"Kim Kardashian and I have something in common: We both just lost a sh*t-load of Instagram followers."




The warnings were there for days.

Social media app Instagram was doing a huge clean up of spam, fake and inactive accounts, meaning lots of us would soon lose followers by the bulk.

“HA!” I laughed to myself, knowing a few people that I followed had absolutely bought fake followers. The signs were there – They had over 10,000 followers, but would never get more than 15 likes on a photo.

But I didn’t buy followers.  I swear I didn’t. And on Friday Instagram notified me that they had deleted the accounts of many of my followers. I lost about 10%.

On Friday the numbers were published for the world to see. Celebrities were the ones most affected, with many of us (myself included) jumping to the conclusion that they were as insecure as us about their number of followers, purchasing them for a pretty price to get a few more likes on their expensive-looking selfies.

The celebrities most affected by the purge.

But the Instagram purge didn’t rid the world of only fake accounts that can be bought on the black market (or any spam website ever).

No, they were culling any account that was inactive or that just posted spam. If you ever read the comments on Kim Kardashian’s posts, you’d find an abundance of comments along the lines of “Get 10k IG followers now! Sign up here >>>”.

Unfortunately for follower-obsessed celebrities and teens alike, a lot of these spam accounts make up a large number of followers.

We’re guessing that’s why Kim Kardashian lost 1.3 million followers. And why Justin Bieber lost over 3 million.


Kim Kardashian went from 24 million to 22.4 million followers.

Oprah lost 100,000, Katy Perry dropped 300,000. And one poor user – now deleted, unsurprisingly – went from 3.6 million followers to just 8 after the purge. Ouch.

Of course, there were users who did purchase fake followers and did lose these with an embarrassment equal to rapper Mase, who deleted his account after he went from 2 million to 271,000 followers.

But if you think Kim Kardashian, most likely the most famous person on the planet right now, bought 1.3 million followers to complement the 22 million she already had, you are kidding yourself.

Rapper Mase’s account after the purge (top) and after he deleted his account (bottom).

Just like it’s unlikely Oprah wasted her money on 100,000 fake robots to bring her follower/following ratio up.

Just like I didn’t buy the followers that I lost.

So yes, we can laugh at the idea that these people did spend their millions on fake followers, but the reality is far less entertaining.

What is entertaining, however, are the reactions from thousands of people who really, really worked hard for their robot followers, you guys.

People like this user:

Click through the gallery below for the best reactions to the great Instagram purge of 2014.