Celebrities And Fakers Alike Lose Millions Of Instagram Followers As Spam Accounts Are Cleared

19 December 2014, 11:30 | Updated: 8 May 2017, 17:09

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Liam Dryden

By Liam Dryden

Did you survive the #Instapurge?

Instagram users are losing followers left right and centre, and not even the biggest stars of the site are safe.


Moment of silence #instapurge (P.s. Gutted Mase)

A photo posted by Holly Hollywould (@itshollywould) onDec 12, 2014 at 11:04pm PST

After the #Instapurge removed an enormous number of accounts from its user base, in an effort to clear out spam followers, app user @zachallia compiled an interactive infographic on the top 100 follower drops.

Instapurge stats

The results are fascinating. As far as celebrities go, Real Madrid player James Rodriguez got off the lightest, as he shed only 54,000 accounts from his respectable 5.7 million-strong follower base. Beyoncé lost only 3% to spam (about 800,000). But some of the bigger losses include Rihanna, who lost around 1.2 million, Justin Bieber, who counted 15% of his followers as spam; and even Instagram themselves took one of the biggest hits, shedding 18 million followers - a whopping 29%.

But the most hilarious result has to go to deleted account "chiragchirag78" whose follower count dropped from an impressive 3,660,468... to 8.

Instagram user chiragchirag78 messed up

Instagram user chiragchirag78 messed up

There's not enough YIKES in the world to describe how bad this guy messed up. I hope this teaches us all a valuable lesson in buying followers.

Instagram announced the cleanup a week ago after celebrating the reach of 300 million users of the app. Wonder what that number has dropped to now?


We’re proud to announce that there are now 300 million Instagrammers, sharing more than 70 million photos and videos each day. 

As Instagram gets bigger, we’re focused on helping you discover more. Today, we’re excited to say that verified badges for celebrities and brands will be rolling out in the coming days, making it easier for you to find and connect with authentic accounts. 

Finally, we’re committed to keeping Instagram free from fake and spammy accounts. We’ve been deactivating these accounts on an ongoing basis—and now we will be deleting these accounts forever. As a result, some of you will see a change in your follower count, though most of you won’t see any impact. If you’re one of those who will see a correction, you will see a notification in the app directing you to additional information. 

Thank you for your passion, creativity and support over these past four years. We can't wait to see what you do next. To learn more about these new initiatives, check out blog.instagram.com. 


---- Clarification: Hey everyone. Don't worry about your account being deleted. We've already finished deleting the accounts that are part of this cleanup.

A photo posted by Instagram (@instagram) onDec 12, 2014 at 8:11am PST

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