Instagram users woke up on Wednesday morning to discover that many had lost followers overnight.
In most cases, the number of followers an Instagram user lost was just a handful to several hundred, according to reports on Twitter. However, major Instagram personalities like Selena Gomez lost almost two million followers while Ariana Grande lost almost three million.
Needless to say, people were not happy and wanted an explanation for why their social media street cred just went down.
It turns out an apparent glitch may be to blame. Instagram responded in a statement, posted to Twitter, saying it is “aware of an issue” and is trying to solve the problem “as quickly as possible.”
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
Instagram confirmed today that an issue has been causing some accounts’ follower numbers to change. Users began noticing the bug about 10 hours ago and the drastic drop in followers caused some to wonder if Instagram was culling inactive and fake accounts, as part of its fight against spam.
Many celebrity users, as well as Insta-celebrities such as the YouTuber James Charles and actor Don Benjamin, wrote on Twitter late Tuesday night that they had seen their follower counts drop by hundreds of thousands. Kim Kardashian and Justin Bieber lost 1.9 million and 1.7 million followers respectively.
why did I just lose over half a million followers @instagram wyd sis
— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 13, 2019
Instagram playin them games again. Smh how they gunna delete almost 200k of my followers. Smh
— Don Benjamin (@ItsDonBenjamin) February 13, 2019
— Emily Hartridge (@emilyhartridge) February 13, 2019
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?!
— stephanie duran (@ItsSteephh) February 13, 2019
The Instagram-tracking page on DownDetector, a website that monitors website issues, has been flooded with comments from Instagram users reporting drastic drops in followers. The issue is expected to be resolved by today (Thursday).