Mercy! ‘Instagram Rapture’ catches millions off guard after account purges

Have you been caught up in “Instagram Rapture?”

The fallout from the massive purge of shady accounts continues to reverberate, with millions of users noticing a sudden disappearance of followers.


Singer Justin Bieber reportedly lost 3.5 million followers in Instagram’s purge. (Getty Images)

Billboard reports that singer Justin Bieber, who reportedly lost 3.5 million followers, is no longer the most followed person on Instagram as a result of the purge. The title now goes to Kim Kardashian West.

Other stars are also lamenting the loss of followers. Nicki Minaj’s Twitter account shared its frustration: “Them 500K ppl really thought they was following me tho. Yall played yal self @instagram”

Former Bad Boys Records rapper Ma$e reportedly abandoned his Instagram account after his follow numbers dropped to 100,000 from 1.6 million, and rapper Tyga saw his drop to 2.2 million from 5.5 million.

By now you’ve probably heard that millions of Instagram accounts have been purged either because, according to the photo/video service, they had been deactivated spam accounts or accounts that violated its community guidelines.

A representative told Business Insider that the guideline violations include repetitive comments, as well as “service manipulation in order to self-promote, and extends to commercial spam comments, such as discount codes or URLs to websites.”

An untold number reportedly have been nixed because the accounts are fake, or filled with followers who have been “purchased.”

Instagram warned last week that the purge was on its way.

“As more people join, keeping Instagram authentic is critical – it’s a place where real people share real moments,” Instagram CEO Kevin Systrom said in a statement last week.. “We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.

A mass campaign to unfollow the official Instagram account reportedly is under way. Given Instagram’s popularity – the company announced last week that it hit the 300 million user mark and the company is now worth $35 billion –  the unfollow campaign may find few followers.

As for that $35 billion figure, you might recall 30-year-old Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg paid about $1 billion for Instagram back in 2012. Not a bad investment.

Reader Comments 0

Alex Larson
Alex Larson

 If you are going to kill two birds with one stone( get active followers, which are not fakes and ghosts and to be able to unfollow smb and even more) zengram would be the best decision for that problem)

Jimmy Perks
Jimmy Perks

It's always sad to lose followers. I try to never lose mine, but as for me, i often unfollow others for different reasons, mainly for unfollowing or just not following me back. Sometimes i've got to do up to 5000 mass-unfollows a day, so the only such service i found was After all it's just necessary for my Instagram account progress.

Don't Tread
Don't Tread

If you base any measure of your self-worth on your follower/retweet/Facebook friend are shallower than the water depth in the middle of a desert.  "Celebrities" included.