Justin Bieber’s Instagram account was hacked on Thursday morning. At one point, the account appeared to be deleted but has since been reinstated.
It’s unclear whether the deletion was down to Instagram technicians working on the pop superstar’s account while they booted out the hacker(s) and restored proper function.
Before the hack, Bieber had 58.6 million Instagram followers. During the hack the “Love Yourself” singer dropped to as low as 78 followers. After the hack, that count went back up to 58.4 million followers and 81 users followed.
The first sign of irregular interference on Bieber’s account was indicated when an inexplicable image (pictured below) was posted on the 21-year-old’s page. The display shows a series of identical numbers in horizontal rows.
While the hacker(s) was inside Bieber’s account they unfollowed at least one of the Canadian’s contacts, including his longtime dance choreographer, Nick DeMoura. Other users may have been unfollowed.
The hacker also followed other Instagram accounts. As yet, there is no word on who was behind the infiltration, but any of the accounts which were followed by the hacker(s) could be responsible. One of those users posted the pic below.
During and after the hack, some Justin Bieber fans took to Twitter expressing confusion and shock over the state of the singer’s Instagram account.
Jb is hacked… He started following these and unfollowed someone else pic.twitter.com/w0okvXPJRK
— Hanne (@hannespurpose) February 18, 2016
Omg his whole account is gone
— Hanne (@hannespurpose) February 18, 2016
yep he’s hacked, he’s following random accounts
— Emma∞ (@biebers_desire) February 18, 2016
— We Are Stan (@imstilkidrauhl) February 18, 2016
All the pictures………….all the memories…….. fix it @instagram
— OG Belieber (@LoveMyBooBieber) February 18, 2016
Fans and others also noted when Bieber’s Instagram account was reinstated.
Thank the high heavens @justinbieber‘s Instagram is back????????????????????
— Vevo UK (@Vevo_UK) February 18, 2016
Its back pic.twitter.com/DYG7j430tP
— A (@biebershining_) February 18, 2016
— JustinBieberCrew.com (@JBCrewdotcom) February 18, 2016
A few hours after the hack, Bieber Instagrammed a pic of his younger brother, Jaxon, standing on a skateboard. His caption reads “New prodigy.” The post indicates the singer’s Instagram account is now hack-free. Bieber also re-added pictures which were deleted during the attack.
In less invasive Justin Bieber news, the heartthrob’s “Love Yourself” has reclaimed the No. 1 spot on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart. Last week’s No. 1, Zayn Malik’s “Pillow Talk,” tumbles to No. 7, which the music publication revealed is the biggest slide on the chart in five years.
“Love Yourself” is enjoying a second non-consecutive week at the top of the Hot 100 after topping multiple charts around the world, including the U.K. and Australia. The song, an acoustic kiss-off to a former lover, was written by the Biebs and Ed Sheeran. It first topped the Hot 100 two weeks ago, displacing Bieber’s “Sorry,” which reigned for three weeks.
Meanwhile, hot on the heels of Bieber’s Grammy win alongside Jack U’s Skrillex and Diplo for their “Where Are U Now” collaboration, “Company” is looking likely as the follow-up single once “Love Yourself” wanes for good. That news isn’t official, but multiple radio professionals were tipped by Def Jam’s promotional team last week and it is already being played on the radio.
As a result, Headline Planet are reporting the slinky R&B jam is strongly hinted as the next single. “Sorry,” “Love Yourself,” and “Company” are all singles from Bieber’s record-breaking, critically acclaimed Purpose album. They followed the lead single “What Do You Mean?” which dropped on August 28 of last year.
At the Grammys, Bieber performed a grungy, percussive version of “Where” with a band, which included Diplo and Skrillex, after kicking things off with a solo rendition of “Love Yourself” while accompanying himself on guitar.
The singer walked the red carpet with Jaxon, and followed up his big win by partying at The Nice Guy hotspot and 1Oak nightclub in West Hollywood, before going on to The Weeknd’s birthday bash. Bieber shared a few snaps of his historic night on Instagram.
[Images via Def Jam Recordings/UMG Recordings, Inc.]