Any eagle-eyed fans of Kylie Jenner and Ariana Grande MAY have noticed that the gals lost millions of Instagram followers overnight.
Jenner and Grande are two of the most followed people on the social media site, with Ari dropping from 145 million to 142, and Kylie dropping from 127 million to 124 million.
It probably isn't a major deal for them, but definitely is problematic for smaller influencers and YouTube creators. So what happened with Instagram, we ask?
Instagram is currently investigating an issue that is causing some of the biggest accounts to lose millions of followers overnight, and took to Twitter to elaborate:
“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.”
James Charles and Zach Clayton, some of the larger names on the site, both tweeted about the issue, with MUA Charles saying; "Why did I just lose over half a million followers, Instagram. What you doing, sis?”
An original suggestion from Fast Company claimed that Instagram was taking action "to remove millions of accounts the company believed to be inauthentic." Translation: BOTS.
A lot of companies undergo random sweeps of their user bases to get rid of inactive accounts or spam, with Insta announcing in November that it was hoping to remove more fake accounts on the platform/
“We will begin removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments from accounts that use third-party apps to boost their popularity. We’ve built machine learning tools to help identify accounts that use these services and remove the inauthentic activity.”
They later updated their status to say that the issue would be revolved by 9am today, Valentine's Day. The team "are hard at work to get things back to normal". Hmmm, suspish.
The site began removing locked accounts from Twitter since last July, so maybe they just cleared out the bots and the uproar over follower counts has them regretting it?
Kensington Palace lost a massive 150,000 followers overnight, but the page recovered them today. It could be beneficial for influencers to have an awareness of what their 'real' follower count is, rather than just fake bots.
Some social media users got clever by suggesting you could unfollow anyone your heart desires for this one day and blame it on Instagram, which we have to say is pure genius.
The uproar is uniquely fascinating in pointing out the dependency of many on the website and their follower count.
If anyone has any cool conspiracy theories on the matter, we'd love to hear them. Instagram are blaming it on a bug, but is it more than that? We do love a good mystery…