On July 11th, Twitter released a blog post detailing their new plan to rid the social media platform of fake followers, and the results have been instantaneous.
Accounts that had been frozen due to any suspicious or “sudden changes in behavior” would no longer count towards a user’s total followers. For most of us, this might just mean losing a few followers, but for Twitter accounts with much larger followings, the drops are quite substantial.
Twitter’s most followed account belongs to pop star Katy Perry, so she had the most to lose. Between Twitter’s July 11th announcement and the afternoon of July 12th, Katy lost 2.8 million followers, bringing her previous count of 109.6 million followers to 106.8 million.
But Katy isn’t the only one famous person to lose big on the follower count.
Donald Trump’s personal Twitter handle lost 196,000 followers, knocking his count down to 53.2 million. Celebrities like Justin Bieber, Rihanna, and Taylor Swift — as well as former president Barack Obama — also lost thousands of followers due to this purge.
These changes come after a January piece in The New York Times revealed that many public figures bump their follower counts by buying followers. We’ll see if this initial purge is the extent of the follower decreases, or if Twitter accounts will continue to see more severe drops.