Instagram Purge: Celebs Didn’t Just Lose Fake Followers, They Lost Money

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Justin Bieber was the biggest loser last week when Instagram started to clean house and delete fake accounts. The “Baby” singer lost an incredible 3.5 million followers, reports Standard Media.

Akon also had a major decrease. He dropped to 1.9 million followers from 4.3 million

While Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million of her 23 million Instagram followers, she becomes the most followed celebrity. Ariana Grande lost 1.5 million of her 21 million followers, Beyoncé lost more than 800,000 of her 22 million followers, Rihanna lost about 1.2 million, Katy Perry dropped 300,000, and even Oprah had 100,000 followers deleted.

As you can imagine most celebrities weren’t to happy at Instagram’s decision to delete fake accounts. “Rapper Mase lost so many followers he decided to delete his account entirely. According to one Twitter user, Mase dropped to 100,000 followers from 1.6 million in a matter of 20 minutes,” reports Business Insider.

But Instagram told all users, “Your number of followers has changed. We just completed a fix to remove spammy accounts.”  In some cases, the purge suggests that followers that had been “purchased,” bots and the like, were sniffed out and cut.

Celebs take the numbers seriously, often trying to find ways to increase their following. Many stars also have their accounts handled by a social media team, Michael Heller, CEO of Talent Resources told Page Six. “It’s very inexpensive, so that’s why many social media teams [buy followers].” Websites can charge just $30 for 2,500.

Greater numbers of followers can turn into endorsement money and deals for celebs. “Brands pay up to $100,000 for posts and negotiate fees based on followers,” reports Page Six.

“It’s bad for a celeb for many reasons,” Heller said. “It’s embarrassing,” plus “they also could lose lots of money.”

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