Several popular Instagram accounts have reported sharp, inexplicable drops in follower count over the past day. The most popular accounts have dropped by millions of followers, though the issue is believed to be more widespread.
Instagram acknowledged the “issue” hours ago on Twitter, assuring users that they are “working to resolve this as quickly as possible.” Meanwhile, Selena Gomez had lost about 2 million, while Ariana Grande about 3 million followers.
Though some analysts have suggested that this might be due to Instagram cracking down on fake accounts, Instagram’s tweet might suggest otherwise. They had acknowledged that the issue had affected account follower numbers, with some reports of differing follower counts when their profile is viewed from separate devices.
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
Instagram has regularly cracked down on “inauthentic” likes, follows and comments from accounts, usually associated with businesses running external apps that promise to increase engagement levels.