Why Did I Lose Followers on Instagram? Users Ask Wednesday After Count Drops

instagram logo follower count
The Instagram app logo is displayed on an iPhone on August 3, 2016 in London, England. Carl Court/Getty Images

Update: 1:45 p.m. EST— Instagram users were still reporting that they were missing followers from their account Wednesday afternoon. Instagram tweeted to let their followers know that the company was aware of the issue Wednesday morning but offered no update as the day progressed. Users were still wondering where their followers went.


— Spence (@Spence0204) February 13, 2019

Original story:

Instagram users were waking up Wednesday to find they had lost a significant number of followers overnight with no explanation. Users were posting about it on Instagram and also tweeting about the loss Wednesday morning.

Instagram tweeted at 7:43 a.m. EST, "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." The photo sharing site and app, however, did not offer any reason for the sudden loss in follower count that users were experiencing nor did it say whether or not follower counts would be restored to what they were previously.

One popular theory circulating on Twitter and Instagram was that the site deleted inactive accounts in a "purge" to the platform to get rid of bot or fake accounts and followers. Some users purchase follower to increase their notoriety on the site. Instagram did not immediately respond to Newsweek's request for comment on whether or not the sudden loss was due to a "purge" or some kind.

WHOA WHOA WHOA! I lost 4K on Instagram from the purge. Dude, this makes me so happy. I’ve honestly been hoping that Instagram does this sooner or later

— Elise Swopes (@Swopes) February 13, 2019

Instagram's website is a little unclear about the "inactive username policy." It mainly says that users should use their accounts if they don't want to lose them. "We encourage people to log in and use Instagram once they create an account. To keep your account active, be sure to log in and share photos, as well as like and comment on photos," says the policy.

Some celebrities and people who are considered famous on Instagram and other social media sites shared that they lose thousands of followers due to whatever the issue was.

Jane the Virgin actor, Brett Dier, tweeted Tuesday night that he lost 30,000 of his followers on the site and asked Instagram what was going on.

I just lost over 30 thousand Instagram followers! What’s going on @instagram ???

— brett dier (@Brettdier) February 13, 2019

YouTube sensation turned makeup pro, James Charles, also shared that he lost followers due to whatever the issue was.

why did I just lose over half a million followers @instagram wyd sis

— James Charles (@jamescharles) February 13, 2019

Some users were sharing that they were getting their followers back as Wednesday morning progressed but Instagram didn't tweet anything about it.

Followers coming back on Instagram... LOL

— Sienna Ana Belic (@siennabelic) February 13, 2019

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