Instagram has followed through with its promise to remove fake accounts, earning the ire of its users after their follower numbers plummeted in what is widely called the Instagram Rapture.
On Friday, Instagram started removing fake spambot accounts and accounts that were found to have violated the photo-sharing account's Community Guidelines, but users, causing hordes of Instagram users to flare up in anger and confusion as they saw the number of their followers drop from the previous day. Some users have begged Instagram to reinstate their lost followers back, while others are offering follow-backs for people to follow them.
"I will follow back!" says user faxon_childress_27. "Let's get our followers back people!"
"Follow for follow, anyone?" says assiabadalov.
Others still are taking advantage of the chaos to sell followers to anyone who wants his numbers back.
"Message me if u need Instagram followers," says user gawjusalishay. "5$ per 200 followers."
But while some users report losing hundreds of followers in the first few hours Instagram started purging the website of fake accounts, Instagram's most popular accounts were the worst casualties. A graph created by developer Zach Allia shows how Hollywood celebrities with followers running up to the millions were devastated most.
Rapper Akon, who previously had more than 4 million followers saw his numbers cut to more than half after Instagram booted out 56 percent of his followers. "Billionaire" singer Bruno Mars also saw his follower numbers drop by 23 percent from 3.6 million to 2.8 million, and social media queen Kim Kardashian, who owns the third biggest Instagram account, saw her followers drop by 1 million. One user named chiragchirag78 lost pretty much all of his 3,660,000 followers. He now has eight.
However, it's not chiragchirag78 who is the biggest loser. Instagram's own account, which previously had 64 million followers, lost a whopping 18 million followers, or 30 percent of its total number, after the purging began. The drop in Instagram's followers is likely due to a campaign started by one user who urged all Instagram users to boycott Instagram.
"Everyone, if we all work together Instagram could have no followers, get what I'm saying?" says user coloured.pixels.
Not everyone is seeing red at the loss of their non-existent fans, though. Some Instagram users, such as Josh "The Fat Jew" Ostrovsky, is sitting back to watch the so-called popular accounts lose the fake followers they bought.
"This Instagram bloodbath is hilarious," Ostrovsky, who has 2.2 million followers, says. "This should be a national holiday. We all know who bought followers, so today just corroborated everyone's suspicions. So many people losing their followers, watching their digital worlds crumble. Today is so fun."
With all the rant, it seems people do not mind being followed even by fake people, bots, or spammers on Instagram. What's important for them is the number of followers and that says a lot about such users.