In what people are pretty over-dramatically referring to as “the rapture,” Instagram has finally made good on their promises to delete all inactive and fake accounts. That equals less followers for many people, which in turn means people are now absolutely flipping out.
On the Instagram Help Center page, it states:
This would seem like a totally fine policy for Instagram users, right? Maybe even a good policy. It rids their lives of weird robot accounts who spam them with information about their sister-in-law who makes $70 per hour working from home. The reality is though, people aren’t happy to see their numbers go down. Like, not at all.
Many celebrity accounts were also hit. The Biebs, for starters, lost 3.5 million followers. Rapper Ma$e lost so many followers that he just up and quit Instagram altogether.
Instagram’s own account actually lost the most followers. According to the New York Times, “More than 29 percent of Instagram’s followers, or 18.9 million users, disappeared from Wednesday to Thursday.”
So, what’s at the base of this public fury? Does it go beyond numbers and bragging rights? It actually does. There’s also some money at stake.
Social media accounts and users with large fan bases are being called upon more and more by large companies looking for hip promoters. The sheer number of followers you have could qualify you for some sweet endorsement action — or not. So, when users found that a hefty percentage of their followers were gone, they were livid. There’s also that whole bragging rights thing too.
So, what’s Instagram going to do about this indignation? Nothing, probably.
Plus they’ve just been valued by CitiGroup at $35 billion, so it’s likely that Instagram really isn’t sweating that you’re suddenly down below 1K. Now, onto the important business of getting those numbers back up.