Ariana Grande Lost 3 Million Instagram Followers In 24 Hours

by : Charlie Cocksedge on : 13 Feb 2019 16:51
Ariana GrandeAriana GrandeAriana Grande/Instagram

Ariana Grande had 148 million followers on Instagram but now has 145 million. I doubt she’s going to lose any sleep over it but the social platform is investigating.

If you’re an Instagram ‘Influencer’ you may be a bit more worried. This is because many people believe the social media app has recently undergone a ‘purge’ of bots and fake accounts, resulting in a lot of people losing a lot of followers.

The good news is fake accounts usually only follow people who pay for followers, so hopefully they’ll learn a lesson or two. As for Ariana, amassing a few fake followers is just a byproduct of being one of the most followed people on the platform.


In a blog post at the end of last year, Instagram said it was going to start ‘removing inauthentic likes, follows and comments that use third-party apps to boost their popularity’.

It continued:

We’re taking a number of steps to limit this kind of unwelcome behaviour. Accounts we identify will receive an in-app message alerting them that we’ve removed the inauthentic activity given to their account from others. We will also ask them to secure their account by changing their password. Accounts that use these types of apps share their username and password, which is sometimes used to give inauthentic likes, follows and comments to others.

These new measures will be ongoing, and accounts that continue to use third-party apps to grow their audience may see their Instagram experience impacted.


However, Instagram confirmed to The Sun that the recent loss of millions of accounts was due to a bug, and that they are working to resolve the issue.

Instagram also put out a message about the issue on Twitter, saying:

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.


Whether it was the suspected purge or just a bug, many Instagram users are not happy about the whole thing, so they took to another social media platform to shout about it, naturally.


Some people were welcome of the change, though.

One person wrote:

Very odd seeing some influencers upset over losing fake followers on Instagram. Fake followers = no engagement = lower overall engagement rate


While another wrote:

Influencers are in a panic this morning after Instagram gets rid of all bot & inactive followers globally. But surely a more real, active & engaging follower base is better then an overinflated fake one?

In the meantime, I think I’m up one follower from yesterday so, y’know, every cloud…

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Charlie Cocksedge

Charlie Cocksedge is a journalist and sub-editor at UNILAD. He graduated from the University of Manchester with an MA in Creative Writing, where he learnt how to write in the third person, before getting his NCTJ. His work has also appeared in such places as The Guardian, PN Review and the bin.

Topics: Music


Instagram Business Blog and 1 other
  1. Instagram Business Blog

    Reducing inauthentic activity on Instagram

  2. The Sun

    DISAPPEARING ACT Instagram ‘lost followers’ bug CONFIRMED as millions vanish overnight