Mega and Macro Influencers Lose Followers Amid Recent Instagram Purge / Digital Information World

As Instagram has grown from a small social media platform into one of the most used social spaces today, the number of users, both real and fraudulent, has grown in parallel. To maintain the integrity of the platform and ensure that spam accounts and accounts violating the community are regularly identified and removed, Instagram is required to conduct routine “purges” to indefinitely remove these users from its ecosystem. For example, Instagram users witnessed significant purges taking place in 2014 and 2019, affecting a large number of accounts that were followed by many, mainly mainstream celebrities, by the millions.

Instagram isn’t the only social media platform that continually checks the validity of users on their accounts by removing accounts that are either inactive, fake, suspected of being bots, violating Terms of Service, or engaged in inauthentic activity are. Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube often follow similar practices to keep their user base legitimate.

In a recent report, AI influencer marketing platform HypeAuditor found that an Instagram purge was likely responsible for the 13.5% of all Instagram influencers hit by a decline in followers from September 6-13 this year were. The data was collected from an analysis of 33.7 million Instagram accounts and found that macro influencers — defined by accounts with 100,000 to 1 million followers — accounted for the largest number at 31.3% of macro influencer accounts Followers lost over the two-week period have been hit by a decline. Mega influencers follow closely behind with 30.7% – accounts with over 1 million followers.

Ten of the top mega-influencers on Instagram who had consistently gained followers in the previous month lost a total of 16.3 million followers from August 30 to September 13. The most followers lost were celebrity sisters Kim and Khloe Kardashian, who both lost 2.4 million followers. Closely followed by actress Selena Gomez, down 2.2 million. Other accounts with a large drop in follower count are below.

While a purge of this magnitude might at first seem like a big deal for both affected influencers and the brands that partner with them on their influencer marketing campaigns, losing followers from major accounts isn’t the right thing for either side too worried with. Cleans done by Instagram will help influencers get a real, real audience and have little to do with actually engaged followers. This also validates brand investments in influencers as it ensures they reach an uncontested audience.

Alexander Frolov, co-founder and CEO of HypeAuditor, provided additional insight into the data and stated: “The massive loss of followers that stars like Cristiano Ronaldo or Kim Kardashian are currently experiencing does not mean that millions of fans are giving up their loyalty. Instead, we suspect that the origin lies with Instagram itself. Such purging of inactive or fraudulent accounts is nothing new.”

Frolov further explains: “We estimate that only about 60 percent of all Instagram accounts are real people. The rest are bots, inactive accounts, or mass followers — and it’s pretty unlikely they’re really interested in shared content. So it only makes sense that Instagram would also remove such bulk accounts.”

This isn’t the first Instagram purge the platform has seen, and it certainly won’t be the last. If large account deletions like this are carried out in the future, it’s important to note that these accounts will be removed for reasons of overall safety, fairness, and authenticity of the social media platform.

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