Imagine refreshing your Instagram profile and suddenly thousands (or hundreds) of your hard earned followers disappeared?
That’s precisely that happened late Tuesday to some Instagram users, and needless to say, they weren’t very happy.
According to complaints by people on Twitter, some people lost just a handful of followers, others saw a drop of several hundred and a few prominent users saw follower counts drop by over a million. Instagram posted in a tweet on Wednesday that it was working to fix the problem.
Twitter user @nekostropic writes: “I just lost over 200 Instagram followers and I’m not really sure why. I’m so confused and upset.”
Twitter user @Pinapplebrat writes: Instagram must be clearing out the inactive accounts because I just lost 20,000 followers a second ago.
YouTube personality James Charles wrote that he lost over half a million followers on Tuesday night and about an hour later, actor Don Benjamin, who was once a contestant on America’s Next Top Model, tweeted that he lost almost 200,000.
Major celebrities like Justin Beiber, Kylie Jenner and Selena Gomez lost millions of followers, according to social media consultant Matt Navarra who has been keeping track of the “popular accounts” affected.
The sudden follower drops led some people to speculate that Instagram was once again cracking down on inauthentic behavior.
The company has a history of killing off fake or spammy accounts. Back in November it said it would be taking steps to target accounts using third-party apps and bots to boost their popularity.
Despite concerns that another social media purge is happening, Instagram tweeted that the drop in followers is due to a bug that the company is looking into.
“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 tweeted.
How many followers did you lose? Let consumer tech reporter Dalvin Brown know on Twitter: @Dalvin_Brown