Social media has been going crazy, after Instagram held a purge of all the spam-bots and inactive accounts on its site.
People have been taking to Twitter, and other social media sites, lamenting their loss of followers. Many of those people don’t seem to realize that the only followers removed from their accounts are the kind of followers they wouldn’t want anyway.
— lucille (@lulnadettechu) December 19, 2014
All the real accounts that belong to rule-following members of Instagram are safe from the company’s purge. That means the spam-mageddon should have been well received, right? After all, nobody likes spam.
That’s not quite the case.
Many celebrities and social media users spend money in order to pad their followers. It’s part of a belief that people tend to follow the flock and will more likely be interested in joining the followers of an account that has more than others.
According to Michael Heller, CEO of Talent Resources, “It’s very inexpensive, so that’s why many social media teams [buy followers].”
Page Six indicated that purchasing followers was as cheap as paying $30 for 2,500 of them.
What does that mean for the celebrities on Instagram who used money to pad their following?
“It’s bad for a celeb for many reasons,” Heller said. “It’s embarrassing.”
Embarrassing is definitely the word for it.
Justin Beiber, for instance, was the most followed celebrity on Instagram before the purge. Afterwards, he lost more than 3.5 million followers. Now, he has moved down to the third spot just below Kim Kardashian, who lost approximately 1.3 million followers, and Beyonce, who lost just over 800,000.
Data was collected and put together to form an infograph by user zachallia. The graph shows how the top ranked members of Instagram were affected by the purge. By far, the member to lose the most followers, in the top 100, was a user by the name of chiragchirag78. He went from over 3.6 million followers to 8.
Not everyone is upset with Instagram’s spam-mageddon. In fact, more users seemed to take to Twitter praising the action, rather than condemning it.
I lost 20k followers in the #InstagramPurge and I’m feeling cleaner than ever! Only real people, please! Twitter, next?
— Andy Cohen (@Andy) December 18, 2014
— Alfa Haga Rachmady (@alfahaga) December 19, 2014
— Sonal Dutt (@sonal_dutt) December 19, 2014
None of this came without warning from Instagram. CEO Kevin Systrom posted a blog explaining the upcoming purge.
“We’ve been deactivating spammy accounts from Instagram on an ongoing basis to improve your experience. As part of this effort, we will be deleting these accounts forever, so they will no longer be included in follower counts. This means that some of you will see a change in your follower count.”
[Image courtesy of Real-Insta]