive accounts.
Users have been circulating an image and a “savemyaccount2019” hashtag that supposedly will help save their account.
The image shows a tweet purportedly from Instagram’s Twitter account. The tweet reads: “Beginning March 1, 2019, Instagram will be deleting all inactive accounts. This includes any accounts that doesn’t post, like, or comment daily. To save your account without any risks, please screenshot and repost this tweet on Instagram with the hashtag #savemyaccount2019. Thank you.”
But an Instagram spokesperson has dismissed the tweet and called the image fake.
So expect the issue to be fixed today, hopefully.
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